Networking Tips for Architect Jobs

Architecture is both a business and a personal career issue and will require some networking. Networking is complex, and may relate to associations across a range of contacts few other professions have. Professional architects have different roles involving different markets and the commercial stream of architecture. That affects the type of networking they do, and the type of business and professional networks they have. In architecture, these two fundamental types of networking are directly related. This is the basic networking environment, and it's related to directly to the architect's line of work. There are a range of typical contacts in each stream of architecture:

Residential Architecture

This is usually a local or regional architecture business, although major developments may be involved. The contacts are indicative:

  • Local clients
  • Local business
  • Builders
  • Residential developers
  • Local government 

Commercial Architecture

These are larger scale projects, usually with  corporate backing, and much bigger budgets. Contacts in this field are very diverse:

  • Major construction firms
  • Large scale developers
  • Corporate clients
  • Engineers
  • Regional or state government

Major Projects and Consultancies

Very large projects, sometimes major city developments and urban projects, are all major budget architecture. These are multi million dollar projects. Contacts in this field are top level commercial and often political entities:

  • National major construction firms
  • Corporate developers
  • Major developers
  • Government at state and in some cases Federal level
  • Political interests
  • Commercial interests
  • Civil engineers
  • Urban and state planning authorities

These are very different businesses, even if all described as "architectural networking". The contacts are valuable to architects, however, as both sources of business and as quality checks on business issues. 

How to Find Work

Like any business, architects must be able to seek work, as well as have it come to them. This is an ongoing process, in order for the business to be viable and achieve a working cash flow. The architect's network is the primary source of commercial information, and the most efficient, quickest, way of doing business. Architects can bid for contracts, but that's a very slow, erratic process, and paying commercial work is the real business. 

An architectural consultancy or service also has a portfolio of work which it uses to attract more business. The business generated by the network provides that. To develop an industry profile, and bid for larger scale work, the business must have a track record. Many architectural businesses start as small local businesses, and build themselves up to major architectural firms, going through each stage of the types of network.