Message - Re: Architecture Career Change - Know The Facts. Know Thyself.

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Posted by  Smart on August 15, 2003 at 12:28:54:

In Reply to:  Re: Architecture Career Change - Know The Facts. Know Thyself. posted by Grumpy Voice of Experience on June 01, 2003 at 11:39:35:

Why not tell people the truth:

"Architecture is the career from Hell"


*Ridiculously low pay, miniscule bonuses, if any at all, sometimes not even basic health insurance is available

*Layoffs (oh,!) every three months....i.e., the perennial revolving door.

*No career mobility, for most people: "shut up and draw" = no growth of any kind

*Crucial early career training in specific market-sector design (e.g. hospitals, aviation, office buildings, etc.) is only available to those few who survive "the axe at the revolving door!"

*This means that you may have ten years of experience, but only have done details and Cad drawings!.....and

*One or two arrogant designers in each firm behave like hogs...nobody else gets a chance to ever be creative, or blossom into a real contributor to the firm. Probably less than one percent of all Architects get to do any really expressive creative work on the job. And design competitions are almost non-existent, and are usually closed to "people without a track record"....i.e. almost everyone who does not lie on their resume!

*Excessive work hours, most of which are unpaid....."Well, you're on salary, and you are responsible for getting your assigned work on the project done, even if it means working until 2 AM 4 nights a week plus one all-nighter on the fifth, and 12 hours per day on the following Saturday and Sunday"....."The law allows us to pay salaried people for only forty hours, and it's your responsibility to meet the deadline. We know that we are under-staffed, but in order to get the job, we had to under-bid for our services, which is why we cannot pay any sort of overtime, and by the way, comp-time is illegal"......And then your boss drives home at a reasonable hour to his own 5-acre estate with a view of the ocean, and later in the year spends holidays at his vast out-of-town tropical or Ski-vacation property!

*Those in control of firms do not take registration seriously. Lack of registration is used as an excuse "to force people to keep working on AutoCAD", but when someone finally achieves registration, the rules change....He/she never gets much of a raise in pay and usually gets laid off!!

*Starting ones own Architecture firm in Today's economy is not a realistic proposition...only poverty and house additions!!

*Minority architects rarely have any power in the context of the traditional Architecture firm, and are always relegated to "doing the details"....."my, my, what a good detailer he/she is, but don't ever trust him/her with generating good ideas....he has such a communication problem...laughable, isn't it!" Minorities, even if registered, are usually forced to report to younger, white, unregistered, fast-talking "design stars" , even if those same "stars" are dependent on the minority in concern for detailed knowledge of codes and technical issues.

*Client representatives are nearly always specific white men, or some white women who dress like men in a non-threatening way

*Teaching in an Architecture school is not available to most Architects who have spent their professional lives doing details on AutoCAD, and pays sub-standard wages.

*In summary, Architectural education is very, very expensive, with almost no return on one's investment, and leads to endless job instability, terrible pay, horrible hours, and rarely satisfies the heady desire to "create one's own works of Architecture"

If you are looking for a creative visual field, think about getting into computer animation, advertising/branding or graphics, etc. Please avoid Architecture.

If you want to make money from buildings, become a licensed realtor and contractor, borrow money and develop property. Please do not get stuck in Architecture..

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