What Are the Different Types of Architects?

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue as an architect. Read on to learn more about career options, education requirements, salary and job outlook information. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Architects develop, design and supervise the construction of buildings, landscapes, ships and even software systems. Their work entails understanding all the details of both the form and function of whatever is being built. The following chart outlines the general requirements for different types of careers for architects.

Building Architect Landscape Architect Naval Architect
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree, Master's degree recommended Bachelor's degree
Field of Study Architecture Landscape architecture Naval architecture, marine engineering
Training3-year internship 1-4 year apprenticeship Moderate on-the-job training
Licensure State license required
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) certification voluntary but helpful
License required in most states Mariner's license
Job Growth (2012-2022)17%* 14%* 10%*
Median Salary (2014) $74,520* $64,570*$92,930*

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Types of Architects Are There?

Building architects create the construction blueprints that detail a building's specifications. The blueprints you create include every detail of the building's structure, from the air-conditioning system to plumbing, window frames and even light sockets. You may also need to calculate the building's dimensions and choose the right materials for the function and size of the structure.

Landscape architects design structures that emphasize the natural features within a backyard or public space. As a landscape architect, you collaborate with your client to create a project that draws people outdoors and inspires them to explore an area, such as parks, campuses, recreation centers and gardens.

If you work as a software architect, you will design and build data-driven software by using the latest technology in software design and development. You serve as a vital link between the company's tech and business staff by communicating your client's needs into custom software platform design.

Navel architects prepare drawings, reports and documents for the research and development of new ships and boating vehicles. As a navel architect, you apply professional mathematical engineering standards, formulas and models to estimate required equipment measurements and systems for various marine vehicles.

What Education and Skills Do I Need?

Building architects and landscape architects have similar skill requirements. In order to work in these fields, you must understand computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software, have an eye for aesthetics and detail, and be creative. You will also need a strong background in mathematics to put together accurate proposals for construction and budget plans. It's also important for these architects to pay special attention to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) planning codes and regulations when designing. A master's degree or 5-year bachelor's degree program in architecture or landscape architecture may be required.

As a software architect, you must have a thorough understanding of the software developing process. This includes expertise knowledge of programming and modeling languages, and knowledge of hardware platforms and software processes, such as SOX and CMMI. After competing a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field, opportunities are available to earn a graduate certificate in software architecture.

In order to qualify for a job as a naval engineer, you must be familiar with diesel engine operation, maintenance and troubleshooting. This allows you to analyze diesel engine data, and test and perform logistics development and reporting. You need to earn a master's degree in naval architecture to qualify for this position.

How Much Will I Make?

In 2014, the median salary for building architects was $74,520 per year, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, the median income for landscape architects was $64,570 per year. PayScale.com reports that naval architects in the 25th-75th percentile earned $60,000-$92,000 in 2014, while software architects earned median incomes of $110,929.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

 More Schools