Architects are licensed professionals educated in the art and science of building design. Architects work collaboratively with a wide range of design professionals. They may be involved in designing the total built environment, such as large-scale masterplans integrating buildings with their surrounding landscape, to the design of architectural interiors, construction details and furniture design. Architects’ skills are both broad and specific—idea creation, designing, engineering, managing, supervising, and communicating with clients and builders. Architects develop a thorough knowledge of the history, place and culture that buildings reside in. They also develop a thorough knowledge of the art of building construction, with an ability to design, collaborate and communicate their ideas effectively.*

Sample Occupations

  • Architect
  • Interior Designer
  • Landscape Designer
  • Urban Designer
  • Computational Designer
  • Artist/Designer
  • City & Regional Planner
  • Drafter
  • Furniture Designer
  • Project Manager
  • Renovator
  • Construction Manager
  • Surveyor
  • Real Estate Appraiser
  • Real Estate Developer
  • Historic Preservationist
  • Curator
  • Historic Interior Designer
  • Architectural Conservator
  • Historian

Types of Employers

  • Architecture Firms
  • Design Firms
  • Real Estate Developers
  • Builders & Contractors
  • Local Government Agencies
  • Educational Institutions
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Building Suppliers
  • Preservation Firms
  • Construction Firms
  • Nonprofit Preservation Groups
  • Residential Contractors

Preparing for your career in

There are four main steps to becoming an architect:

Education, Internship, Examination, and Licensure

One must earn a professional degree in architecture from a NAAB-accredited institution such as UNC Charlotte. They must also complete a comprehensive training program, called the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) , to gain real-world experience and training necessary for professional development. The Architectural Experience Program™ (AXP™) provides a framework to guide you through gaining and recording your professional experience.  Developed by NCARB, the program is required by most U.S. jurisdictions and is a key step on the path to earning a license. Through the AXP, you’ll learn how to safely and competently handle the scenarios you’ll face as an architect. With broad experience areas that reflect the current phases of practice, the program prepares you for everything from site design to project management.

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How do I know if its right for me?

ASSESS: Take a career assessment, such as PathwayU, to see how your interests, values, and personality fit with majors and careers.

RESEARCH: Research the careers on this WCIDWAMI and thousands of other careers using O*Net Online, The Occupational Outlook Handbook or FirstHand.

EXPLORE: Learn more about a career field of interest by job shadowing, attending a career panel, or participating in a Career Trek. Further your exploration while gaining valuable skills by completing an internship, co-op, volunteer, or research experience.