Commercial Architect: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
Commercial architects apply artistic, construction and engineering skills to design a variety of commercial buildings and structures. They may take part in every step of the building process and work with a team of other professionals to complete projects. To practice in the U.S., architects must obtain licensure from their state's architect board, which usually requires formal education, an internship or training and passing a licensing exam.
Job Description of a Commercial Architect
Commercial architects are licensed professionals that design buildings and structures for non-residential use, such as retail and office buildings. Aside from aesthetics, architects must consider an array of factors during the design process, such as functionality, building codes, safety regulations and construction costs. Commercial architects typically work in offices, developing building plans and consulting with clients; however, they often visit building sites to monitor construction progress. Some architects work for architecture or building construction firms, while others are self-employed.
Duties of a Commercial Architect
Commercial architects participate in the entire building process. They typically begin by consulting with clients to determine factors such as design requirements, project site and budget. After creating the design and building blueprints, commercial architects coordinate the building process, collaborating with other professionals, such as engineers, interior designers, landscape architects and construction contractors. Commercial architects may also provide other post-construction services, such as ensuring that workers are paid and that buildings are tested and inspected.
Job Requirements of a Commercial Architect
All architects are required to obtain licensure from their state's architect registration board. While specific licensing requirements vary according to state, most registration boards require architects to hold a professional architecture degree, pass a licensing exam and complete an internship.
Aspiring architects often earn a Bachelor of Architecture from program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Available at 117 colleges and universities across the U.S., these degree programs typically take five years and are intended for students with no prior education in architecture. Curricula may focus on practice and theory topics, such as building design, structural systems, computer-aided design and construction materials. Individuals who have earned an undergraduate degree in other areas may enroll in a Master of Architecture program.
All states require architects to complete an internship program or period of practical training that meets the guidelines of the Intern Development Program (IDP), which was established by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). These programs usually last three years, during which interns work under the supervision of a registered architect.
Architect Registration Examination
Upon completion of an internship, prospective commercial architects may take the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). Developed by NCARB, the 7-part exam consists of multiple-choice and graphic vignette questions focused on topics such as site planning, schematic design and construction documents. Candidates must pass all seven sections of the exam to be eligible for licensure.
Related to Commercial Architect: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Recently Updated
Students can complete online architecture courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. Architecture programs can...
Students who want to become an architect online may begin their studies in an associate's degree program and progress...
Learn how to become a residential architect. Research the education requirements, training, licensure information and...
Both landscape architects and civil engineers make designs and may even work together on certain projects; however,...
- Become a GIS Architect: Step-by-Step Career Guide
- How to Become a Data Architect: Education and Career Roadmap
- How to Become an Application Security Architect
- Top Ranked School for Computer Information Technology - Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Essential Mac Apps for Students
- Top Graduate School for a Human Resource Management Degree - Columbus, OH
- Top University with Business Marketing Degree Programs - Indianapolis, IN