People need places to live, work, play, learn, shop and eat. Architects are responsible for designing these places and protect the public health, safety, and welfare. This second responsibility requires architects to be licensed by the state, which they work. The job begins with learning what the client wants. The architect takes many factors into consideration, including local and state building and design regulations, climate, soil on which the building is to be constructed, zoning laws, fire regulations, and the client’s financial limitations. After discussing and agreeing on the initial with clients, architects develop final construction plans that show the building’s appearance and details construction. The final design shows the exact dimensions of every portion of the building, including the location and size of columns and beams, electrical outlets and fixtures, plumbing, heating and air-conditioning facilities, windows, and doors. The architect’s job is very complex. He or she is expected to know construction methods, engineering principles and practices, and materials. Architects must be up to date on new designs, construction techniques and procedures. Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and building information modeling (BIM) have replaced traditional drafting paper and pencil as the most common methods for creating designs and construction drawings. However, hand-drawing skills are still used, especially during the conceptual stages of a project. As construction proceeds, architects may visit building sites to ensure that contractors follow the design, keep to the schedule, use the specified materials, and meet work-quality standards. The job is not complete until all construction is finished, required test are conducted, and construction costs are paid.
Competition to enter these programs is high. Grades, class rank, aptitude and achievement scores count heavily in determining who will be accepted. Most schools of architecture offer degrees through either a five-year bachelor’s program or a three-or four-year master’s program. Currently, 35 states require that architects hold a professional degree in architecture from one of the 123 schools of architecture accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB). State licensing requirements can be found at the National Council of Architectural Registration Board; most states also require some form of continuing education to keep a license, and some additional states are expected to adopt mandatory continuing education. Requirements vary by state but usually involve