Architect Job Search Tips

Architect job searches involve time and patience. Finding the right job for career progression can be tedious. In this profession, there are even specialized web sites to help find jobs and employers. That's because the profession itself is complex, and becomes more so as architects gain experience and specialize in particular areas.

Job Search Issues

Competition for jobs with major employers is intense and the main issues for architects are include finding the appropriate career position and business issues. Some employers have structured skills development for their staff, but that can't be expected when looking for jobs. You need to contact the employer to find out their staff development methods.

  • Finding the appropriate career positioning: This is particularly important for architects in the early stages of their careers, trying to develop skills and a portfolio. Some baseline jobs aren't career-developers, involving very basic planning and don't have much to do with advanced technical or design work. For experienced architects, these jobs aren't career assets, because they provide no new skills or experience.
  • Business issues: It needs to be remembered that architecture is a business, as well as a science. Architecture businesses are based on clientele. It can be an erratic line of work, particularly during construction industry downturns. Most architects try to find employers who can provide  a lot of regular, varied work.

Finding the Best Jobs Online

Finding an architectural design job in the early stages of a career is a good example of the problems architects face finding suitable positions. If you want to do architectural design, it's much harder to find what you need. All architects are designers by nature, but the actual jobs are in the minority, usually restricted to senior, experienced staff. These jobs are also major career progressions, into the much broader fields of architecture and much better job opportunities.

To get into design, architects generally start on a design team, handling parts of design issues. From there they progress to full designer status. To find a design job can be nearly impossible, but to find a design team job is easier. This means that job search terms have to specify a range of roles to find one of these jobs. The advantage is that it also eliminates some of the less appealing jobs.

For once, technical terminology is a useful search method. Searching "architect + design" won't achieve much, but adding terms like "schematic" and "3D modeling" will. These are natural elements of design work. Other areas of architecture are similar, and you can save a lot of time and stress using these modifiers.

Other Job Search Methods

  • Cold canvassing: This can work very well, because architects are often willing to hire specialists or to take on freelancers to pick up overloads of work. It can lead to regular work, and also adds current materials to your portfolio. Employers, being architects themselves, will also understand your position and may be able to suggest options.
  • Networking: This can be an extremely valuable job search method. Contacts in architectural firms, construction and development usually know what's available. More importantly they often know what work is coming down the pipeline, and can advise where to look for jobs. In some cases you can also get direct introductions and references for employers.