How to Become a Corporate Architect

Corporate architects are architectural professionals who work in corporate design, like malls, corporate centers and other commercial ventures. They may work for a company's in-house design and architecture department or for architectural firms that specialize in corporate work. Training in design and architectural is required, as well as some specialized experience. Careful career planning is needed to learn how to become a corporate architect.

Steps

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    Work toward a degree in architecture. A minimum requirement is a Bachelors degree, but a Masters will give you a competitive edge. Your course of study should give you full guidelines about how to become a corporate architect and cover topics like construction, design, architecture management processes, engineering, and building materials.
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    Meet with your college advisers to discuss opportunities for part-time jobs and internships. Apply for part time work in the architecture departments of local corporations. Look for jobs with architectural firms that specialize in the design of offices and commercial buildings.
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    Build up your knowledge and practice design and architecture skills in your free time. Join groups and professional associations for architects. Do volunteer work. Read magazines and books about news and trends in corporate architecture.
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    Try to get some work or volunteer experience that will expose you to corporate culture, especially if your goal is to work for an in-house firm. Working for a corporation is different from working for a smaller design and architecture company. Getting accustomed to corporate politics, rules and structure at the beginning of your career will save the time and effort it takes to adjust later.
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    Set up equipment for a home office. You may need to work from home often. A clean, professional, organized environment is necessary.
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    Become skilled at Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, as well as general office productivity software and office equipment.
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    Find out about your state's requirements for licensing as a registered architect. State requirements vary but usually include specific education, experience, and testing.
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    Study for the licensing exam for your state. This can be done through study groups or self study with books or online materials.
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    Be prepared to work as an apprentice or intern for a few years before becoming licensed as an architect. Most states require a work history of 1 to 5 years before sitting for certification.
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    Keep up with training and certifications. Most states require a specified amount of educational hours or units each year to keep a license active. Education could include conferences, lectures, courses or self study. Look for opportunities that provide licenses and certifications.
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    Plan your career growth. Set goals and stay on track. If your desire is to work as a corporate architect and you currently work in a different area of architecture, make moves toward your goal. Try to get involved with any commercial or corporate projects that your firm may be working on. Become specialized at commercial design instead of residential if your firm does both types of work.

Article Info

Categories: Architecture and Design Occupations