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Architectural Designers
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Architects plan and design buildings and other structures. Show Details


Architects typically do the following:

  • Seek new work by marketing and giving presentations
  • Consult with clients to determine requirements for structures
  • Estimate materials, equipment, costs, and construction time
  • Prepare, design, and structure specifications
  • Direct workers who prepare drawings and documents
  • Prepare scaled drawings of the project
  • Prepare contract documents for building contractors
  • Manage construction contracts
  • Visit worksites to ensure that construction adheres to architectural plans

People need places to live, work, play, learn, worship, meet, govern, shop, and eat. Architects are responsible for designing these places, whether they are private or public; indoors or outdoors; or rooms, buildings, or complexes.

Architects discuss with clients the objectives, requirements, and budget of a project. In some cases, architects provide various predesign services, such as feasibility and environmental impact studies, site selection, cost analyses and land-use studies, and design requirements. For example, architects may determine a building’s space requirements by researching its number and types of potential users.

After discussing and agreeing on the initial proposal, architects develop final construction plans that show the building's appearance and details for its construction. Accompanying these plans are drawings of the structural system; air-conditioning, heating, and ventilating systems; electrical systems; communications systems; plumbing; and, possibly, site and landscape plans.

In developing designs, architects must follow building codes, zoning laws, fire regulations, and other ordinances, such as those requiring easy access by people who are disabled.

Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and building information modeling (BIM) technology have replaced traditional drafting paper and pencil as the most common methods for creating designs and construction drawings.

Architects also may help clients get construction bids, select contractors, and negotiate construction contracts.

As construction proceeds, architects may visit building sites to ensure that contractors follow the design, keep to the schedule, use the specified materials, and meet work-quality standards. The job is not complete until all construction is finished, required tests are conducted, and construction costs are paid.

Architects often work with workers in related professions. For more information on these occupations, see the profiles on civil engineers, urban and regional planners, interior designers, and landscape architects.

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Architectural and Engineering Managers

Architectural and engineering managers plan, coordinate, and direct activities in architecture and engineering, including research and development in these fields. Show Details


Architectural and engineering managers typically do the following:

  • Make detailed plans to reach technical goals, such as development of new products and designs
  • Manage research and development teams that produce new products, processes, or designs, or improve existing ones
  • Check the technical accuracy of the work and soundness of the methods their staff uses
  • Direct and coordinate the design of equipment and machinery
  • Confer with other levels of management on architectural and engineering activities
  • Propose budgets for projects and programs and determine staff, training, and equipment needs
  • Hire, assign, and supervise staff

Architectural and engineering managers use their knowledge in architecture or engineering to oversee a variety of activities. They determine technical goals, such as improving manufacturing or building processes, or developing new products or designs, and then they make detailed plans to accomplish these goals.

They may direct and coordinate production, operations, quality assurance, testing, or maintenance in industrial plants. They may develop the overall concepts of a new product or identify technical problems preventing the completion of a project.

Architectural and engineering managers must know how to budget, hire, and supervise. They propose budgets for projects and programs and determine staff, training, and equipment needs. Architectural and engineering managers hire and assign people to carry out specific parts of each project. They supervise the work of these employees and set administrative procedures, policies, or standards, such as environmental standards.

Architectural and engineering managers spend a great deal of time coordinating the activities of their unit with the activities of other units or organizations. They confer with other managers, including financial, production, and marketing managers, and with contractors and equipment and materials suppliers.

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Landscape Architects

Landscape architects plan and design land areas for parks, recreational facilities, highways, airports, and other properties. Projects may include subdivisions and commercial, industrial, and residential sites. Show Details


Landscape architects typically do the following:

  • Confer with clients, engineers, and building architects to understand a project
  • Prepare site plans, specifications, and cost estimates
  • Coordinate the arrangement of existing and proposed land features and structures
  • Prepare graphic representations and drawings of proposed plans and designs
  • Analyze environmental reports and data on land conditions, such as drainage
  • Inspect landscape work to ensure that it adheres to original plans
  • Approve the quality of work that others do
  • Seek new work through marketing or by giving presentations

People enjoy attractively designed gardens, public parks, playgrounds, residential areas, college campuses, and golf courses. Landscape architects design these areas so that they are not only functional but also beautiful and harmonious with the natural environment.

Landscape architects plan the locations of buildings, roads, and walkways. They also plan where to plant flowers, shrubs, and trees. Landscape architects design and plan the restoration of natural places disturbed by humans, such as wetlands, stream corridors, and mined areas.

Many landscape architects specialize in a particular area, such as beautifying or otherwise improving streets and highways, waterfronts, parks and playgrounds, or shopping centers.

Increasingly, landscape architects are working in environmental remediation, such as preserving and restoring wetlands or managing storm-water runoff in new developments. They are also increasingly playing a role in preserving and restoring historic landscapes.

Landscape architects who work for government agencies do design sites and landscapes for government buildings, parks, and other public lands, as well as plan for landscapes and recreation areas in national parks and forests.

In addition, they prepare environmental impact statements and studies on environmental issues, such as planning for use of public lands.

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