Architectural technologists will work to make sure the design and planning of a building is done in a practical and accurate manner. They will do this based on their knowledge of building design, and will have a part to play in projects from start to finish. This will involve them negotiating with clients and making sure creative ideas work according to building regulations. Architectural technologists work closely with architects; monitoring project development and making sure deadlines are met.
The typical starting salary for a junior architectural technologist is £15,000 - £22,000, increasing to £24,000 - £28,000 after three years experience. Once around ten years experience is acquired you can then move up to senior level, salaries ranging from £35,000 to £42,000. Income levels will vary according to level of experience, and the ability to run large projects. Other benefits may include a company car and a pension scheme, with freelance work a possibility.
Typical working hours are nine to five, but it will be expected you work over-time should a deadline need to be met, likely to occur at weekends and during evenings. Work is mainly office-based, though you will have to visit building sites and clients, as well as planning regulators. When visiting building sites you will need to wear safety equipment such as hard hats. Working abroad is an option with some construction agencies.
Entry to the position of architectural technologist can be done by way of educational study or a work-based route:
There is no age limit to entering the profession, work experience an advantageous asset for all candidates. To find placements check the CIAT website and with local recruitment agencies.
An architectural technologist will gain experience with an agency at the beginning, often working alongside one or two other technologists. Promotion to senior level is possible once you have gained enough experience, and if you have attained the necessary qualifications. Promotion might require you to move between agencies. Over time you may decide to move into one particular area, such as construction based work or teaching.
Once you are working and are recognised as a member of the CIAT, you can work to industry qualifications, such as the Technician Membership of the CIAT. The POP (Professional and Occupational Performance) examination will then need to be completed as part of CIATs membership requirements, lasting between one to two years, and allowing you to work your way up to the position of chartered architectural technologist, taking a further three years. Additional study will also need to be done through the CPD (Continuing Professional Development) programme, to keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date.