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There are different types of architects, but generall they design and sometimes supervise the construction of buildings or other large structures. Salaries would vary depending location, size of building, etc.

An architect is a person who plans, designs, and sometimes oversees the construction of a building.

You need College preparatory courses, need to take physics, elective courses, mechanical drawings, computer science.

The following the typical process on a new commercial project:

1: Space Programming: the architect sits with the owner, developer and/or users of the new building to develop the best possible space layout, adjacencies, and goals of the project.

2: schematic design: The architect translates the owners wants and needs into a rough building design. Beginning with gestural models and drawings which helps the architect develop the language of the building and ending with mass studies and ultimately some sort of 3d model representing the building and style. This presented along with a rough, non detailed space layout will generally conclude the schematic design phase after many revisions.

3: Design Development: The owner agrees to the design and the architect begins to run with it. Ordering a site survey, perhaps some soils testing the architect now has enough information to layout a site design, foundation & structure(may subcontract a structural engineer), mechanical and electrical(may subcontract a Mech/Elec engineer), wall sections, building elevations, partition types, door and window schedules, code research, material choices, etc... In essence this is the point where most of the decisions about what the building actual is, gets decided.

4: Construction Documents: This phase takes the bulk of the time (40%-60%) and is where the architect and interns create the contract documents. these consist of detailed drawings showing every possible detail as it relates the the building, from how walls are made, how door jambs are to be constructed, how the exterior cladding is to be connected tot he structure, how the building is to be water proofed and insulated, roofing details, etc.. This is also the point where we write the specifications for the project, which is generally a thick 400 page book with detailed information on each and every product and installation in the project as well as general terms and conditions that the contractor must follow.

5:Bidding and Negotiation: This is the point where we hand off the construction documents to the owner and assist in getting and receiving bids, answering questions from the bidding contractors and subcontractors, issuing addenda and clarifications and ultimately helping the owner to choose the right contractor for the job.

6: Construction Administration: This is the construction part of the project where we act as the contract authority and force both parties (owner and contractor) to meet the contract requirements. This means checking show drawings and issuing supplemental drawings to help the contractor install and build things properly and to the specifications. This is one of the most important stages, because this is where the quality will either be great or terrible, depending on the accuracy of the previously made specifications and details and the quality of the contractor.

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Q: What does an architect do?
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