What is an Architect?
An architect is a professional who is trained in the design, planning and oversight of the construction of building structures and landscapes. An architect either renders or offers services associated with the construction and the design of a building, group of buildings and even the space surrounding the site of the building or buildings.
In a professional sense, the decisions that an architect make affect the safety of the public. As a result, the architect undergoes training that involves an advanced education and an internship for practical experience, so he or she can earn a license to practice the trade. The academic, technical and practical requirements for an architect change based on the jurisdiction of his/her employment. The disciplines of naval architecture, landscape architecture and information technology also utilize the terms architect and architecture.
Tools of the Trade:
When an architect makes plans for the design of a building or when he is drafting, he has a variety of tools at his disposal. The tools of an architect relate to both large-scale as well as small-scale purposes. For example, on the large-scale model, an architect will utilize his trusty tape measure, surveying equipment and laser levels.
On the small-scale model, this is where it gets interesting because an architect is exercising creative work to design projects. When drawing, he usually relies on a three-sided scale that features scaled measurements. Sometimes, he also uses metric rulers that feature scales that can be used when he plans the design of a building. Architects also rely on computer-based modeling programs and software—such as Sketchup, FormZ and AutoCAD—to make precise scale-based models and to print blueprints of which they can base their constructions.
As an architect progresses through their career, they can expect to hold various titles, based on experience and specialty. According to data from the American Institute of Architects, there are 10 different job titles that an architect may hold as he produces design after design and advances in his career.
From least to most senior, they are: Intern Architect, Architect/ Designer I, Architect/ Designer II, Architect/ Designer III, Senior Architect/ Designer, Project Manager, Department Head/ Senior Manager, Junior Principal/ Partner, Mid-level Principal/ Partner and Senior Principal/ Partner. Not all architecture offices may have all of these titles in their firms at the same time, but it is a good bet that they have at least some of them in the same office.
License in California:
In the state of California, it is the architect—not the firm or company that employs the architect—who has to get the license to practice. This license has to be renewed every two-year cycle. The California Architects Board is the issuer of this license.
To get a license in this state, an architect has to prove that he has completed 8 years of education and/or work experience. He also is required to successfully complete the Architect Registration Examination and also the California Supplemental Examination. Before taking the ARE, five years of education and/or work experience is needed. To take the CSE and get licensure, 8 years of education and/or work experience is required.
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