Architectural technologists work with architects and other professionals, specialising in the scientific and technological aspects of building design and construction.
They are qualified to both offer design services, and to manage projects from beginning to completion.
You could be:
discussing the client's needs and agreeing the overall nature of the project
advising on the environmental and legal issues and regulations which will affect the project
liaising with local authorities and other agencies in order to gain all necessary approvals
preparing design proposals and detailed drawings and models and specifying dimensions and building materials
using specialist software including computer-aided design and building information modelling, such as Revit
managing and co-ordinating the work of the design team and external consultants
assessing the environmental impact of the project
acting as project manager during the construction phase, carrying out inspections and ensuring that all requirements are being met
advising on and working on the repair, refurbishment and change of use of existing structures.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Newly qualified architectural technologists earn £17,000 to £23,000 a year. With experience this can rise to between £25,000 and £35,000 a year. Senior architectural technologists can earn £35,000 to £50,000 a year.
You could work in private architectural practice or for a local council, a property developer or a construction company.
You are based in an office, but could travel over a wide area visiting clients and construction sites.
Visiting construction sites may require being outdoors in unpleasant weather conditions, climbing ladders and scaffolding and wearing boots, protective clothing and a hard hat.
You may have to spend time away from home.
Sometimes you may work irregular hours in order to meet deadlines.
It is recommended that you complete an Honours degree course in architectural technology accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT). In Scotland you can do this degree at Edinburgh Napier University or Robert Gordon University. A list of all accredited degrees are on the CIAT website.
Inverness College UHI also runs a BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology and although it isn't accredited by CIAT, graduates can still join as a member and work towards chartered status.
Entry to these degree courses require 4 Highers and English and Maths or a science subject at National 5.
Alternatively you could study for a relevant HNC, HND or ordinary degree to work towards qualification as an architectural technician. Check that the course programme has CIAT approval.
Entry requirements for HNC and HND courses vary from 1 to 2 Highers plus subjects at National 5. Passes in English, Maths and a science subject may be required.
Holders of appropriate degree, HND or HNC qualifications can go on to become fully qualified chartered architectural technologists through working towards professional membership of CIAT (see Training).
Architectural technologists usually work within architectural practices, housing associations and local authorities.
IT skills to use specialist software such as AutoCAD and Revit
good drawing and spatial awareness skills
the ability to read and understand technical drawings
a logical and practical approach with good problem-solving skills
adaptability and flexibility
the ability to work in a team
organisational and leadership skills
excellent communication skills.
Upon completion of your studies, you could progress to Chartered Architectural Technologist.
You would complete the Chartered Architectural Technologist Professional and Occupational Performance (POP) Record or MCIAT Professional Assessment. Once completed, you would be required to pass a Professional Assessment or Practice Interview.
As a registered member of CIAT, you must keep your knowledge up to date through continuous professional development (CPD). You need to complete 35 hours of CPD courses every year.
With experience you can move on to senior technical jobs supervising other staff.
You could work as a consultant, working on different projects, or set up your own business.
Some architectural technologists go on to take professional qualifications in architecture or surveying.