Freelance Architect: Job Search Tips

Freelance architect job search, is really a matter of finding the best jobs, particularly in the career building stages. Architecture is very much a "portfolio profession", and the types of job you get are the basis of future work.

Important: If you're just starting out as a freelancer, freelance architect job ads can be used as a career map. They can show you potentials for career development. You need to keep the career track in mind, when selecting new jobs or advertising their services. You have full control of career navigation here, so make sure you take advantage of opportunities when you find them.

The good news is that the emerging employment market is now a lot easier for freelancers. Outsourcing architectural jobs is a preferred option for some architecture firms. The construction industry is also more receptive to freelancers with the right credentials, and architectural consultancies are big business. 

Searching Freelance Architect Jobs Online

The online job search is the major source for freelance architect jobs. The usual range of architect jobs is a miscellany of quite different jobs clumped together as "architecture". That's pretty useless in terms of actually finding anything, and you will need to develop a reliable set of search terms to find what you want. The word "architect" will do as part of your search terminology, but it's not that simple.

In most technical professions unique terminology is an easier way of finding specific types of work than job titles. In architecture, however, there's a series of overlaps of types of work. "AutoCAD design", for example, would be no help at all as a search term. You'd get engineering jobs as well. You need qualifiers to the "architect" search term.

Simpler is better:

  • Architect+ residential
  • Architect+ project
  • Architect+ commercial
  • Architect+ industrial

Complexity, for once, can be useful in searching. A search term like Vector Works, for example, pins down the type of work and the software, useful when employers require specific skills on design systems.

Note: Project jobs are particularly good for experienced freelance architects. They can be very productive, both as breadwinners and for getting future jobs. These are open contests for the jobs, where your chances of getting the jobs are good. You also have chances to get very good portfolio material and career credentials, especially if it's in design or technically demanding specifications work.

Specialist Freelance Sites

Being a freelancer also means finding your way around the freelance job market. There's a good freelance-only site called IFreelance.com, which is a contract bidding site. This site is particularly useful in that it allows you to check out the types of work on offer, check market rates, and also investigate the competition. This is market research, as well as job hunting.

Important: Remember that with this sort of site you can also add some links to your own profile good presentation materials for interested employers and project managers. It's an effective form of passive job hunting.

To give an idea of the types of work, one of the jobs advertised recently on iFreelance.com was a landscape architect job in China, budget $10,000 to $19,999. It doesn't get dull working as a freelance architect, we can assure you. Imagine having a job like that in your portfolio. Also please note the budget figure is a realistic commercial bandwidth price for this type of job.

That's an example of the jobs you can get as a freelance architect. The only limits in this work are the ones you impose on yourself.