Architect Kaihoahoa Whare

Architects plan, design and advise on the construction and alteration of buildings and other structures.

Architects must be registered with the New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB). The board usually requires applicants to:

  • hold an architecture qualification recognised by the NZRAB
  • complete at least 140 weeks of on-the-job practical work experience of which at least 95 weeks must be post-graduation and at least 45 weeks must be spent under the direction of a registered architect in New Zealand; OR
  • complete 260 weeks practical experience of which at least 215 weeks must be post-graduation and at least 85 weeks must be spent in the practice of architecture in New Zealand (for architectural work not under the supervision of a registered architect, such as working under an architectural designer).
  • pass the NZRAB practical experience assessment.

Registered architects also need to undertake continuing professional development to maintain their registration.

Architects may do some or all of the following:

  • analyse clients' requirements and do a site inspection
  • discuss design ideas with the client
  • create designs and prepare drawings for buildings
  • advise clients on building procedures and costs
  • apply for building and resource consents
  • oversee construction projects to ensure plans, budgets and time constraints are complied with
  • plan interior and exterior spaces, and landscaping
  • run their own business.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for architects includes:

  • design
  • draughting
  • building and engineering work.

Personal Qualities

Architects need to be:

  • creative
  • practical
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to work well under pressure
  • good at planning and organising
  • strong problem solvers
  • good at communicating and relationship management.

Skills

Architects need to have:

  • knowledge of different styles of architecture
  • strong design skills
  • skill in different drawing and presentation techniques, including the ability to use computer aided design (CAD) software
  • knowledge of different building methods and materials, including how various materials, such as steel and wood, perform in different situations
  • an understanding of structural principles, such as Newton's laws of motion
  • knowledge of relevant legislation, including the New Zealand Building Code, the New Zealand Building Act, the Resource Management Act and local by-laws, consent procedures, and planning regulations.

Conditions

Architects:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may work longer hours to meet deadlines
  • work in offices
  • may travel locally to visit construction sites or clients, and nationally or overseas to work on projects or attend conferences and workshops.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include maths, physics, design and visual communication, digital technologies, and construction and mechanical technologies.

Architects can earn around $55K-$75K per year.

Pay for architects varies depending on experience and location.  Architects in the Auckland region may earn more.

  • Architectural graduates with up to five years' experience usually earn from $55,000 to $75,000 a year.
  • Architects with five to ten years' experience usually earn between $70,000 and $120,000.
  • Senior architects with more than ten years' experience can earn from $90,000 to $140,000.

Source: Hays, 2018.

Architects may progress into management roles or to setup their own architecture firm.

Architects may specialise in:

  • interior, urban, or sustainable design
  • conservation
  • community development
  • project management or planning
  • policy.

Years Of Training

8-10 years of training required.

To become a registered architect, you usually need a Bachelor of Architectural Studies and a Master of Architecture (Professional).

You also need to be registered with the New Zealand Registered Architects Board, which requires you to complete three to five years work experience post-graduation.

Architect

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