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Architectural Technologist

Architectural Technologists have a key role to play in the development and implementation of a project, taking the technical designs through from inception to completion and into reality. 

Architectural Technologists work with many industry professionalsfrom Architects, Structural Engineers, Building Engineers and many more and their quality of service is performed similarly to the in-depth functions and services of accredited Architects. 

Architectural Technologists specialise and practice in the science of architecture, building design, technology and construction, leading project designs from initial concept, innovation and through to realisation, playing a pivotal role in the project design and design legislative management.  

Architectural Technologists can design and manage all project types from small scale residential additions through to large scale residential, commercial, and Industrial projects, working collaboratively with other professionals in the built environment sector. Architectural Technologists  are recognised and acknowledged globally as having specialist skills to enable them to manage the design process and use their technical skills, knowledge, and expertise to provide innovative solutions often producing eye-catching and innovative designs which create inclusive and sustainable environments.   

Job Description, Salaries & Benefits 

  • Architectural technicians/technologists work closely with architects and other building professionals, providing architectural design services and solutions on construction projects
  • They negotiate projects, assessing the needs of clients and users, and agree the project brief
  • They design projects, preparing and presenting design proposals using computer-aided design (CAD) 3D BIM Graphics and traditional methods
  • They manage projects, obtaining and evaluating tenders and contracts
  • Architectural technicians/technologists also evaluate and advise on refurbishment, repair, reuse, recycling, and deconstruction of buildings 

An architectural technologist has a broader range of skills than a technician and will contribute more to the design legislative and construction process, including contract management, certification, and post-construction work. 

Architectural technologists are mainly office based, with often variable time spent following up on project enquiries and ongoing projects under construction, and often site visits can be carried out during inclement weather situations and conditions. 

Becoming an Architectural Technologist offers you a structured professional and occupational experience with Salaries ranging from around £18,000 to £60,000 or more. Starting salaries may often be between £18,000 to £25,000 a year. 

An architectural technologist should: 

  • be reasonably good at freehand drawing
  • be able to visualise objects in three dimensions (3D)
  • have good math and computer skills
  • have organisation and management skills
  • be interested in the science and technology involved in building. 

Technologists work in, architecture practices or local authorities, government offices and agencies, housing associations, commercial companies, material and product manufacturers, and construction organisations 

Young people “as well as mature students” can either start through a technician Apprenticeship, or part time study for an HNC/HND or a degree before commencing their work experience. A range of construction-related subjects may be acceptable, but architectural design or architectural technology are the most relevant. Career changers may be accepted on courses without the usual qualifications or which may be able to establish their careers through experience or other educational routes. 

There are good opportunities to progress to senior jobs and executive positions along with other office-based positions which entail supervisory and/or management responsibilities, and It may also be possible to work on projects abroad. 

What is the work like? 

In negotiation they: 

  • assess the needs of clients and users and agree the project brief
  • advise on environmental and regulatory legal requirements affecting the project
  • obtain initial approvals from the various authorities
  • produce feasibility studies and surveys
  • advise clients on buying in materials and on forms of contract. 

In designing projects, they: 

  • prepare and present design proposals using computer-aided design (CAD) 3D BIM Graphics and traditional methods
  • lead the design process and co-ordinate the detailed design information
  • manage and co-ordinate the design team and professional consultants
  • advise on choosing materials
  • liaise with and produce documentation for statutory and local approval from the local authorities
  • carry out design stage risks, sustainable and environmental assessments. 

In managing projects, they: 

  • manage and co-ordinate professionals working on a project
  • obtain and evaluate tenders and contracts
  • ensure compliance with design, legal, statutory, and professional requirements
  • programme work schedules and carry out stage inspections at various stages of the building construction
  • during and after the construction project is completed, they will obtain feedback from clients and people using occupying the building. Often this feedback is used, and a report provided which would on highlight and indicate the performance of the parties in delivering the building project.  

Architectural technologists can also evaluate and advise on refurbishment, repair, reuse, recycling, and deconstruction of buildings, which can also involve listed buildings of an important heritage and/or religious places of worship. 

 A Day in the Life of an Architectural Technologist 

Often leading a project from beginning to end, Architectural Technologists focus on the functionality and performance of a structure. While mostly office-based, they can expect frequent on-site visits as well as meetings with clients. The role will require a lot of evaluating, from environmental to regulatory compliance as well as liaising with inspectors and authorities to ensure that standards are being met. 

Architectural Technologists will primarily:  

  • be asked to evaluate a structure and advise on repurposing or deconstruction
  • aid clients in finding satisfactory contracts, suitable materials
  • classify and prepare environmental, legal, and regulatory scenarios
  • proceed with designed risk-assessments
  • be involved preparing architectural plans. 

Traits and Skillsets of an Architectural Technologist 

Architectural Technologists are required to show leadership skills and be willing to take on responsibility, as well as working collectively as a team. You will also need to show your communication and personnel management skills whilst you work with other professionals, clients, and authorities on a daily basis. Your design skills and legislative knowledge will be shown whilst planning and undertaking practical problem solving, and you need to have a key eye for detail with designs, and the intelligence to visual objects in three dimensions (3D). 

Career Pathways 

Architectural Technologists are also strongly encouraged to become a chartered member of a chartered association for example The Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) so that they can fulfil and maintain their technical and legislative knowledge along with annual CPD requirements. Through these steps, an Architectural Technologist can rise to more senior roles, often after five years of working in the industry. With extensive experience, many Architectural Technologists progress to set up their own practices, and many have become very successful and recognised award winning practitioners. 

CTA 

CABE (Chartered Association of Building Engineers) strongly encourages students to join our Graduate, Associate or Technician Membership tiers, as a way to be provided with continued access to the broader community through information and communication, ensuring a high level of skill proficiency and drive for competence. 

Salary Expectations for Chartered Members can be in excess of £80,000 to £100,000 + with continued growing experience and chartered memberships. 

Relevant Experience and Studies 

Entry with an HNC or HND in construction, architectural technology or building studies, or a foundation degree in architectural technology can lead to Associate membership with CABE. Once a member, you can then upgrade your membership, and your career path can excel.