An architectural technology specialist has many options when it comes to choosing a career path. Some of the fields these professionals might work in include specification writing, drafting, design, and detailing. As for the required education, architectural technology specialists usually only need either an associate's degree or a certificate in drafting to find work in this field.
Architectural technology specialists assist professional architects. Many work in architectural drafting, which involves working with the architect to draw plans for construction personnel to follow. Most of this work is done on computers. Other options for architectural technology specialists include office management, design, and cost estimation. Because a specialist is not a licensed architect, an associate's degree or certificate program is usually sufficient. Additional certification options are available.
|Required Education||Associate's degree or certificate in drafting|
|Projected Job Growth||-3% from 2014-24*|
|Median Salary||$50,710 (2015)*|
Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
According to the BLS, the middle half of all architectural and civil drafters earned between $40,810 and $62,290 per year, as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The average annual wage for these professionals was $53,470, with top-paying industries, specifically the scientific research and development sector, offering as much as $75,390 in average annual wages. Those working in electrical equipment and component manufacturing averaged about $72,070.
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There are many career options open to those wishing to enter this field. Fields include architectural office management, civil and architectural drafting, design, cost estimation, specification writing, and detailing. The profession most closely related to architectural technology is architectural drafting, which involves assisting a head architect in drafting the plans for construction workers to follow. The job requires being on the cutting edge of the latest technologies in the field of architecture and engineering and may lead to specialization in a certain type of building or material. Architectural drafters spend a lot of time in front of computers, as well as communicating with the architect.
A degree in architectural drafting can provide the necessary training to work as an architectural technology specialist. In this type of program, students gain knowledge and skills in office management, drafting techniques, specification writing and design, as well as construction materials and methods, environmental systems, structural standards and codes, and communication. The level of degree a person seeks depends on personal career goals. Working as an architect will require an advanced degree in architecture.
In addition to degree programs, aspiring architecture technology professionals can seek certification through the American Digital Design Association (ADDA). In the case of drafters, the ADDA offers a drafter certificate, which provides drafters with credibility and proof of their skills.
As assistants to professional architects, an architectural technology specialist should be comfortable working with computers and maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of new technological trends in the industry. While a degree program may help to train aspiring architectural technology specialists for their career, obtaining professional certification from an organization like the ADDA can be a good way to validate one's skills to employers.