Job descriptions and industry overviews

Architectural technologist: job description

19 Jul 2023, 09:00

Architectural technologists bring together a knowledge of architecture and technological skills to design buildings.

Architectural drawings of a property plan.

Architectural technologist : Salaries | Employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Architectural technologists are specialists in using architectural design software. They are responsible for leading on the technological design of building projects and may have a background or focus on engineering. They work closely with architects, Who are responsible for coming up with initial concepts and designs, to draw up plans using computer-aided design (CAD) packages.

Typical duties include:

  • liaising with clients to discuss their needs and those of the users of a proposed building.
  • researching planning regulations and communicating with local authorities about planning permissions.
  • creating building designs using CAD and other specialist software. You may also need to draw them freehand.
  • advising on materials, technology and processes involved in building design.
  • drawing up risk assessments, looking at surveys and investigating other issues that could affect how a building is designed.
  • collating design information for each project and keeping it up to date.
  • advising clients of progress.
  • preparing documents to help with getting planning permission and similar approvals.
  • visiting sites to check progress and inspect work.
  • keeping up to date with legislation, standards and technological innovation.

Most work is desk-based, although site visits will be needed from time to time.

Architectural technologists usually work as part of a team of professionals. Hours are usually typical ‘office’ hours (although you may not work in an office), but you may need to work late or at weekends when deadlines are approaching.

The role of an architectural technologist is different from that of an architectural technician. Technologists focus on using technology and technological knowledge, while technicians tend to take more of a support role.

Graduate salaries

The UK Government along with specialist architectural recruitment consultancies report that starting salaries for architectural technologists range from around £20,000 to £28,000. Earnings will rise with experience: with six to ten years’ experience you could be earning £35,000.

Typical employers of architectural technologists

  • Architectural practices.
  • Construction firms.
  • Engineering firms.
  • Property developers.

Jobs are advertised on the websites of industry professional bodies and via university departments. Specialist recruitment agencies will also advertise vacancies.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into a career as an architectural technologist for both university graduates and school leavers.

Unlike architecture, you don’t need a postgraduate qualification to enter the profession. However, university students should undertake a degree accredited by CIAT, either in architectural technology or a related built environment subject such as civil/structural engineering. CIAT publishes lists of approved and accredited courses on its website.

Many students take a four-year sandwich course for the opportunity to gain valuable experience and contacts in the workplace while studying.

The next step for architectural technologists is chartership with the CIAT. Chartered members are recognised within the industry; they can become self-employed and are able to manage a construction project from start to finish, negotiating contracts and suggesting design solutions.

School leavers can become architectural technologists by starting their career as an architectural technician and working their way up. You can also take an apprenticeship in a related topic such as digital engineering or design and construction management.

Key skills for architectural technologists

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