Difference Between Architectural Technologist & Technician

May 30, 2020

Comparing Architectural Technologists to Architectural Technicians

Architectural technologists and technicians both work in the field of drafting, meaning they deal primarily with the design and measurements of building projects. There may be some overlap in their roles or expectations, but generally technologists tend to focus on the creative and diagnostic processes within a given project, while technicians focus on specific scientific and mathematical processes in the design of the project assigned to them by technologists. Further similarities and differences are outlined below.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2020)* Job Growth (2018-2028)**
Architectural Technologist Bachelor's degree $57,000 2% (for all architectural drafters)
Architectural Technician Associate's degree or certificate $51,000 2% (for all architectural drafters)

Sources: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Architectural Technologists vs. Technicians

Technicians and technologists both deal primarily with the design and construction of buildings or other related projects. They conceptualize and implement the technical schematics behind the structures of the final project, such as electrical specifications, though the extent of such input is more significant for technologists than for technicians. Technicians are usually given assignments from the technologists to research various aspects of either new technology or design practices for the purpose of implementing their findings into the design of the building.

Architectural Technologist

Architectural technologists are typically project managers overseeing the progress of the building project while analyzing what is needed to meet the architects' expectations as well as adhering to regulations. They assign and distribute the workload of the architectural design and construction to the crew. Technologists also must be familiar with modern design practices and techniques in order to incorporate them from the design phase to the construction phase. Due to these expectations and responsibilities, they will be required to oversee the crew in an office environment as well as the construction site, and meet with clients to give progress reports on the project.

Other responsibilities of architectural technologists are:

  • Communicating orders or needs between the primary architect and the crew
  • Using architecture design software
  • Overseeing negotiations or acquisitions for the property that is being built
  • Helping to prepare legal paperwork

Architectural Technician

Architectural technicians are responsible for any technical specifications of a particular portion of the building project. They develop and design sections of the project with high detail specifying exact measurements. They are usually tasked with analyzing the functionality of the project, as well as estimating what potential setbacks could occur. Due to the precision required from the drafts and sketches the technicians are assigned, they usually must draw several sketches of the same section with varying angles and views for the construction crew.

Other responsibilities of technicians include:

  • Analyzing and drafting interior measurements
  • Helping with scheduling and planning
  • Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the design of the structures
  • Using architectural drafting software to make construction plans from the designs and sketches

Related Careers

If you still want to deal with aspects of design or construction, you could also consider becoming a civil engineering technician or architect. Civil engineering technicians deal with the design of road infrastructures, while architects do the large-scale planning and designing of building projects, overseeing architectural technologists.

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