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Career Facts - Architecture Program

Architecture is the art and science of designing buildings and structures. A wider definition would include within its scope the design of the total built environment, from the macro-level of town planning, urban design, and landscape architecture to the micro-level of furniture.

If you like architecture and design, this could be the occupation for you. It's the kind of work that appeals to people who are artistic and who enjoy drawing and sketching. At the same time, you need to be the kind of person who is fussy about detail and concerned about accuracy. The project management side of the job requires coordinating a range of other tasks and extensive paperwork, so you also have to learn to be well organized.

If you'd like to join the architecture community as a drafting technician, you've come to the right place. Our Architecture Design Program provides a two-year pre-professional associate degree in applied science in Architectural Technologies or Residential design.  A certificate of Achievement in Architectural Technologies to be obtained over 3 semesters is also available.  At LCC we believe the best way to prepare students for their eventual entry to the building industry is to simulate a working environment. Our instruction is based on projects similar to those you will see in industry once you have graduated.

Do you have what it takes?

Architectural technologists use a combination of professional expertise, interpersonal skills, design ability and precisely written instructions to communicate complex technical information to a variety of people. They also must be able to receive information in order to comprehend and interpret the designs and technical demands of others.  It is essential for anyone coming into the profession to be computer literate.

The architectural technologist is concerned primarily with the technological aspects of building design and construction - from the initial client briefing to completion of the project.  They must be practical and methodical in their approach, able to visualize objects in three dimensions and to prepare meticulous and accurate information accompanied by articulate notation. They must also be analytical and innovative, as much of the work involves problem solving. Many building features shown on architectural drawings and artists' renderings may look feasible, but turning them into a practical reality takes an inventive and enquiring mind. Architectural technologists assist professional architects and residential designers in conducting research, preparing drawings, architectural models, specifications and contracts, and supervising construction projects. They are employed in architectural and construction firms, in government and other industries.

As an architectural technologist, you help to develop architectural designs and do a growing proportion of your design work on a computer. You analyze building codes, by-laws, space requirements, site requirements and other technical documents and reports. You use conceptual drawings and instructions to prepare precise, detailed drawings and to determine specification, quantities of material and cost estimates. Make three dimensional models of the proposed building, and preparing contracts and bidding documents, are also part of your work.

You may also supervise draftspersons and other technologists on the architectural team and oversee construction projects by coordination, monitoring and inspecting work done by others. As an experienced architectural technologist, you can enter related technical fields, such as civil engineering Technologies, surveying, construction management or building management.

Buildings are complex and it takes a lot of team work to erect them. You need good interpersonal skills, because you work with construction workers, architects, clients, city building departments and product representatives.

You need to have a good working knowledge of math. Any knowledge of computers you have is important too, because, computer-aided design is an essential part of the job.

Architectural technologists often divide their time between the office and the field. Many projects are not local and involve travel. Working odd hours, and at times long hours, in order to meet deadlines can also be a requirement.

Career Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Labor forecasts an increase of more than 36 percent for the field of architectural design and drafting through the year 2010. A salary range of $18,103 to more than $68,000 can be expected. For specific up-to-date information on wages and the employment outlook within the Architecture field, please refer to the Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-11 Edition, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who have completed at least two years of post secondary training and have developed strong technical skills and experience using CAD systems will be well qualified for the many opportunities that are anticipated. The A.A.S. Architectural Technologies degrees at Lansing Community College are designed to provide you with the skills and experience to compete in today's job market.

Graduates of this program have found employment with architectural, engineering or residential design firms, manufacturers and retailers of building-related products, or with construction management companies.  Other related opportunities include:

  • 3d Renderer and animation specialist
  • Architectural drafter
  • Assistant construction manager
  • Building department reviewer
  • Architectural CADD manager
  • Architectural CADD technician
  • Detail manager
  • Field representative
  • Home Designer
  • Landmark preservation expeditor
  • Manufacturer's representative
  • Model maker
  • Producer of construction documents
  • Project manager
  • Remodeling Contractor
  • Renderer
  • Renovation coordinator
  • Specifications writer

The right education can open doors to exciting career possibilities.
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Architecture at Lansing Community College

Design and Construction Technologies
West Campus, Room M103
Phone: (517) 483-5338
Additional contact information »

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