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Architectural Technician Profile

Architectural Technician Profile

Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Architectural Technician. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Architectural Technician
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Architectural Technician Work Information


Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Architectural technology professionals (technicians and technologists) work with architects and other professionals on building projects.

• Architectural technicians apply building technology to construction and design, including materials selection, methods of construction and how the building will perform under use. They support technologists and other professionals.
• Architectural technologists have a wider range of skills than technicians, and contribute more to the design and construction process, including contract management, certification and post construction. They are involved in the management process from beginning to end.
• Duties are wide ranging and include finding out what the client wants, completing site surveys, turning designs into detailed technical instructions for builders to use, and checking construction work.

Working hours are typically 9am to 5pm, five days a week. Technicians/technologists spend most of their time in the office. The rest of their time is spent visiting clients and sites.

An architectural technology professional should:

• be able to draw freehand and using a computer
• be able to visualise objects in three dimensions (3D)
• have an interest in design, science and technology.

There are over 6,500 architectural technology professionals and students registered with the British Institute of Architectural Technologists (BIAT). Most of them work in architectural practices and local authorities. Architectural technology professionals need to complete a relevant qualification such as a degree, higher national qualification or NVQ/SVQ Level 4 in architectural technology. There is no upper age limit to architectural technology. Mature applicants may be accepted on courses without the usual minimum entry requirements, particularly if they have relevant experience. Training may be work based. Architectural technology professionals can be promoted to senior posts, which may include responsibility for supervising staff. It is possible for an architectural technologist to set up their own practice, or work as a consultant.

What does the role encounter?

Architectural technology professionals (technicians and technologists) work closely with architects and other building professionals on construction projects. They are often involved in a project from its initial idea through to completion, and have a wide range of duties.

An architectural technician applies building technology to building and design, including materials selection, methods of construction, performance and prescription specification, looking at interfaces between components and how the building will perform under use. Technicians are highly skilled in information gathering, collation and recording. They work largely in support of technologists and other professionals.
An architectural technologist has a broader range of skills than a technician and will contribute more to the design and construction process, including contract management, certification and post construction. They are involved in the management process from beginning to end.

The work varies from employer to employer, but may include:

• discussing what the client wants (a brief), eg to construct a new building or carry out alterations to an existing one
• offering innovative design solutions to clients
• carrying out land and building surveys, and feasibility studies
• collecting and analysing technical information
• getting planning permission and agreeing contracts
• co-ordinating design teams
• making presentations to clients
• selecting and giving advice to clients about appropriate materials and construction techniques
• producing working drawings for builders to use, either from their own designs or from those of other design professionals, such as other architectural technologists or architects - they use either a computer-aided design (CAD) system or a traditional drawing board; the drawings show details such as which materials are to be used and the exact dimensions of the building
• inspecting work in progress.

Architectural technicians will not be involved in as many site visits or presentations as technologists, although they may accompany a technologist for a specific purpose, eg to monitor the construction process or clarify some of the technical details.

What type of hours will I have to work?

Architectural technicians/technologists usually work from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday, although overtime may be necessary to meet deadlines. There is a limited amount of part-time work available.

Most work is based in the office with some time spent visiting clients and sites. Site work may involve working outdoors in all weather conditions, climbing ladders and scaffolding, and wearing boots and a safety helmet.

What level of salary and benefits are there?

These figures are purely for guidance only. Salaries may vary for the area the job is situated in, age, experience along with a host of other factors:

• New entrants earn an average of £13,500 to £15,500 a year.
• Those with three years’ experience earn an average of £19,000 to £21,000.
• With ten years’ experience, this figure rises to about £24,000 to £30,000, or more.

What type of skills will I need?

You will need to have some or all of the following type of skills to carry out this job:

• have freehand drawing skills
• have the ability to visualise objects in three dimensions (3D)
• have a good eye for detail and design
• have computer skills
• have mathematical skills for making technical and financial calculations
• have scientific ability to understand building technology
• be aware of how buildings and spaces are used
• be aware of the natural environment
• have a logical and practical approach
• be able to solve problems
• have excellent communication skills
• be able to work well in a team
• have presentation skills
• have organisation and management skills for leading projects.

What type of training will I receive?

For those who have not done a full-time degree or higher national diploma course, training is work based, usually leading to an NVQ/SVQ Level 4 or a higher national certificate. Training includes day release to college or university.

Many employers and clients expect architectural technology professionals to be a member of BIAT.

Associate membership (ABIAT) requires one of the following qualifications:

• a degree in architectural technology
• an NVQ/SVQ Level 4 in Architectural Technology
• a BTEC/SQA Higher National Certificate/Diploma in Architectural Design or Architectural Technology, with a number of specified additional units
• an alternative BIAT approved higher level qualification.

To become a fully-qualified architectural technology professional and a full member of BIAT, individuals need to complete an assessment known as the Professional and Occupational Performance Record (POP Record). Architectural technicians need to complete a POP Record lasting one or two years. This leads to technician membership of BIAT (TBIAT). Architectural technologists need to complete a POP Record lasting two or three years, followed by a professional assessment interview. This leads to full membership of BIAT (MBIAT).

Career Progression:

There are good opportunities for progression to senior positions, which may include more supervisory or management responsibilities.

An architectural technician may become an architectural technologist with further training, as outlined in the Training section.

With experience, many architectural technologists choose to set up their own practices, or work in partnership with other building professionals. (Architectural technicians cannot set up their own practice.)

Experienced architectural technologists can also work as consultants, and there are some opportunities to teach and carry out research in universities.

Are there similar types of job or related industries?

Yes, this list is not exhaustive but see the following categories:

Architect
Building Technician
CAD Draughtsman/woman
Construction Manager
Technical Surveyor
Technician: Engineering Construction
Three-Dimensional Designer: Craft
Town Planning Technician.

Where can I find further information?

British Institute of Architectural Technologists (BIAT), 397 City Road, London EC1V 1NH. 0800 731 5471. Website: www.biat.org.uk

CITB-ConstructionSkills, Bircham Newton, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH. 01485 577577. Websites: www.citbconstructionskills.co.uk, www.citb.org.uk, www.cic.org.uk and www.citbni.org.uk

What trade magazines are available for this industry?

All of the following magazines and journals can be purchased from any good bookstore:

AEC Magazine
Architects’ Journal
Architectural Review
BIAT Architectural Technology
Building
Building Design (BD)
MCAD Magazine
Public Sector Building.

Other Useful Architectural Technician Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Architectural Technician job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Architectural Technician Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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