Architecture is concerned with the designing, planning and construction of structures and spaces in an aesthetic, economical and environmentally friendly manner. In addition, architects can work in different types of related architectural careers. According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), there are over 600 types of architectural careers.
In the traditional architectural job, an architect works with a client and designs according to either given specifications or the architect's own vision. The architect designs a host of structures like houses, residential buildings, commercial complexes, schools, hospitals, railway stations, airport terminals, hotels, etc. The architect will draw the plan, prepare scale models and supervise the construction.
Apart from creating brand-new construction designs, architects also work on existing structures. They may be called in for alteration and renovation work, or work involving physical face lift. Architects with knowledge of classical architecture are required for historic preservation and conservation of heritage buildings.
With an increasing awareness about global warming, architects with specialized knowledge of environmentally friendly or green architecture are needed. They design on the lines of energy efficiency and energy conservation. They may make use of natural materials for building purposes.
One growing field in modern architecture is landscape architecture. This has to do with both environmental awareness and aesthetic appeal. Architects plan landscapes that will suit an existing structure or one that is about to be built. They also work on improving or upgrading previously designed landscapes. Many architects also work as land and property surveyors. They carry out building evaluations.
Architects also work as consultants. They offer practical advice on technical matters related to designing highways, urban planning and rural architecture. They may work in project planning and management.
Other architectural careers include those of developers, contractors and construction managers. Architects may work as building inspectors, structural engineers and traffic planners. They may also work as geotechnical specialists, acoustical specialists and material testing specialists.
They may work as interior designers, set designers, graphic designers, product designers, photographers and multimedia specialists. Some architects take up writing and journalism, and write or report on architecture-related issues. Another career option is teaching at an architecture college.
All these architectural careers can be in the private, public and governmental sectors. Architects may work as independent contractors, with architectural firms, in private institutions, in public companies or in government organizations. They usually work alongside other professionals like engineers, managers, designers, electricians and so on.