What Are the Different Types of Architects?

While you may be familiar with architects who design buildings, architects also work in the fields of landscape, software and naval design. Read on to find out more about the field of architecture and what these careers entail. Learn about education and training requirements, and see what the earning potential is. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Architects Are There?

Building architects create the construction blueprints that detail a building's specifications. The blueprints you create include every detail of the building's structure, from the air-conditioning system to plumbing, window frames and even light sockets. You may also need to calculate the building's dimensions and choose the right materials for the function and size of the structure.

Landscape architects design structures that emphasize the natural features within a backyard or public space. As a landscape architect, you collaborate with your client to create a project that draws people outdoors and inspires them to explore an area, such as parks, campuses, recreation centers and gardens.

If you work as a software architect, you will design and build data-driven software by using the latest technology in software design and development. You serve as a vital link between the company's tech and business staff by communicating your client's needs into custom software platform design.

Navel architects prepare drawings, reports and documents for the research and development of new ships and boating vehicles. As a navel architect, you apply professional mathematical engineering standards, formulas and models to estimate required equipment measurements and systems for various marine vehicles.

What Education and Skills Do I Need?

Building architects and landscape architects have similar skill requirements. In order to work in these fields, you must understand computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software, have an eye for aesthetics and detail, and be creative. You will also need a strong background in mathematics to put together accurate proposals for construction and budget plans. It's also important for these architects to pay special attention to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) planning codes and regulations when designing. A master's degree or 5-year bachelor's degree program in architecture or landscape architecture may be required.

As a software architect, you must have a thorough understanding of the software developing process. This includes expertise knowledge of programming and modeling languages, and knowledge of hardware platforms and software processes, such as SOX and CMMI. After competing a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field, opportunities are available to earn a graduate certificate in software architecture.

In order to qualify for a job as a naval engineer, you must be familiar with diesel engine operation, maintenance and troubleshooting. This allows you to analyze diesel engine data, and test and perform logistics development and reporting. You need to earn a master's degree in naval architecture to qualify for this position.

How Much Will I Make?

In 2009, the median salary for building architects was $78,880 per year, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, the median income for landscape architects was $60,560 per year. PayScale.com reports that naval architects in the 25th-75th percentile earned $61,036-$85,119 in 2011, while software architects earned 86,398-120,572.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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