Message - Re: What does an architect do?

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Posted by  Risa on August 21, 2003 at 11:32:14:

In Reply to:  Re: What does an architect do? posted by steveA on June 24, 2003 at 14:59:06:

SteveA, Thank you for your comments on the process an architect goes through before a city project is approved....

To anybody with some free time on their hands... :)
I am a early-to-mid-career Mechanical Engineering graduate who is seriously considering a career change to Architecture. I have taken a few undergraduate courses (in design and in building technology), and I love it! But I know that the real world is very different from school. Before I commit myself to years more of school, I would like to get an idea of what an architect *actually* does from day to day.

- Is the civil engineering type work (structural, material, thermal, sound, fire safety, etc) typically done by the same person who works on the artistic design? If not, how are the responsibilities divided?
- What about urban planning type work, legal and related financial tasks? In your article, you make it sound like this is all done by you...
- How much time is spent on construction site? in the office? travelling?
- What percentage of work is original design? engineering? reaseaching? drafting? model making? proposal writing? miscellaneous?
- What part of your job do you enjoy most? Hate the most?
- What is the job market like? I know the big famous design firms are highly competitive, but what about smaller places?
- How much room is there for growth? What is the typical architect's "career path"?

I am more likely to be very interested if the work is varied. While I enjoy the artistic aspects, I hope that the job also demands technical, research and people skills.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time,

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