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Old Posted Aug 26, 2018, 2:58 AM
Clark Dorigo Clark Dorigo is offline
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Jobs that can help you learn architecture without any prior experience/education?

Hey, everybody. I don't know if anybody has any idea, but it's a good forum to ask. I'd love to design homes/buildings/etc. some day. Today I discussed with somebody about ideas and I might be offered an internship, but it wouldn't be paid, which is fine, but I'd like a paying job related to architecture/art as well. This fall I plan on taking drawing lessons. I want to do a lot of things such as become great at drawing, graphic design, photography, architecture of course, and become a nutritionist. This fall I plan on taking basic drawing lessons and a little bit of graphic design. Since I want to do so many things I'm not gonna do so much of all of that at once.

I met up with my cousin a few weeks ago who's an architect and he suggested maybe contacting contractors in the area (I live in Hudson County in New Jersey) and see if I could do jobs even such as printing out blueprints, working on contractor's sites helping moves boxes, etc. just to be around and learn. I called a bunch of places, even saying I'd do small errands for employees such as getting them tea, coffee, and water, just to gain knowledge about architecture and the business, but none were hiring or they wanted you to have experience. One guy suggested contacting bigger firms because his is small. His firm also only gave internships/jobs for high school (I think) students and people going to college for architecture. I don't know how big the other firms were (I went inside one in Edgewater, NJ, small building, but don't know what's considered big or small in terms of firms). I might contact other firms.

So, any ideas for somebody such as myself? Any sort of help would be appreciated.
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Old Posted Aug 26, 2018, 5:36 AM
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SLO SLO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Dorigo View Post
Hey, everybody. I don't know if anybody has any idea, but it's a good forum to ask. I'd love to design homes/buildings/etc. some day. Today I discussed with somebody about ideas and I might be offered an internship, but it wouldn't be paid, which is fine, but I'd like a paying job related to architecture/art as well. This fall I plan on taking drawing lessons. I want to do a lot of things such as become great at drawing, graphic design, photography, architecture of course, and become a nutritionist. This fall I plan on taking basic drawing lessons and a little bit of graphic design. Since I want to do so many things I'm not gonna do so much of all of that at once.

I met up with my cousin a few weeks ago who's an architect and he suggested maybe contacting contractors in the area (I live in Hudson County in New Jersey) and see if I could do jobs even such as printing out blueprints, working on contractor's sites helping moves boxes, etc. just to be around and learn. I called a bunch of places, even saying I'd do small errands for employees such as getting them tea, coffee, and water, just to gain knowledge about architecture and the business, but none were hiring or they wanted you to have experience. One guy suggested contacting bigger firms because his is small. His firm also only gave internships/jobs for high school (I think) students and people going to college for architecture. I don't know how big the other firms were (I went inside one in Edgewater, NJ, small building, but don't know what's considered big or small in terms of firms). I might contact other firms.

So, any ideas for somebody such as myself? Any sort of help would be appreciated.
Everything made sense until I got to 'nutritionist'!?

Couple things;
You can't realistically be an architect without a Bachelor of Architecture degree. check out the AIA
You can design houses and additions and depending on the state light commercial without an architecture license, but you still have to know your way around a complete set of plans. Check out the AIBD
Graphic design will not help you in these fields, minimally to enhance design skills.
Learning AutoCAD and Revit would be much more helpful and gain you skills to be employed. Try a trade or tech school or junior college.
Working for a homebuilder would help you to learn a little construction, terminology and how it works on that side.
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Old Posted Aug 28, 2018, 10:01 PM
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Jasoncw Jasoncw is offline
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SLO is right.

You need a degree in architecture. Doing good in school (I'm assuming you're a high school student) in general will help you get into college.

Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity would help you learn about how buildings are put together, and will add volunteering to your applications.

Architecture requires zero drawing skills, and very basic graphic design skills. Architectural photography may be beneficial in that you'd be using photography as a means of studying buildings. But not general photography. Overall, doing those types of things would help you be a well rounded creative person, with aesthetic intuition, and critical thinking skills, but wouldn't directly benefit architecture. I would say that film music and literature fall under the same category.

You can learn about architecture in your spare time as a hobby. 90% of what you learn in architecture school can be learned through self study. You can go on google maps/earth and pick sites and design buildings for them. You can find recently built buildings here and redesign them using what was built as a constraint (for example, an apartment building with the same number of units). You can learn about different architects and buildings. You can read books about your favorite architects. You can read important essays and learn about design theory and architectural history. Doing these things will help you get into architecture school, and will give you a head start against the competition. Like SLO said, Revit and AutoCAD would be very practical, and Autodesk provides them for free to students on their website.


After all that, If you do get a degree in architecture it doesn't mean that you'll get a job in architecture. Architecture is a small field, and architecture schools are churning out waaay more graduates than there are jobs available. It's also a field that experiences mass layoffs every ten years when there's a recession. And add to that, very few employees of an architecture firm actually do design work.

Frankly, personal connections plus basic qualifications is a guaranteed way to have a career in architecture. I could write a few paragraphs about this, but I'll just say that if you don't come from a background of either architects or wealthy people, you're going to need a combination of exceptional talent and luck. Calling the firms was unlikely to work but if it had, making connections with people at the offices would have helped a lot. If your cousin is ever in a position to influence hiring that would be invaluable.

If you also have an interest in drawing, graphic design, photography, and nutrition, any of those would be safer, more achievable, more stable careers than architecture. Studies that track employment after graduation, and employment in their field after graduation, and other metrics, show architecture grads performing at or near the bottom. Even art history performs better.

And if you choose a different field you could still end up designing buildings. If you become a nutritionist, save up your money, get married, you can design your own house when you're in your 30s, which is far more than most architecture grads will ever do.
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