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Job Photographs

  • A man is standing outside, in a garden.  He is looking into a device standing on a tripod.

    Collecting survey data for a proposed project.

  • A man is climbing up a ladder, on the side of a house.

    Technologists may work on large or small scale projects. They need to check work in progress.

  • A man is sitting at a large table, drawing on a large sheet of paper.

    Doing design work by hand is much less common these days.

  • A man is standing in a garden.  He is taking a photograph of a garage.

    The technologist may need to take photographs to use at a later stage of the project.

  • A man is standing, looking at a large sheet of paper on a desk.

    Architectural technologists can work on all stages of a construction project.

  • A man is standing, looking at some building plans on a large sheet of paper.  We can only see the man's hands.

    Plans need to be studied carefully.

  • A man is in an office talking on the phone.  There are two computer screens on his desk.

    As well as dealing with other construction professionals, technologists might also have to speak with clients.

  • Two men are in an office looking at a computer screen.  One is standing and one is seated.  The man standing is pointing towards the screen.

    Computer-aided design software is used a lot in this type of work. Here, the technologist is discussing some plans with an architect.

  • Architectural Technologist

Architectural Technologist

Introduction

Architectural technologists work on building projects with architects, surveyors and other construction industry professionals. They decide which technology, materials and processes are needed to design buildings for production and performance.

Chartered technologists are qualified to manage design and construction projects from start to finish.

Video: - Karl: Architectural Technologist

Video: - Mark: Architectural Technologist

Work Activities

Architectural Technologists can be involved in, or manage, the whole construction process, from the drawing of plans to the examination of completed building work. You are specialists in the science of architecture, building design and construction.

You work on projects with Architects, Surveyors and other professionals within the construction industry. Your work can be very varied, as you might be working at all stages of the construction process.

Before the start of a project, you will assess the needs of your client and agree on a project brief with them. You negotiate contracts with clients and other industry professionals involved in the project.

You'll present design proposals using computer-aided design (CAD) software packages, you will also, sometimes, have to draw things by hand.

You'll may check on the progress of a project and examine completed work to check that it meets requirements.

Architectural Technologists are mainly office-based. However, on occasion, you will have to go on site visits. On-site, you will have to wear a hard hat and follow all health and safety regulations.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become an Architectural Technologist, you'll need:

  • to be able to visualise objects and spaces in 3D
  • experience of using CAD software
  • awareness of modern building techniques and regulations
  • some drawing skills
  • to be accurate and methodical in your work with a good eye for detail
  • confidence, as you'll have to make important decisions and you may be in charge of other people
  • to be good at presenting ideas and have the ability to think through and solve problems
  • an interest in how the construction industry can affect the environment
  • to be well organised, as your workload could be varied

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £17,000 - £20,000
  • With experience: £50,000
  • Senior Architectural Technologists earn £70,000

Hours of work

You tend to work 39 hours a week with occasional weekend and evening work according to the demands of the project.

Where could I work?

Work is available in all parts of the country in:

  • private practices
  • local government architectural or planning departments
  • central government departments
  • construction companies
  • research practices
  • manufacturing companies
  • the health service
  • education

Opportunities for Architectural Technologists occur with employers in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Self-employment

Opportunities occur for Architectural Technologists to become self-employed, and many members of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) set up on their own or in partnership with Architects and other professionals.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on all the major job boards, on Find a Job, and at Jobcentre Plus.

GreenJobs is a job board aimed at people interested in green careers:

www.greenjobs.co.uk/browse-jobs/architect/

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

To become an associate member of the British Institute of Architectural Technologists (BIAT), you usually need to complete a degree course in architectural technology. These are available at various universities and colleges of higher education throughout the UK.The CIAT website has a full list of all accredited degrees.

You might be able to take a HNC or HND in architectural technology, or maybe get onto a Degree Apprenticeship.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

You will need a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card to work on site. These cards show that you are qualified to do the work you've been employed for.

CSCS cards will cost £36 and you will have to pass the appropriate Construction Industry Training Board health, safety and environmental test. This costs £21. You will then complete an application form and pay the total price of £57.

The CSCS application form has four sections that you will have to complete:

  • section A: This section is where you complete your personal details and attach a passport photo or your Health, Safety & Environment Test photo
  • section B: This is where you fill in your occupation details and state which card you need. The different cards are skilled, craft and operative cards.
  • section C: This a declaration section where your current employer, previous employer or a CSCS card holder will declare that you meet the requirements of the card
  • section D: This is the details of your card requirements and what evidence you need to get a CSCS card

Work Experience

Previous experience within the construction industry will be helpful to get into this career. Experience using computer aided design will also be really useful for this career.

Training

Academic courses are followed by at least two years' relevant, supervised work experience in order to sit a professional practice interview and then become a full member of the CIAT (MCIAT).

Progression

Experienced Architectural Technologists can move into managerial roles in a practice. Some set up their own practices.

Qualifications

For entry to a degree course in architectural technology, or related subject, the usual requirement is:

  • 2/3 A levels where science and technology subjects would be useful
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in your A level subjects
  • a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English, maths and a science subject (physics preferred)

Other qualifications are often acceptable as alternatives to A levels, for example:

  • BTEC level 3 qualifications (3D design could be useful)
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma

However, entry requirements for different courses vary, so check college/university websites for more details.

To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Relevant qualifications gained in the construction industry and knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) are useful.

If you lack traditional academic qualifications, but have several years' experience in the building or construction industries, you can still apply to enter a course approved by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT).

You will be asked to submit details of any qualifications or experience that you have and complete a Professional Occupational Performance (POP) Record in order to proceed to full membership.

Being a professionally qualified Architectural Technician (TCIAT), can provide a route to qualification as a Chartered Architectural Technologist (MCIAT).

Courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Statistics

  • 11% of architectural technologists are self-employed.
  • 14% work part-time.
  • 39% have flexible hours.
  • 10% of employees work on a temporary basis.

Further Information

LGjobs

Local government vacancies

Website: www.lgjobs.com

myjobscotland: Scottish local government vacancies

Scottish enquiries

Email: myjobscotland@cosla.gov.uk

Website: www.myjobscotland.gov.uk

The Engineer

Engineering technology news

Email: customerservices@theengineer.co.uk

Website: www.theengineer.co.uk

CITB-ConstructionSkills

Skills for the construction industry

Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH

Website: www.cskills.org

CITB NI

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Nutts Corner Training Centre, 17 Dundrod Road, Crumlin, County Antrim BT29 4SR

Tel: 028 9082 5466

Email: info@citbcsni.org.uk

Website: www.citbcsni.org.uk

Construction Employers Federation (CEF)

Irish enquiries

Address: 143 Malone Road, Belfast BT9 6SU

Tel: 028 9087 7143

Email: mail@cefni.co.uk

Website: www.cefni.co.uk

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH

Tel: 0844 5768777

Website: www.cscs.uk.com

bConstructive

Publisher: CITB-ConstructionSkills

Tel: 0344 994 4010

Email: myapprenticeship@citb.co.uk

Website: www.bconstructive.co.uk

Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)

Address: Lutyens House, Billing Brook Road, Weston Favell, Northampton NN3 8NW

Tel: 01604 404121

Email: building.engineers@abe.org.uk

Website: www.abe.org.uk

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)

Address: 397 City Road, Islington, London EC1V 1NH

Tel: 020 7278 2206

Email: info@ciat.org.uk

Website: www.ciat.org.uk

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Address: Blue Court, Church Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8JP

Tel: 01923 260000

Email: ecitb@ecitb.org.uk

Website: careers.ecitb.org.uk

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