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Residential Architecture

  • Single Family Housing

  • Multiple-Unit Residential

  • Tract Homes

  • Senior/Assisted Living

  • Remodeling/Renovations

Architecture firms,

Real estate developers,

Construction firms,

Individual homeowners,


Description: Designing new homes or renovating existing ones for either single or multiple families.  Gain experience in an architect's office. Obtain an internship while in school. Develop strong communication skills and patience which are important when working with individuals in designing their homes. Study houses and architecture styles. Read books and magazines about architecture. Develop computer skills.

Commercial/Institutional Architecture

  • Private Industry including: Office buildings, Convention centers, Medical offices, Health clubs, Motels, hotels, Restaurants, Shopping centers, Supermarkets, Theaters, Arenas.

  • Public/Government including: Schools, colleges, universities, Government facilities, Military facilities, Libraries, Hospitals, Recreational facilities, Churches, Museums

Architecture firms,

Large corporations,


Research institutions,

Transportation companies,

Universities and colleges,

Local and state government,

Federal government, agencies including:

Department of Defense,

Department of Interior,

Department of Housing & Urban Development,

General Services, Administration,

Preservation firms,


Description: Designing office buildings, factories, laboratories, malls, schools and other commercial or government facilities.

Get hands-on experience while in school. Learn the technical side of preparing construction documents; spend time in the field to understand the mechanics of construction. Important to understand the various jobs and processes that will take place in the buildings. Advanced training may be helpful if specializing in a certain typology such as historic preservation and renovation or a certain type of building such as schools or hospitals. Get involved in leadership roles on campus; architects may serve as project leaders coordinating the work of engineers and contractors. Take computer classes. Writing skills are necessary for advancement in firm.


  • Teaching

  • Research

  • Part-time Instruction

  • Special Collections Libraries

Colleges and universities

Graduate degree in architecture desirable for full-time professorships. Professional experience and licensure in the field of architecture is beneficial. Develop a working knowledge in the building design or construction industry, along with knowledge of CADD, project planning, and estimating. Create a portfolio for faculty review.

Related Professional

  • Urban Planning

  • Real Estate Developing

  • Contracting

  • Property Assessment

  • Landscape Design

  • Interior Design

  • Architectural Engineering

  • Consulting

  • Facilities Management

  • Product Development/Marketing

  • Law

  • Insurance Liability

  • Writing

Federal, state, local government

Real estate firms




Architecture firms

Design firms

Engineering firms


Architecture departments

Law firms

Specialized training or advanced degrees may be required, i.e. master's in urban planning, degrees in landscape design, interior design, etc. Learn about real estate market and supply and demand in area for developing. A contractor's license is considered valuable for working in the design/build area of architecture. MBA degree may open more opportunities with business and industry. Many large corporations employ architects to serve as client representatives when working with architectural firms. Design and organizational skills are helpful.

Earn JD for law practice. Hands-on-experience in architecture and construction will help prepare one for contract negotiation and litigation. Take courses in English and journalism. Develop writing skills. Get involved with campus publications.

Strategies for placement in Architecture

  • To gain entry into the field of architecture, one must receive either a Bachelor's or Master's degree from an accredited school of architecture, complete a full-time internship (three to five years) and pass a licensing examination.

  • Architecture is a combination of art and science.

  • Architecture involves much more than designing buildings. Talk to architects and visit their offices to learn more about the field.

  • Students of architecture must be able to conceptualize and understand spatial relations and be detail-oriented. Develop creativity, analytical skills, and a sense of quality.

  • Take many art and photography classes but not mechanical drawing classes.

  • Oral and written communications skills are important, particularly when working with clients, construction crews or government officials. Good writing skills are valuable for developing architectural proposals.

  • Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) and other computer technologies are prevalent in the field of architecture. Develop as many computer skills as possible.

  • The job market for architects, especially residential, varies with changes in economy as demand is often tied to level of construction.

  • One third of architects are self-employed as either partners or running their own firms.

  • Most architects work in firms of fewer than five people.

  • Related fields include: graphic, interior, or industrial planning, real estate development, civil engineering, and construction management.

  • Some architects specialize in a particular building type. Graduate study in the field may be helpful for specializing. Other architects may specialize in a certain function of the firm such as project management or specification writing.

  • Areas of specialization include: historic preservation/renovation, healthcare facilities, sports facilities, educational facilities, master planning and interior design.

  • Students should design a portfolio to use when interviewing. Include freehand drawings, final drawings by hand and computer, process sketches, photos of study models and finished models, a sample of writing, and work from technical courses.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer.