job postings architect jobs in canada

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architect Jobs

all about being an architect

As an architect, you conceptualize, plan and develop designs for the construction and renovation of commercial, institutional and residential buildings. Sometimes you create a model of the building, which is then built by a construction company following your precise directions and specifications.

It’s not unusual for architects to focus on one particular area, like residential or commercial, and develop an expertise. You have a blend of both creative and technical skill and enjoy combining the two to come up with interesting designs that reach outside the box.

what architecture jobs entail

Architecture jobs typically require you to work 40 hours a week though it can be more if you're in the midst of a big project. As an architect, you will typically work out of an office. That said, you're occasionally called on to visit clients, meet with municipal governments, or conduct site visits. During the construction phase of a project you're working on, your office may even be an on-site trailer.

average architect salaries

The housing boom in Canada has resulted in a steady demand for architects, with strong salaries to match. Major city centres in Canada, such as Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, are home to the strongest job opportunities.

As a new architect just starting out as an intern (prior to becoming fully licensed) you can expect a salary in the $40,000-$60,000 range. After you've completed your internship and licensing, you can expect your salary to increase above the $60,000 mark, and reach as high as $90,000 once you have a significant amount of experience. Skilled independent architects or consultants may find they can make even more.

your day to day tasks

Architects spend much of their day creating and reviewing designs that call upon both technical and creative skill. As an architect, some of your daily tasks will include:

  • conceptualizing and designing buildings
  • detailing design specifications, materials, costs and construction schedules
  • conducting feasibility studies
  • meeting with clients to establish building requirements
  • presenting design proposals to clients
  • preparing or supervising construction documents
  • preparing bids and proposals
  • overseeing every stage of construction
  • supervising on-site activities to ensure compliance

where you can work

Architects work in the public or private sectors, typically at an architecture firm, though you may also work independently or as a consultant. You may choose to develop a specialty in residential, commercial or industrial buildings, though some architects opt to work in all three.

As condos, retail centres, homes and other structures are built, your expertise as an architect is needed to ensure these buildings are safe, durable and meet government regulations. The housing market in Canada is strong. This had led to an increased volume of new structures being built, and a steady demand for architects.

what you bring to the table

As an architect, you will need advanced math skills to analyze and create building designs. You must also be an excellent communicator both written and verbally, as you will be required to write clear, concise reports and communicate your ideas and design specifications to others.

Successful architects, must also be experts in the principles of designs and federal, provincial and municipal building codes. Other skills employers will be looking for include:

  • flexibility and creativity
  • technical knowledge including building and safety regulations
  • local planning regulations and restrictions
  • ability to work seamlessly with other professionals and construction crews
  • problem-solving and analytical skills
  • ability to work with computers, in particular industry-standard
  • experience using architecture and drafting software

training and certifications

The vast majority of architect jobs will require an undergraduate degree in architecture. Some employers may also require a master's degree. To become a fully licensed architect, you’ll also need to complete an internship (usually about 3 years long) under the supervision of a registered architect and successfully pass the architect registration examination.

Becoming an architect is a regulated profession, so you'll need to register with the provincial association of architects in the province in which you’ll be working.

where your career is headed

As an experienced architect, you can seek out promotions to senior positions such as site manager and senior architect. If you work at an architecture firm, striking out on your own as an independent architect or consultant is another option to increase your salary and allow you greater autonomy over your career.

Your future looks bright due to Canada's current construction boom. As the population (particularly in major cities) continues to grow, architects are needed to design safe, secure buildings. With the baby boomer workforce reaching retirement age, many architecture job opportunities are expected to open up over the next decade.

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