Logically, most architecture jobs should be in cities. Compared to rural areas, not only do these spaces have more buildings, but there is greater diversity among them as well.
Even small cities today have multiplexes, shopping malls, apartments, a town hall, private residences, schools and colleges, grocery stores, drive-throughs, supermarkets, and office buildings. Since business and commerce is more focused in cities, office buildings tend to take up a lot of space, making them an ideal area where architects can lend their expertise.
Thus, most of the great architecture jobs are in cities, and this is only likely to increase in the future. Studies have shown that by 2050, 66% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. Naturally, with this trend, it means there’ll be more scope for creating accommodation and other structures to service this population spike in cities.
Without further ado, let us get to the details and benefits of an architecture job in the city.
Advantages of Architecture Jobs in Cities
In any job, the remuneration is a major factor and affects job satisfaction too. It is no surprise that cities have higher-paying jobs in the field of architecture than rural spots. Most architecture firms usually pay their employees more, keeping the increased cost of living in mind.
But, while one is starting out in their careers, they can do away with certain luxuries like a penthouse apartment. Living within or slightly below one’s means goes a long way in saving immensely with a high-paying job as an architect in a city. Moreover, starting off with a higher salary benefits a career immensely since subsequent jobs have to match the same and even provide hikes.
Size of Firms
In cities, the competition is much higher. Accordingly, architects who are starting out have a wide range of options when it comes to where they wish to apply. Some might prefer working for a sole proprietor in a live-work studio. Naturally, such exposure helps in more intimate hands-on learning.
On the contrary, many prefer to work for international offices with a big workforce. It helps them understand deadlines and high-pressure projects better.
It is mostly recommended that architects should try out firms of different sizes. It gives various kinds of experiences and helps them decide the type of projects they wish to take on for themselves. There’s always something new to be learned, and architects can veer towards specialized careers based on said knowledge.
When it comes to big firms, these are almost always located in major cities around the world. In case someone is hesitant about making a move, reports indicate that payouts for working in such places might range from around $70,000 to $97,000 annually.
Experience goes a long way in helping you build your career. It is that unquantifiable factor that determines success in later stages. That is why plenty of internships advertise the scope of experience and exposure for industry newcomers.
If you’re an architect in a city, the experiences gained at jobs are bound to be more rewarding. This can be two-pronged.
Interacting with other architects is a major boon of working in cities. Most of these places have local architecture chapters with substantial membership bases. Thus, one always has the opportunity to meet various professionals working in the same field. They can also exchange ideas, enriching each other.
Meeting necessary consultants helps form contacts and create inroads into the field. Knowing other professional architects isn’t enough. One must be in close contact with engineers and interior designers, among others since these professionals are all crucial for a successful architecture project. Most of them flock to major cities in the world, making them prime spots for young architects to familiarize themselves with experts.
With more competition and more firms, there are understandably more architecture jobs in the cities. Not only does it allow newcomers to pick where they actually want to work, but it also minimizes the risk one might face if they lose their jobs.
Since there are other firms to apply to, even if a current place of employment faces losses and has to let go of employees, young architects can easily find work elsewhere within the city. Of course, this simplifies the situation to some extent. In the case of exigent circumstances, like the 2008-2009 recession, there might be massive unemployment across architecture firms, even in major cities.
The city lifestyle certainly provides a greater degree of adventure and chances of socialization. Thus, architects who are fresh out of college might choose to flock there to start a new chapter of their lives. The only downside is that the cost of living might be a little higher.
But, working for top firms pays handsomely, as we’ve shown. Moreover, there are several young architects who work in the cities but live in the areas nearby. This helps them live within their means and save significantly at the same time.
Thus, if one calculates the costs and makes a proper plan, it is entirely possible to enjoy all the benefits of working in an architecture firm in the city, without facing too many problems.
What Kind of Architect Can You Be?
Now that we’ve demonstrated that working as an architect in a city is definitely beneficial, you might be wondering what are the job scopes in these areas. We have got the rundown about that as well.
One of the best specialization options is to become a residential architect. Those at the top of their careers are usually self-employed and get called in for designing custom houses for wealthy business people or even celebrities. Due to the sheer amount of money involved in such projects, they are almost always city-oriented.
Some might make an argument that rural areas provide the opportunity to design barns and farmhouses, which pay quite well too. But, in most cases, these are contractual jobs, and city-dwelling architects can take up these projects too without settling in the countryside.
As for those who’re employed in architecture firms, the urban space is a paradise of opportunities. Apartment buildings and condos keep going up with an influx of population, and these architects are often contracted to design the new residential areas. Most young architects try to make their mark by lending a unique look to their designs.
There’s nothing cushier than a government contract. There are amenities being added to cities all the time, including public schools, libraries, and even airports or railway stations. Architects working in such hotspots are contracted to design these structures for public use.
Often, senior architects might be tasked with planning the outlook of a section of a city or a small town, as well. Considering the designing and maintenance work that government buildings frequently need, this is a great option for city-based architects.
Big companies and retailers usually employ commercial architects. They design showrooms, storefronts, and even supermarkets. The best designers can create an unparalleled harmony between the exterior and interior look to promote the particular brand’s image.
They’re also often hired to design office buildings, restaurants, and other such spaces, which keep cropping up in cities. Thus, one can safely say that commercial architects are never out of a job if they keep their eyes open.
Civil engineers mostly work alongside architects in designing large projects that need a lot of precise calculations. Normally, these would include bridges, flyovers, and metros. Since most of these projects take place in cities and are likely to see an uptake in the future, this becomes yet another consideration for architects living in cities.
As we have shown, the major chunk of opportunities for architects will always be in cities. Be it firms that hire or projects that need expertise, cities just incorporate and need more architecture than rural areas.
But, that said, some might still prefer the countryside. In that case, we recommend taking contractual jobs or opting for government architectural positions that might have some projects planned in rural areas.
At the end of the day, living in a city is the best for an architect’s career when it comes to salary, experience, and developing contacts. But, if you need further assistance in making up your mind, do feel free to reach out to us.
Till next time!