Interested in how buildings are designed and developed? If so, then you’d be interested in the work of an architect.
An architect can be described as a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. Doing this job will make you a key player in the construction industry. You will also be a specialist in design.
In Ireland, there has been a shortage of architects in recent years. This means the position is increasingly well-regarded and well-paid.
What Does an Architect Do
Architects are hired to work on individual projects. Sometimes this will be one building, but sometimes it will be more than one. The size of this commission will be based on a brief from a client. That client will have a vision of the kind of building they want.
Based on this design, an architect will use specialist design software and manual sketches to make images and designs. With this material, you would need to get the client to choose the design they like best. You then go on to develop the chosen design. In doing this, you will add the technical details needed to make the building work properly. You would need to ensure safe stages of construction. You would also need to be sure that the building meets quality standards.
Once the plan is completed, architects then submit your plans to get planning permission. This might mean changing aspects of the design or plan. Only when the plans are approved can a building be constructed.
After the planning authorities grant the necessary approvals, the work isn’t finished. As an architect, you might need to oversee the construction. This will mean at times taking on a project-manager-type role.
Your working day as an architect will often consist of some of these activities:
- Discussing issues and liaising with clients. In addition, you may also need to spend time marketing your company to potential clients.
- Designing buildings using advanced architectural software.
- Project managing the design phase of a building.
- Securing planning permission.
- Project managing or assisting during the construction phase.
Who Employs Architects
Architects can be employed by small or large firms. Alternatively, you might be self-employed. However, you will always be a private-sector business. You will always need to attract clients and commissions to make sure you have work.
Smaller firms or sole traders may tend to specialise in a particular kind of architecture. An example of this would be working with city council contracts to build affordable homes. This sort of work will not allow much creativity. Indeed, you may also be working on a tight budget.
However, larger firms will tend to get bigger commissions. This can mean more interesting work. This is because a client may be more open to accepting creative and unusual ideas.
Finally, you might also get commissions to renovate or redesign the interior of an existing building.
Job Salary for an Architect in Ireland
Architect salaries can vary quite significantly. This usually depends on an architect’s experience and seniority. It will also vary depending on who owns an architecture practice. If you are the owner of an architecture practice, you will decide the salary. If you part own a practice, you and the other architects in the practice will set the salaries. However, if you are not an owner then you will get the salary specified in your contract.
There are also a variety of sources for how much an architect is paid. One source says the average architect’s salary is €52,784 per year. Another source pegs it close by at €47,000 per year. However, there is also some bigger data variation. For example, one source says the salary of an architect can vary from €22,900 to €75,000.
In addition to this, architects practising in Dublin will usually earn at least 10% more than in other parts of Ireland. This is because of the much higher cost of living in Dublin.
General Salary Levels in Ireland
Some other figures are useful. These will allow you to compare an architect’s salary in Ireland with other professions. And they will show how an architect’s salary in Ireland is well-paid.
According to the Central Statistics Office, the national average salary in Ireland is €45,324. That’s a salary after tax of €34,815 a year. It is also equivalent to €2,901 a month. Or you can look at it as €670 a week.
A good salary in Ireland is said to start at €45,000 across the country. This rises to €50,000 in Dublin. This translates to €2,887 every month after tax. It is also equivalent to €3,102 monthly before tax.
Further, the current Minimum Wage in Ireland is €11.30. This must be paid to people aged 20 and over. This means the minimum untaxed income for a 40-hour week is €452. Per month this works out to just under €2000. It is also equivalent to around €23,500 per year.
How do Architects Get Paid
Architects are private sector workers. In this way, you will attract clients to succeed. These clients will be charged a fee. From this fee will come the income which you are paid.
How Often Is an Architect Normally Paid
As an architect, you can normally expect to be paid a salary every month.
Who Negotiates a Job Salary for an Architect
The basic salary levels of architects are set through negotiations in different ways. If you are the owner of an architecture practice, you will decide the amount. If you part own a practice, you and the other architects in the practice will set the salary amount. However, if you are not an owner then you will get the salary specified in your contract.
What Sort of Contracts Do Architects Have
Architects will have permanent contracts with the architecture practice. Some architects will also own part of that practice. This will mean these contracts set out all the relevant terms of employment.
Earning Potential of an Architect in Ireland
After completion of the necessary training, architects’ pay increases significantly. Further, this is likely to continue throughout your career. This is because experience and reputation will mean architects can charge more to clients and potential clients. In fact, as your career progresses, you may end up owning part or all of an architecture practice.
How to Become an Architect in Ireland
The road to becoming an architect in Ireland is a long and thorough one. These factors reflect the unique responsibilities and duties of the role.
Understanding the educational and training requirements to become an architect is important if you want to become one. To do this you will usually need to have an architecture degree first. After that, you will need to train in an architectural practice.
Qualifications/Courses – Architect
To become an architect, you will first need to get a degree in architecture. You earn this from an architecture school at a university. Further, to enter an architecture school you will need around 500 points in your school leaving certificate. Prescribed degree courses in architecture take five years of full-time study in Ireland. Depending on the course you choose, you may take a year out for practical experience between the third and fourth years. After this, you will need to obtain at least two years of approved postgraduate professional training.
Finally, you will need to complete an examination in professional practice. This will be specified by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI). The RIAI is the professional body for architects in Ireland.
This all means the whole process, from start to full professional registration, generally takes seven to nine years. Once this is all done, you will be qualified as an architect.
General Skills Required
- Excellent problem-solving and diagnostic skills are essential. In addition, architects must be able to deal with a wide variety of architectural issues.
- Good time management skills are essential. This is because you will be handling a range of projects at the same time. This means being an architect is a varied career with different skills throughout each of the stages of work.
- Architecture is always developing. This means you must be prepared to keep learning about new issues in architecture. This applies throughout your working life.
- Excellent communication skills are needed. This is because you will be working with a wide variety of different people from different walks of life.
- You must be a good team player. This means having the ability to work constructively with others.
- Additionally, there are a few other office-based skills needed. Such as good computer literacy in order to record information relating to clients and projects.
- Because you may be part owner of a business, some business management skills will also be needed.
Challenges of Being an Architect
- No two projects in architecture are the same. You will need to keep track of several projects at the same time. This will include knowing the stages that these projects are at.
- You will also need to maintain a professional outlook and treat your clients with respect.
- Using design software can often be complicated. This is also true of planning processes. Additionally, clients can be difficult and challenging. All of these factors mean the job of an architect can be stressful.
- Depending on your role within a company, you may also need to attract new clients. this may be absolutely critical if you are self-employed or working in a small practice.
- No two days are the same when you are an architect. Indeed, you must always be prepared for the unexpected. This can be exciting but also challenging at times.
Type of Person Suited for this Work
- An extremely innovative and thoughtful person makes a good architect. Indeed, you will need to be creative and an original thinker.
- You will also need to be someone who can apply diagnostic skills with confidence. Tied into this you need to be a good listener. This is because it will be your responsibility to work out what problems might arise before a design is submitted for planning permission.
- You will also need to be someone with a calm outlook. This includes the ability to deal with stress because the work can be very pressured.
- If you are part of a bigger architecture practice, you will also need to be a team player. This can mean taking direction from more senior team members.
- Additionally, you must keep up to date with new design ideas. There is also a requirement to know about changes in planning law. These factors mean you need to be someone willing to learn as your career progresses.
General Expected Working Hours
You can expect to work at least a forty-hour week. Further, you may have on-call commitments. Indeed, if you have a major project needing planning permission your working week may be much longer.
Location of Work
As an architect, you would be located in an architecture practice. The location of these practices will often be offices in town. Architects can be employed by small or large firms. Alternatively, you might be self-employed and might even work from home.
However, you will always be a private-sector business. You will always need to attract clients and commissions to make sure you have work.
It is possible to build a successful and well-paid career as an architect. You will do this by building your reputation. Further, this is likely to continue throughout your career. This is because experience and understanding will mean you can charge more to clients and potential clients. In fact, as your career progresses, you may end up owning part or all of an architecture practice.