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Careers in Architecture and Beyond

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Along with food and clothing, shelter is one of the basic human needs. The rapid pace of urbanisation in twentieth century has led to increase in demand for commercial, IT, retail and entertainment, hospitality, healthcare, industrial/ logistics spaces and places of worship. Architects have been doing the task of designing, detailing and monitoring the construction of these spaces along with getting the necessary sanctions and approvals for the same from the statutory authorities. Architects have been assisted by the civil and structural engineers, construction project managers, consultants and other trained and skilled professionals in this endeavour.

Formal architectural education started in India with the onset of a few schools imparting architecture education in cities such as Mumbai, Vadodara and New Delhi with a handful of architects graduating every year. The Council of Architecture (COA) has been constituted by the Government of India under the provisions of the Architects Act, 1972, enacted by the Parliament of India, which came into force on 1st September 1972. The registration also entitles a person to use the title and style of Architect. The passing of this act imparted the necessary sanctity to the profession and only those professionals completing formal educational programs in architecture education could use “Architect” as a title and get registered with the Council of Architecture. Today there are more than 400 institutes across India for architecture education and we have approx. 20,000 architects passing out every year.

Where can graduate architects work?

Graduate architects can find employment in government and private sector in architecture design firms, engineering and other consultancy services, Public Works Department, State and Central Government Housing Boards, Planning Authorities, Urban Planning and Development Departments, Industrial and Special Planning Authorities. A few graduate architects opt for a master’s degree program in India or abroad and attain specialisation in Urban and Regional Planning, Environmental Design and Planning, Landscape Architecture, Industrial and Product Design, Urban Design and Heritage Conservation. Only a handful of the architects set themselves on the entrepreneurial path and start their own venture in development, construction or manufacturing.

Salary structure for architects doing regular jobs has not been keeping pace with the increasing cost of living and certainly not commensurate with the expenditure incurred and efforts taken in completing a five-year program inclusive of six months to one year of professional practice. As per the statistics available, the salary of an entry level architect ranges from 2 lakh – 3 Lakhs per annum and an experienced architect can make up to 5 lakh per annum. These numbers certainly do not inspire confidence in the young students who are looking forward to architecture as their chosen career.

What should architects do to earn well and be in demand?

A few years ago, a degree in architecture was considered enough to assure you of an adequate career, however, with increasing competition in the market, jobs for architects are scarce. Young architects cannot expect opportunities for promotions and increments in salary even after acquiring enough experience if they remain just “Architects”.

To differentiate themselves from these generalist professionals and to play a larger role in the execution of their designs, young architects will have to take up the role of an ‘Architect Manager’. Looking at the current scenario architects need to gear up to meet the changing demands of the industry where the focus is shifting from pure “Design Services” to “Design-Execute- Deliver Services”. Real Estate Development firms are also looking for multi skilled professionals as they are looking for end to end solutions from their architects.

If architects decide to enhance their design skills with techno-managerial skills by doing a specialised post-graduate program; they can look forward to a wider panorama of career options. Upskilling also assures them of a fast-track escalation on the career ladder with additional responsibilities, promotions and growth at a much earlier stage of their careers.

Which specialisation to opt for?

What field to specialise in depends on your area of interest and aptitude. In the real estate and construction sector, during the recruitment process, prospective employers are known to give more weightage to candidates with an architectural background offering higher starting packages and quick opportunities to rise through the ranks.

Some architects have a knack of understanding various requirements of a construction project and like to be involved in all its steps from the preliminary stage to the completion. They would need to understand effective management of available manpower, resources and should be ready to accept the challenge of completing the project within the prescribed costs and schedules with pre-decided specifications and standards. Architects in this category can join the MBA in Construction and Project Management Program and can work in design and drawing management, scheduling, materials and specifications finalizing, cost analysis, quantity estimating and quality assurance verticals.

Architects with a specialised degree in real estate are much sought after by real estate and construction companies in a Post- RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) world as the act thrusts immense responsibility on the professionals responsible for a real estate project for its timely delivery and completion. With a background in design, architects have a holistic understanding of a project and are better able to handle its efficient execution and quality management aspects.

After acquiring enhanced skills and adequate experience, one can strike out on their own as an “Archepreneur” or an “Archedeveloper”and start their independent development management venture.  They can collaborate with landlords who want to develop their parcels and redevelopment/ brown field development can also provide a great opportunity as it demands special skill sets in negotiation and public counselling which an Architect-Manager can bring to the table.  The architect turned developers are also expected to pay back to the planet by adopting sustainable and environment-friendly practices as compared to the others who merely get attracted by the profit in the business.

Where can you learn the latest techno-managerial skills?

Compared to other disciplines, architects are better equipped to have a comprehensive understanding of the aspects of the real estate industry and with enhanced techno-managerial skills they can look forward to participating in the plethora of opportunities available to them.

RICS School of Built Environment,  Amity University being an industry led institute with a global accreditation, offers programs custom-designed to fit the needs of the change in the demands of the industry. Our programs are designed to be relevant not only for the present but also for the future. The students can choose from a wide array of electives and select a capstone projects in line with the specialization they wish to attain coupled with an internship opportunity with industry majors in India or abroad. Our students are trained in the latest industry related software and technology and are encouraged to have an innovative and futuristic approach to education. The students can be sure that from day one on their job, they can hit the ground running and have the potential to achieve tremendous growth in their careers. Our placement records speak for themselves. Leading organisations of the industry like JLL (Middle East and North Africa), CBRE, Turner and Townsend, DSA Architects are absorbing our MBA graduates especially those who have a background in architecture. Last year the highest international placement offer went up to 32 lakhs. The students have achieved the leadership roles much earlier in their career or are able to join the amazing world of Start-ups through our incubation facilities.

In short, we at RICS SBE can be the wind beneath your wings.

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