What Skills Do Architects Need

What skills do architects need? While general personal qualities such as self-discipline, communication skills and a hard work ethic will aid just about every professional, an architect should possess additional abilities in order to work with a variety of clients to design functional and safe structures.

Academic Skills
An architect needs to graduate from an accredited architecture program. This could be a five-year architecture degree or a three-year master's degree that follows a non-professional undergraduate degree. These degrees can be obtained via a traditional university setting or by online architecture schools. Curriculum requirements cover math, engineering, graphic design, urban planning, computer assisted design and drafting, physics and even liberal arts. Many architecture-specific classes also include the history of architecture and some design theory classes as well.

Business Skills
An architect must possess the business skills to work with clients, manage day-to-day business dealings, cooperate with vendors and negotiate contracts. Other business skills that an architect will use daily are business and technical writing, billing and invoicing procedures and even conflict resolution. Word processing, spreadsheets, risk management, financial planning and leadership skills will only help an architect be more successful.

Communication Skills
An architect must be able to listen to a client's needs and then turn around and prepare technical drawings, models and plans to execute those needs. Whether it's a school, stadium or skyscraper, the architect must always be discussing options, presenting solutions and interacting with both clients and contractors to create the best possible outcome for the project.

Continuing Education
An architect can expand his skills by attending mandatory continuing education courses as outlined by the American Institute of Architects. These education courses are designed to keep licensed architects up to date on the newest information regarding the profession. An architect can add to his existing skills by completing these continued education courses. For example, an architect could educate himself about the newest sustainable design methods for homes or offices, and then he could incorporate those new skills into his existing business.

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