Architectural technicians are responsible for ensuring that the design of the building will work in real life. They interpret architects’ designs and turn them into detailed technical instructions for builders. They make sure that the selection of materials is suitable and that the finished building will comply with building regulations.
Part of the work of an architectural technician involves the collecting and investigation of all technical information related to the building design, as well as helping to develop specifications, drawings and planning applications.
Architectural technologists have a broader range of skills than technicians, and can negotiate the construction project and manage the whole process from conception to completion.
Studying before starting work
Recommended qualifications are:
For architectural technicians – HNC/HND or foundation degree in Architectural Design or Architectural Technology;
For architectural technologists – HND or degree that is approved by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT).
You may be able to get into this area through an Apprenticeship scheme. Once you are in employment you can work towards the following professional qualifications:
Technician membership of the CIAT; or,
Chartered (MCIAT) membership of the CIAT.
To qualify as a chartered architectural technologist you should aim for Full Membership of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT). An alternative route to professional membership of the CIAT is open to people with at least ten years’ relevant experience.
To become qualified, both architectural technologists and technicians need to complete an assessment known as the CIAT Professional and Occupational Performance Record (POP Record). This involves having the support of your employer, and providing evidence of your competence and workplace performance.
When you successfully meet the requirements of the POP Record you can apply for Full Membership and Chartered Status (architectural technologists) which can take two to three years, or Technician Membership (architectural technicians) which can be achieved in one to two years.
Once you are qualified you will need to keep your knowledge and skills up to date through Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This could be by private study and research as well as attending seminars and short courses.
An architectural technician can earn between £18,000 to £25,000 per annum, with various benefits packages. A senior technician or technologist can expect to earn up to £40,000.