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How to become an Architectural Technician

architectural technician careers

What does a Architectural Technician do?

Architectural technology professionals (technicians and technologists) interpret architects' designs and turn them into detailed technical instructions for builders. They may undertake a wide variety of work, including domestic, commercial and industrial assignments, and often follow projects through from initial idea to completion.

Architectural technicians apply technology to building and design. They support technologists and other professionals, but cannot establish their own practice.

Their work involves collecting, organising and investigating technical information for use during project development. Technicians prepare drawings, plans and specifications for construction work, using computer aided design as well as traditional methods.

Architectural technologists have a broader range of skills than technicians, and are involved in the management of the process from design through to the completed construction. They can work in their own practice.

Technologists negotiate and manage the development of the project, including assessing clients' needs, advising on legal requirements, producing surveys, and developing project briefs. They may manage the design process, leading the design team and advising on materials. They may also be involved in post construction work, including getting feedback from clients and appraising the performance of buildings.

What's the working environment like working as a Architectural Technician?

Hours are normally 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, although overtime may be available depending on deadlines.

Most of the work is office-based but some time may be spent visiting clients and sites. Site work may involve working outdoors in all weathers. Travelling to sites and meetings may mean spending extensive periods away from home.

What does it take to become a Architectural Technician?

As an architectural technology professional, you should:

  • be able to draw freehand and have an eye for detail
  • be able to visualise objects in three dimensions
  • be practical and methodical with good analytical skills
  • have an interest in design and be able to interpret the designs and technical demands of others
  • be computer literate
  • have mathematical skills for technical and financial calculations
  • have scientific ability to understand building technology
  • have a good understanding of building regulations and construction law
  • have excellent communication skills - both written and oral
  • be able to work effectively in a team
  • have management skills for project leading.

Architectural Technician Career Opportunities

Most are employed by architectural practices, central and local government, housing associations, property developers, commercial companies, and building and construction organisations. A growing number are now finding work within manufacturing and processing industries.

Self-employment is popular, but normally only possible after gaining CIAT membership plus five years experience.

With experience, architectural technologists can be promoted to senior technical positions which may include responsibility for supervising staff. With experience, they can also work as a consultant, and there are some opportunities to work in universities and undertake research.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Architectural Technician that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)
397 City Road
Tel: 020 7278 2206

Conference on Training in Architectural Conservation (COTAC)

Facts and Stats:

  • The Eiffel Tower can be laid down inside the Millennium Dome with 60 metres to spare and 13 Royal Albert Halls can also fit inside
  • New York City has the most skyscrapers of any city in the world with 140. Chicago is a distant second at 68. The term ¿skyscraper technically describes all habitable buildings with a height of more than 500 feet (152 metres)
  • The largest pyramid in the world is not in Egypt but in Cholulu de Rivadahia, Mexico. It is 177 feet tall and covers 25 acres. It was built sometime between 6 and 12 AD

Courses to help you become a Architectural Technician