Design Architect Job Description

Design Architects create plans and gather design requirements for new structures. They may also be called upon to design alterations or repairs to existing buildings and structures. Their role is to focus on the style and look of the project while adhering to all building requirements and codes.

Design Architects work as part of a team of building and Architect professionals. They often work under the direct supervision of a Senior Architect. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Architects are expected to see a job increase of 7 percent through 2024. This will add an estimated 7,800 jobs to this sector during this period.


Design Architect Duties and Responsibilities

The responsibility of a Design Architect may vary depending on the type of project they are hired for, but there are some main duties common to the occupation. A review of current job listings identified the following primary tasks and responsibilities.

Provide Design Consultation

Design Architects are involved in the design and specifications of projects. They use their expertise to evaluate their client’s expectations and needs and then develop ideas for the structure. They may be required to do research into local and federal laws and building codes. They may also confer with other architects and designers to create a design plan to present to the client.

Develop Models

Creating design models is another responsibility of the Design Architect. They may craft sketches or blueprints or use computer design software programs to build models. They may be required to edit and adjust these plans multiple times until the client is satisfied with the design.

Present Findings

Design Architects must be comfortable presenting ideas, models and plans to their clients. This may be in informal settings, but may also require more formal presentations to larger groups. Design Architects should be confident speakers and know how to best illustrate their vision to clients.


Design Architect Skills

Top business challenges experienced by architects in the United States in 2017

Share of Respondents

  • 0
  • 5
  • 10
  • 15
  • 20
  • 25
  • 30
  • 35
  • 40

Difficulty finding prospective customers


Managing consumer concerns about costs


Managing consumer expectations


Source(s): Houzz; ID 918563

Creativity and artistic ability are important traits for Design Architects to possess. They must have excellent oral and written communication skills and be team players. Attention to detail and the ability to troubleshoot are also imperative. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skills.

Core skills

Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Design Architect with these core skills. Focus on the following, if you wish to become a Design Architect.

  • Reading and understand blueprints and technical diagrams
  • Advanced proficiency with computer programs, such as Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Knowing of building codes and restrictions
  • Experience with design modeling

Advanced skills

While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your skillset and broaden your career options.

  • State licensed architect
  • Computer-aided design (CAD) experience


Design Architect Resources

There are more resources available on the Web for those interested in working as Design Architects. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.

On the Web

Architect Magazine – This is a wonderful site for architecture industry news and building resources for architecture professionals. Published by the American Institute of Architects, it is full of reliable information, articles, and resources.

De zeen magazine – One of the world’s most popular design and architecture magazine, this publication has won numerous awards worldwide. Stay up-to-date on everything related to architecture by subscribing to this publication.

A Daily Dose of Architecture – This blog provides nearly daily posts and images of architecture in New York City. It is a great site for information and inspiration for Design Architects.

Design Architect Books

The Architect’s Studio Companion: Rules of Thumb for Preliminary Design – This is a favorite amongst architects because it takes complicated engineering and building codes and breaks them down into easy to understand rules that anyone can follow.

Building Structures Illustrated: Patterns, Systems and Design – This illustrated text provides all the information one needs to know about structural design. It covers all aspects of the design process from the beginning to end and is a wonderful resource for architects.

Industry Groups

The American Institute of Architects – AIA has been around since 1857 and has more than 88,000 licensed architect members. They provide market research, educational opportunities, networking occasions, and act as advocates for the architect industry.

American Institute of Building Design – Founded in 1950, AIBD is a nationally recognized association that works to provide nationwide design standards and codes of ethics to the building design industry. Its members include architects, building designers, and engineers.

Society of American Registered Architects – SARA was established in 1956 and brings together licensed architects for conferences, job development, and networking opportunities. They also provide publications with the latest news and research in the industry.

Association of Licensed Architects – In 1999 ALA was created to provide an organization for licensed architects throughout the world. Members get access to ALA’s publications, legal advice, networking options, and discounts on various products like disability insurance and annual conferences.


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