A day in the life of an Architectural Technologist
Architectural Technologist jobs involve making a building design come to life. These professionals are responsible for bringing an Architect’s concept design into reality.
Before you confuse the two, an Architect and an Architectural Technologist is not the same thing. An Architect is more concerned with the design and philosophy of a building, while the Architectural Technologist is worried about the science and technology of a building. The Architect makes the building attractive while the Technologist tries to make it functional as well as keeping it looking good. These areas do overlap but they are two distinct career paths with their own areas of specialization.
Often when an Architect designs a building, they do so from a purely aesthetic point of view. An Architectural Technologist has to be consulted so the Architect’s design can be applied whilst still keeping the building functional and safe. In order to perform the tasks associated with Architectural Technologist jobs, you will need good drawing skills and a lot of creativity. You will need to be able to understand and interpret technical drawings and also have excellent computer design skills, as the majority of your work will be performed on a computer.
If you think that this job is for you, then read further for more information on what this job entails.
The tasks involved in Architectural Technologist jobs
An Architectural Technologist uses a broader range of skills than an Architect does. The Technologist has to think about meeting building and safety standards as opposed to just to the way the building looks. You would be expected to manage the whole construction process from start to finish. This job also requires you to visit clients and construction sites often.
Your work could include the following tasks:
Assessing your clients’ needs, collecting and analyzing technical data and advising the client on the legal requirements of their building. Often a client will have an idea in their mind of what they want a building to look like but in reality some aspects of the design might not be legal or practical. For example, let’s say the client wanted his building to be taller than every other building in the vicinity. This might not be legally possible as buildings can only be legally built to a certain height or it might be obstructing another building’s view. Every country and location have different building and construction laws and regulations that have to be adhered.
- Winning tenders and negotiating contracts. As an Architectural Technologist you will have to deal with the finances of a building. You will be given a budget and if you can bring the costs down further than your competition, whist still keeping the building’s required design and meeting building standards, then you will most likely get the job.
- Advising on materials, preparing land and building surveys, and making drawings for on-site use. You will be tasked with preparing the land and making sure the Architect’s design can be built on a given piece of land. You will have to be creative with materials in some places to compensate for possible design flaws. You might also have to alter the building’s design and make changes to accommodate unforeseen site issues.
- Lastly, as an Architectural Technologist you might be tasked with checking the progress of and inspecting completed construction work. After the completion of the site you might meet the client again for feedback and appraising the performance of the building.
If you think you can handle these tasks, then have a look at the education requirements in obtaining Architectural Technologist jobs.
In order to go into this field, one will need their national diploma in Architectural Technology which will take three years to complete on a full time basis. This can be done at any university that offers Architecture. There are also many smaller design schools and technicons that offer this course throughout South Africa.
Graduates can also register as professional Architectural Technologists in training at the South African Council for the Architectural Profession, see the SACAP website here.
You may register as a professional working independently only after a two year candidacy and a written exam.
Once you have your diploma, there are two avenues you can take. One is to enter the job market as professional Architectural Technologist employed at a design firm. The other is to apply for the BTech Architectural Technology (Applied Design). This is a one year advanced course which, if completed, will allow you to open your own Architectural Technology firm or to do freelance work in the industry.
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Current vacancies in the industry
Architectural Technologist in Pretoria East
Theunissen Jankowitz Architects in Pretoria East are looking for an Architectural Technologist with at least 3 – 5 years’ working experience in an Architect’s office. Salary is negotiable based on previous experience.
Architectural Technologist in Kwazulu-Natal
A company in Kwazulu-Natal is looking for a relatively fresh out-of-college Architectural Technologist with 1-5 Years’ working experience. They must be experienced in Revit and AutoCAD. This position is for candidate with a National Diploma or a B Tech Degree.
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