At some point, more or less every aspiring student has asked this question to themselves – is architecture worth it?
Such a career is nothing less than a roller coaster ride – it comes with various ups and downs. Consequently, it’s expected for the budding creative bugs to question their choices, considering how difficult it is gradually becoming to stand out as extremely successful in this field.
Architecture is a field where patience, perseverance, and precision determine everything. That said, we can’t also ignore that the global competition is getting tougher every year, which is why students are stressing more than ever before.
So, let’s address the elephant in the room once and for all! Read on to learn more about whether being an architect is truly “worth it!”
Is Being An Architect Worth It?
Before we proceed any further, let’s try to understand what the term “worth it” implies in this particular question. Instead, ask yourself – what defines the worth you’re seeking?
If it revolves around merely enjoying the art of construction, our answer is a resounding “YES!” You may be questioning your choices on the first night at the studio when things aren’t going as planned. You may wonder whether architecture is worth it, even after getting negative feedback or facing immense pressure.
Yes, it is! It takes both time and patience to hone any skill, be it architecture or engineering. It’s right after you master the craft when you understand the true worth of your practice.
Even if your question revolves around professional grounds, our answer would still be the same. It certainly takes time to grow as a professional architect, but isn’t it the same with every other field?
Nevertheless, architecture has been proven to be a highly profitable income source in the long haul. That being said, let’s break it down, layer by layer, for better understanding!
Discussing the Initial Investment
It’s understandable to have these questions, especially when investing so many years of your irreversible youth into a particular field. It’s only after years of undivided focus and dedication that one masters this creative field and ranks as a top-notch professional. However, the investment isn’t a small one, and that’s what stresses most of us out in such circumstances.
Apart from a couple of years of your life, financial input also becomes one of the most significant factors when you’re opting for this field. As per the 2016-17 IPEDS Survey, the average expenses of a yearly bachelor course in Architecture stands somewhere between $45,000 to 46,000. Multiply it by four, and that’s a whopping $184,000 of investment!
Any Return On Investment?
Alright, now we’re moving on to the subsequent phases, i.e., when you’ve newly stepped into the field of practice. It’s all about putting the real-world experience into work, which you’ve already gathered through the college internship programs. It’s essential to acknowledge that inexperienced architects aren’t well-compensated.
So, you may again ask yourself during this phase – is it worth it? What do we gain from this phase?
Well, until you’ve had at least two years of experience, you’ll be practicing under the supervision of experienced seniors. As per the 2016-17 CERI study, the starting compensation of all entry-level architects is $45,210. That said, if you’re looking for sources that earn quick money, this field may feel like a bummer in the beginning.
Indeed, an architect’s job doesn’t pay that well during the initial days, as it’s just about average or slightly above. However, it’s a field where experience pays off handsomely. In reference, a 2022 study found that an experienced architect’s average annual income is $80,000, which can also rise as high as $105,000. Do the math; it indeed seems to be worth the initial investment in just a couple of years!
Gaining Practical Knowledge
Money is indeed essential, but there’s much more you can experience as an architect than just wealth. When you look at the bigger picture, you’d realize that architecture is more than only earning good money. People choose this field to challenge their creativity and create sky-high designs that shape our society.
When you’re pursuing broader subjects such as history, it’s essential to spend more time researching and studying. However, architecture is all about practical experience. The ABCs can only be learned precisely by spending hours scribbling through the designs and establishing models, day and night.
Opportunities in Architecture
After finishing your masters in this field, you’re open to a world of opportunities that pay well and offer valuable experience. For those interested in digital art, there are numerous career options such as multimedia designing, painting, furniture designing, and apparel designing.
However, if you want to stick to your roots, the possibilities are even broader. As an architect, you get to work on an abundance of sectors, both public and private. This job allows you to choose projects that capture your interest, ranging from hospitals to corporate buildings.
You can be employed under large-scale firms that deal with international projects or work as an individual practitioner. Starting on your own isn’t the easiest job in the world, but the thrill of designing the next legendary building will always keep pushing you forward. You can start humbly by creating small spaces, but it’s only perseverance and focus that takes you to greater heights.
The Cool Factor
Most of us are fascinated by Ted’s charismatic personality in HIMYM, who played an architect in the series. Since then, we’ve had a perception that being an architect is one of the coolest professions in the world. Honestly, it is indeed! It’s not an easy path to pursue, but isn’t that what makes it such a mind-blowing job?
Being able to shape the future of your society is something to be incredibly proud of. From skyscrapers to subway routes, it’s our thoughts that define tomorrow. As architects, we have the power to create the right environment for our citizens to reside in, which makes it quite a noble profession.
Although we agree that the industry must focus on increasing the average compensation of architects, it’s also true that there’s much more to this profession than only monetary benefits. It’s a matter of pride, and the respect and experience you gain through your career make architecture worth it.
That said, we hope that our comprehensive guide has been of at least some help in clearing your doubts regarding whether architecture is a smart career choice. By the way, what does “worth it” mean to you? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below.
We’ll see you soon with more fun-filled and exciting content, so stay tuned!