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Architects: Education and Necessary Skills

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 12/11/2010

Budding architects may wonder what they need to know in order to become an architect. That answer depends on what type of architect an individual wants to be, as there are a variety of 'architects' as career choices.What skills do architects need? Read on to find out more.

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    Individuals who enjoy designing and planning different types of things may enjoy the study of architecture. Architects can choose from many positions that deal with designing and planning buildings, bridges, and other structures on a professional level. This, of course, is just a main description of architecture as a whole; however, there are other many terms that can describe architects, such as those with an Information Technology scope, where one may be known as a software architect or program architect.

    What skills do architects need in order to be a part of the building process? In this article, learn the types of classes that a student would take, the types of degrees that are available, as well as where an architect can find employment. This article will mainly focus on the actual architecture that deals with the design, planning, and ultimate construction of buildings and structures.

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    Architecture Skills & Classes

    There are many different areas of architecture that a student or someone interested can take. Civil engineers, drafters, and landscape architects fit into this category of architecture. Architects also enjoy working with a variety of people as they plan and design upcoming projects with other architects, designers, and planners.

    The National Architectural Accrediting Board is recognized and credited with being the only organization that can authorize What Skills do Architects Need? architecture programs in the United States. This means that in order to be recognized as an architect, students need to graduate from those schools that the NAAB notes as being accredited through their standards and regulations that are set forth for such schools and organizations. This ensures that all new architects have received the best education and the correct course curriculum so that they can go about building and designing correctly. Currently, the NAAB recognizes 154 programs that are geared toward architecture and related careers.

    Going to school to be an architect can take many years. It's important, as with all decisions regarding college and college courses, that a potential student understands and knows what the programs go into. To become an architect, a student must first complete the required core courses in order to receive his or her bachelor's degree. There are several types of bachelor's degrees for architects, including Bachelor of Science in Architecture, BS in Architecture Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Bachelor of Architectural Studies, and a Bachelor of Environmental Design.

    These bachelor degrees then allow for students to continue into a professional capacity. Those are the degrees that are accredited by the NAAB and thus recognize a student as being an architect once the program of study is completed. These degrees include the Bachelor of Architecture, a Masters of Architecture, or a Doctor of Architecture. On average, the bachelor's degree will take about five years to complete, while the Masters may take up to five years.

    Depending on the degree, classes for architects may include design classes, in which a student presents a visual or verbal design concept to the class. There are classes in behavioral studies, engineering, and some economics. More advanced classes will include complex design constructs and learning computer-aided design (CAD). Some criticism has been made that there may be too much emphasis on the designing aspect of architecture classes, as most post grad architects don't go into design.

    Mathematics is an important aspect within architecture, as calculations are needed to measure the impact of gravity, the wind, earthquakes, and other things on a building--making sure that it can withstand disasters that can be foreseen. Classes for architects may include basic algebra, trigonometry, geometry, and calculus. If you are interested in becoming an architect, check for programs in your area to see if they offer architecture degrees.

    Image content @ Morgue File