Architecture and Construction > Architects > Overview
Occupation is in demand for the following regions: Northeast, Career Cluster

Architects - Overview

Architects plan and design all types of buildings and structures.

Architects design many kinds of structures. Projects may include:

  • Houses
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Bridges
  • Airports
  • Office Buildings
  • Renovations

Architects take part in every phase of a building project. They help create the first design and stay involved until the construction is complete. Architects also help clients select building sites. They work with many other people during this process, including the client, engineers, and general contractors.

Before beginning a new building design, architects meet with clients. They find out the clients' needs and their ideas for the design. Using this information, architects prepare initial drawings and estimate costs and timeline for the project.

With the client's approval, architects draw or use computers to develop detailed plans. These plans include scaled drawings and models showing the completed building. Architects work with drafters and engineers to complete the detailed plans.

Architects follow building codes, zoning laws, and fire regulations. They make necessary adjustments and changes to plans throughout the planning and building stages.

Architects may specialize in one type of building or in one phase of work. Some specialize in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Some architects supervise the construction process. They help clients get bids from building contractors and prepare contract documents. They also visit construction sites to ensure builders follow the plans correctly.

At the end of construction, architects inspect buildings to be sure they were built according to building plans.

Entry-level workers, called intern-architects, draw or use computers to complete construction drawings. They also do research on zoning regulations, environmental impacts, and other topics. Sometimes they help to design one part of a project or manage small projects.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.