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Architectural technicians deal with the technical side of architecture, building design and construction.


Average salaries are in the region of £20,000.00 to £30,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Professionally qualified architectural technicians specialise in the application of technology in architecture.

What they do

Working in construction in this role, you will be an integral supporting part of the design team specialising in the research of products, processes, legislation and technology, as well as detailing, designs and drawings.

Project inception

Becoming a professionally qualified architectural technician provides an exciting career in architecture. They are are specialists in the collation, organisation and investigation of technical information for use during the development of the project design.

  • Collating and organising technical information
  • Investigating technical information and factors that affect developments, including user needs, site and building surveys and regulatory requirements

Project planning

  • Monitoring health and safety in design
  • Preparing regulatory applications

Design process

Construction jobs as a professionally qualified architectural technician require you to specialise in the application of technology to architecture, building design and construction. They are recognised as having specialist skills enabling them to use their technical knowledge and skills to provide innovative solutions.

  • Preparing design proposals using CAD and traditional methods
  • Contributing to the detailed design process and co-ordinating detailed design information
  • Preparing specifications for construction work
  • Preparing drawings, plans and documents for statutory approvals
  • Contributing to design stage risk assessment

Contract management

Professionally qualified architectural technicians can participate in the process

  • Making site visits
  • Obtaining tenders for construction work
  • Contributing to meetings and document preparation

Professional practice

While technician members of CIAT and  TCIAT cannot practise on their own account, they are an integral part of the architectural design process. As architectural professionals they must adhere to a Code of Conduct

  • Liaising between members of the design and construction team
  • Providing professional technical guidance to design and construction teams
  • Undertaking Continuing Professional Development (CPD), possibly progressing towards Chartered Membership of CIAT MCIAT, and a career as a  Chartered Architectural Technologist 

To become a professionally qualified architectural technician, you can enrol on a Higher Diploma (HND) or Foundation degree or equivalent in Architectural Technology or built environment subject.

Hours & Salary

  • A work week is usually around 40 hours, but this can include unsocial hours, particularly when approaching deadlines.
  • Newly trained Architectural Technicians can earn in the region of £12,000 - £20,000
  • Trained with experience Architectural Technicians can earn in the region of £20,000 - £30,000
  • Senior Architectural Technicians can earn in the region of £30,000 - £45,000
  • Your construction salary will typically range depending on location and level of responsibility.
  • Salaries and career options improve with chartered status.

Explore all the different construction industry jobs available with our Roles In Construction Animation.

You can also take our Personality Quiz to find out which construction career is right for you.

Case Study

What do you do?

I now manage a team of five architectural technicians and oversee the architectural aspect of over 30 projects where we are building new housing developments. A key focus is the development of my team, ensuring that they receive the training and resources they need to be successful in their own careers in architecture.

I still get involved in everything including:

  • Layout design, such as taking a blank piece of paper and designing where the streets are, how the houses fit and constantly thinking about how each area will be used to ensure it will be somewhere nice to live
  • House type design, such as what sort of house it is, how many bedrooms it will have, what it will look like from the outside and, importantly, how it will be used inside
  • Working drawings covering every aspect of the house design so somebody can take them and build a house based on them
  • Technical details – this could be small details, but drawn at a large scale, such as parts of a porch drawn at half the real size to make sure it works technically and somebody can build it
  • Giving technical advice to people on site such as the construction manager

However, a large part of my role these days is getting involved in housing projects right from the outset, using my experience and knowledge to ensure that we continue to create communities where people aspire to live.

What steps did you take to get this role?

After graduating with a BA Honours Degree in Architectural Design and Management from Northumbria University, I secured work at an architectural practice. I then worked as a freelance designer, designing extensions and the like, before joining a small house-builder. I joined David Wilson Homes in 2006, working in group design at their head office and producing working drawings for their standard house types.

A year later, I heard that there was a technician post available at a divisional office nearer to home and offering a different variety of work, which I felt would further enhance my knowledge and experience. After only three years I was promoted to the position of senior architectural technician.

What do you like most about being a senior architectural technician?

I am fortunate to work for a great company that I believe in and have a job which I am passionate about. The company puts a huge emphasis on training and development, and offers a great benefits package. I enjoy the sheer variety of the role, as no one day is the same and each day brings new experiences and challenges. We have a great team and I am fortunate to work among people who have become friends.

What key skills are needed for this role?

You need to have a technical mind and a good eye for detail. Being able to visualise things in three dimensions will help, as will a keen interest in building science and technology. A creative flair and the ability to think outside the box are important. You need excellent presentation and organisational skills and, of course, you must be computer literate.

Do you have a career highlight or proudest moment?

I am proud of all the housing projects that I have been involved in for Barratt, whether I have designed everything on the site or just had a small input along the way. It is immensely satisfying to see a design on paper turned into reality. Receiving feedback from delighted customers is the icing on the cake!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

Definitely with Barratt. I have no reservations on that front. Hopefully I will have progressed further up the management ladder, perhaps to a technical director role, or maybe even managing director!

Any advice on how to get into construction?

The days of having a job for life are perhaps a thing of the past. However, people will always need buildings to live and work from and, therefore, people to design and build them. We spend the majority of our adult lives at work, so choose something you think you will enjoy!


 

   Sarah Kay is a freelance architectural technician

What is your most recent role?

I work freelance, supporting architects and developers. Although many of my clients are based locally, email, cloud storage file sharing and Skype allow me to also work with practices much further afield. Most of my work is for the residential sector, and as that's where most of my experience has been, that is also where my strengths have come to lie.

What does a typical day look like?

A lot of my time is taken up with technical detailing, trying to match up solutions with the design intent of the architect.

What made you choose a career in architecture?

I had always known that I wanted a career in architecture and at university I found that I preferred the more technical and problem-solving aspects of the course. The role of the architect (which seemed to be more conceptual) just didn't appeal to me as strongly.

As I now have young children, I made the decision to work freelance as a way of balancing my job and my family. I'm very lucky that this is a career choice that allows that sort of flexibility.

What is your favourite thing about being an architectural technician?

No two jobs are the same. Each project has its own technical challenges to consider, and regulations and technology are ever changing. You are always on your toes and always learning.

What key skills are needed in your role?

Logic and lateral thinking. There's always more than one way to solve a problem!

What is your educational and career background prior to this role?

I did a building studies HND at university, then spent several years working for some national house-builders. I started out as a design assistant and gradually worked my way up to design lead, concentrating on new development site layouts. This was problem solving of a different sort but still had its technical considerations for topographical and engineering reasons.

I then went on to top up my qualifications to B.Sc. whilst temporarily leaving the design field to work in civil project management. I found that the change of direction really wasn't for me, so I went back to architecture... and I've been there ever since.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Seeing the finished sites and buildings that I have played a major part in and hearing the positive impacts that these have had on their end users.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

Not sure. I'll either keep working freelance or maybe head back to office life. Either way, I still plan to be an architectural technician! I love my job and I can't imagine doing anything else.

What advice do you have for someone considering working in construction?

Find an aspect that you truly enjoy. For some it's design, or being on site, or the science behind structures. The reward of seeing that structure built and used is great!

Take our Personality Quiz to find out which of the many construction careers is right for you

Qualifications & Training

To become an architectural technician you can complete a HND or foundation degree in architectural technology or in another built environment subject.

In Scotland you could study for an approved Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) and qualify as an architectural technician. Check that the course programme has CIAT approval.

Entry requirements for HNC and HND courses vary from 1 to 2 Highers plus subjects at Standard grade or National 5. Passes in English, maths and a science subject may be required.

Holders of appropriate degrees, HND or HNC qualifications can go on to become fully qualified Chartered Architectural Technologists. Other trainees may first qualify as an architectural technician as part of their progress to full chartered status.

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis.  

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

Indeed

Reed

The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

Career trends and forecasts

16,240 additional staff needed

The UK construction industry will need an additional 16240 other construction professionals and technical staff (which includes architectural technicians) to meet demand every year from 2016 until 2020, according to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI). The majority of the demand for these construction jobs in the UK will be in Scotland.

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