Student Info & Guide

So You Wanna Be an Architect

by on October 20, 2016 | Top Stories, Career Guide

The job of an architect

An architect's task includes designing, altering, adapting, conserving and preserving buildings. Architects use their expertise to adapt the surrounds of buildings and other external environments to the functions and form involved in the art and science of designing.

An architect uses computer-aided design software and other tools to prepare drawings and designs for clients according to various specifications that include structure, materials, colour, costs, constructions time; and environmental or safety regulations . They may also supervise technicians who prepare these drawings. Their job also involves meeting clients, negotiating contracts and giving presentations.

Is this job for you?

If like to plan and design structures such as homes, office buildings, and other structural property that serve as places for people to live, work, eat and play, then this could be the career for you. Architects need to find a balance between their client's objectives, requirements, and budget and the feasibility, design and cost involved in the project.

The interest code for this career is AI (Artistic, Investigative).

  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work styles

Architect Besides being creative, architects need to have good analytical and visualisation skills as they need to understand the connection between design and function. They also need to be organised in keeping track of various details related to the project. Good communication skills are vital as architects need to be able to convey their ideas accurately and clearly to their clients as well as their co-workers. Other important attributes include dependability, initiative, integrity, innovation, adaptability and a tolerance for stress.

Work values

Architects value independence and autonomy in making decisions. They appreciate recognition in their work and opportunities for advancement and leadership. Achievement is also important to architects as they are results oriented and value the chance to use their strongest abilities.

Work environment

Architects work mainly in their offices preparing drawings and working with other architects. They may meet clients at their work place or at their own office. They may also be required to visit construction sites to conduct checks to ensure that work is carried out as planned. Long work hours are common when working to meet deadlines.

Places of Employment

Most architects work at architectural and engineering firms. In Malaysia, a professional architect may work at one of various types of firms – multidisciplinary, partnership, sole proprietorship, or corporate body.

Job Entry Requirement

To practise as an architect in Malaysia, one must graduate with an architectural degree recognised by the Board of Architects Malaysia and be registered as a graduate architect. If the applicant's qualification is not recognised by the Board, the applicant will need to sit for the Part I and II Examination conducted by the Architectural Examination Council of Malaysia. Later on, upon fulfilling additional criteria (such as obtaining the practical experience prescribed by the Board, passing Part III of the Professional Examination, and becoming a Corporate Member of the Malaysian Institute of Architects), one can apply to become a professional architect. Find out more here.

Education and Training Qualifications:

  1. Bachelor's degree in Architecture
  2. Master's degree and Masters & Ph.D in Architecture

Find out where you can pursue a degree at bachelor, master or doctoral level in architecture on our website.

Should you be an architect? Watch this video to find out more.


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