Architecture Essay, Research Paper
One career that I have been interested in for a long time is architecture. Architects are involved in
the negotiation, design, and the supervision of construction of a clients request. This may be from
something as simple as a house add-on, to something as grande as a shopping mall. Architecture has
interested me for many years. I have always enjoyed the great detail and thorough drawings that are
involved. The past two years I have taken the COPS and the CAPS tests, and both of the results stated that
architecture would be a good career choice for me. Throughout my high school and middle school years, I
have always done very well in math. It is good that I learn all of the techniques now, because architects use
difficult mathematical functions just as much as they use art and design. The use of angles, dimensions, and
all fields of geometry are used daily to make sure that the structure they are designing comes out to scale,
with all the right angles, and dimensions that the!
An architect is not an easy career to succeed in. Although once an architect does succeed, it is very
well worth it. Most architects work an average of 40 to 45 hour weeks (Career Information Center, vol 4,
pg 115-117). However, if the job needs to get finished to meet the deadline, they may spend much more
than 40 hours working during that time. An architectural firm is where most architects work, but some
work in their own firm. The office is like most offices, and can be referred to as the “Daily Grime”.
Education and training to become an architect is not easy. Every architect in the United States is required to
have a license. College is very important. Most universities offer architecture as a major. Most schools that
offer this major, usually have a separate school for an architectural degree. This degree consists of a 5-year
program that leads to a bachelor of architecture degree. Courses in this program consist of classes in
engineering, architectural design, buildin!
g construction, structural theory, professional administration, and graphic representation (C.I.C., vol 4, pg
155-117). After you graduate, and obtain your bachelor degree, you go on to work in an architectural firm,
but not as an architect. Instead you would work as a junior drafter, making models, and lettering. Then
when you are ready to move on, you would become a senior drafter. This is where you become responsible
for details in preliminary drawings. This goes on for about three years. At the end of the term, you become
eligible to take the state licensing exam. The exam is a very crucial test for your architectural career, and
tests you on the theory and history of architecture, construction, engineering, design, and professional
practice (C.I.C., vol 4, pg 115-117). As of now, I am taking an ROP construction class. In this class, we just
finished building a permanent wrestling room. We are in fact the first high school construction team in the
United States to build a !
permanent building. Now we are finishing up another building, except this one is a portable class room.
This course has given me great experience in construction, reading plans, following plans, and obeying all
of the building codes. My geometry and trigonometry courses will help, and my eye for drawing will be a
big factor also. All these things that have been completed in high school will help me on my way to become
an architect. Salary is also important, especially if you are trying to raise a family. On average, an
architect’s salary is around $40,000 to $60,000 a year. If you become a senior architect, you can make a
salary as high as $80,000 or $90,000. Those few that start their own successful firm, or becomes a partner
in a large firm by working themselves up, can make a salary in excess of $120,000. Depending on your
skill as an architect, you could make a very comfortable life for yourself.
Architects have many advancement opportunities, although to take advantage of any, you must be
licensed. If you are looking for advancement, your best place to look would be in an architectural firm.
Most architects that do take an advancement usually either stay within the firm, or move out of architecture.
Opportunities within the firm include specification writers, which deals with preparing technical
information for the architects. This type of job is very common within a firm. Just because you have your
license and work in a firm, does not mean you have to be an architect. You could also hire new architects
and just run your firm. If you are looking for an advancement opportunity outside of architecture, you can
look at jobs managing and running construction sites. Or you could get out of construction all together and
become an interior design or, or landscape architect, which deals with landscapes, as opposed to the
structure itself. The employment outlook for architec!
ts greatly depends on the current market, and the economy. In 1994, there were 96,000 architects (C.I.C.,
vol 4, pg 115-117). As we move on in the future, computers architect becoming a bigger part of our lives.
Programs such as CAD design programs allow architects to use computers to calculate technical
Many people say that it isn’t what you know, it’ s who you know. This may be true in the
architectural field. If you know an architect or have a friend that owns a firm, you probably have a better
chance that most people. Following that statement, our good friend and ex-neighbor works for a big firm in
Arizona. This may pay off in my journey to become an architect. Architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright
and Louis Henry Sullivan spent many years studying to become the phenomenal architects that they were.
Wright’s mother for example put paintings of Roman Cathedrals in his nursery, because she knew that he
was going to be an architect. Most architects have their very own distinct style, and these are usually the
higher paid ones. Sullivan loved using the arch, in almost all of his buildings, while Wright enjoyed using
geometrical figures in his structures. At 91 years old, Wright died before his last building would be
finished. He was named the greatest architect ever by many d!
ifferent people and magazines. This type of architect was never in it for the money. If I follow the plans
that I intend to follow, I should receive my license by the time I am about thirty. That depends on many
factors, like if I decide to change my major. Hopefully I will start my own business, I succeed.
Unfortunately, not all architects succeed.
This research paper has taught me a lot of information on architecture that I would have never
known about if I didn’t do this paper. I am very glad that I wrote this paper. Architecture is a filed of study
that requires much preparedness, and a lot of long days and short nights. I may decide to use this paper for
my senior exhibition next year, depending on my work in architecture for the next fifteen months. If
something comes out, like a model, or a summer architectural job, then it may be a good senior exhibition.
Architecture is a very important field for both the American economy, and for America’s beauty. Without
creative architects like Wright and Sullivan, the world would be a very boring place. Hopefully architecture
never becomes dull.
Architect. New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan, 1996.
Vol. 4 of Career Information Center. 14 vols.
Architecture on the World Wide Web. Giovanni Caprioglio.
Italian Architect. http://www.geocities.com/~Caprioglio/progrecenti.htm
Frei, Hans. Louis Henry Sullivan.
Z?rich: Artemis Verlags, 1992.
Mcdonough, Yona Zeldis. Frank Lloyd Wright.
New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1992.