What they do
Architects apply technical skills and creativity to design commercial, industrial, institutional, residential and recreational buildings that are both practical in use and beautiful in appearance. Unlike other construction or building professionals, architects focus more on the look of a building as opposed to its structure.
They work with a number of construction professionals as well as town planners and project clients to ensure that the use of the building is supplemented and complemented by its design and look. They may work on multi-level skyscrapers in the CBD, or small heritage buildings that require conservation work, as well as a wide range of domestic and commercial buildings.
Architects work in offices when designing and drawing, but are often required to visit work sites. They may need to travel frequently to visit clients at their workplace or at building sites (locally or overseas). They may also need to work with the public when developing government-funded projects that have particular cultural significance. Work conditions can sometimes be stressful due to strict project deadlines and clients’ demands.
Tools and technologies
Architects use drawing and measuring instruments and materials, as well as computer-aided design (CAD) and modelling software. They may also use a variety of stands and equipment for making and displaying three-dimensional models of their designs. Sometimes, it might be helpful to take cameras out on site visits. Architects work in an industry with constantly changing trends and must adhere to building regulations, so it is important that they have access to the most up-to-date information and technical manuals.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a qualified architect, you usually need to study an accredited architecture degree at university followed by postgraduate studies.
Some universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing
To work as an architect in Western Australia, you must be registered with the Architects Board of Western Australia.