Design Design


Architects design buildings and other structures. Working closely with the client to formulate a brief to understand exactly what they are trying to achieve, architects then design a building to accommodate their needs as well as all those of all people affected by the building. When the initial design is decided upon, they then work with a team of consultants including structural engineers and service engineers to develop the design into a fully functioning building.

The role involves making models, drawing, investigating materials, and using logic to find solutions to problems whilst working with lots of people and bring together the design.

Discover more about this career and other professions in construction on one of our Budding Brunels courses - find a course near you.

What The Job Involves

What are the key responsibilities for this position?


Key Responsibilities

Communicating your design to the client and all necessary parties
Developing the design so it can be built in a cost-effective, sustainable way that is safe and enjoyable for all
Design new housing or landmark buildings such as the London Shard
Advise on the restoration and conservation of old properties like a tower block from the 1960s or a centuries-old castle
Work on single buildings or large redevelopment schemes and sometimes design the surrounding landscape too
Considering budget, safety and community needs for a project
Ensuring building regulations, planning laws and environmental considerations are met
Creating detailed drawings for the contractor, with exact measurements and building materials needed
Inspecting the building as it's built to make sure it meets the requirements
Using computer design programmes to product drawings, detailed workings and specifications

Most people do a five-year university course recognised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) – followed by at least two years’ professional experience.

In England and Wales you need at least five GCSEs (grade A to C) including maths, English and physics or chemistry, plus three A-levels (some universities like this to include a maths or science subject). Lots of universities will accept further education qualifications instead of A-levels.

You don’t need an art qualification but should be interested in art and design. Course providers will probably want to see your drawings and sketches.

Why not come on one of our Budding Brunels courses to find out more about professions in construction? See our upcoming courses here.

Entry Requirements

RIBA I (a degree) allows you to work as a ‘Part I Architectural Assistant’
RIBA II (Post-graduate degree/Masters) allows you to work as a ‘Part II Architectural Assistant’
On completion of RIBA III exams (Post graduate diploma) during work in practice (and subscription to the ARB) allows you to work as an Architect

What key skills and personal attributes help with this role?

Skills & Attributes

Good communication and organisational skills
Good design skills – drawing/model making
Good maths, science and IT skills
Excellent organisational, planning and time management skills
Logical thinking and problem solving skills
An understanding of budget control
Great attention to detail
Ability to work well with others, communicate and lead a team
Good business understanding

How much can you expect to earn and what are the career progression options?

The following figures are intended as a guideline only.

Salary & Progression

RIBA I Assistant: £21,000 - £25,000
RIBA II Assistant: £26,000 - £30,000
Qualified Architect: £30,000 - £35,000
Experienced Architect: £35,000 - £50,000
Senior or chartered Architect: £50,000 - £100,000
Information provided by Information provided by
Case Study

Sanaa Shaikh


Sanaa is an Architect at MAKE Architects in London. 

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

Some days I might be on site with builders inspecting their work, making physical or computer models, or being involved in workshops with other consultants. 

What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?

Be curious! Ensure you do as much as you can to further your knowledge. Make sure you have work experience and ask lots of questions!

Find a course

Give it a go

Experience construction and learn more about this career through one of our courses.

Find a course near you or, request a course near you

Discover more about this career

Find a course near you
Key: Budding BuildersBudding Builders
Budding BrunelsBudding Brunels Head OfficeHead Office

Visit one of our friends

Want to find out more, or need more information? Contact us, or visit one of our friends below.