see State Job Trends
for regional occupational outlook information
Architect Job Outlook
Employment of architects is expected to grow faster
than the average for all occupations through 2016. Keen competition is expected
for positions at the most prestigious firms, and opportunities will be best for
those architects who are able to distinguish themselves with their creativity.
Employment change. Employment of
architects is expected to grow by 18 percent between 2006 and 2016, which is
faster than the average for
all occupations. Employment of architects is strongly tied to the activity of
the construction industry. Strong growth is expected to come from nonresidential
construction as demand for commercial space increases. Residential construction,
buoyed by low interest rates, is also expected to grow as more people become
homeowners. If interest rates rise significantly, home building may fall off,
but residential construction makes up only a small part of architects’ work.
Current demographic trends also support an increase
in demand for architects. As the population of Sunbelt States continues to grow,
the people living there will need new places to live and work. As the population
continues to live longer and baby-boomers begin to retire, there will be a need
for more healthcare facilities, nursing homes, and retirement communities. In
education, buildings at all levels are getting older and class sizes are getting
larger. This will require many school districts and universities to build new
facilities and renovate existing ones.
In recent years, some architecture firms have
outsourced the drafting of construction documents and basic design for
large-scale commercial and residential projects to architecture firms overseas.
This trend is expected to continue and may have a negative impact on employment
growth for lower level architects and interns who would normally gain experience
by producing these drawings.
Job prospects. Besides employment
growth, additional job openings will arise from the need to replace the many
architects who are nearing retirement, and others who transfer to other
occupations or stop working for other reasons. Internship opportunities for new
architectural students are expected to be good over the next decade, but more
students are graduating with architectural degrees and some competition for
entry-level jobs can be anticipated. Competition will be especially keen for
jobs at the most prestigious architectural firms as prospective architects try
to build their reputation. Prospective architects who have had internships while
in school will have an advantage in obtaining intern positions after graduation.
Opportunities will be best for those architects that are able to distinguish
themselves from others with their creativity.
Prospects will also be favorable for architects
with knowledge of “green” design. Green design, also known as sustainable
design, emphasizes energy efficiency, renewable resources such as energy and
water, waste reduction, and environmentally friendly design, specifications, and
materials. Rising energy costs and increased concern about the environment has
led to many new buildings being built green.
Some types of construction are sensitive to
cyclical changes in the economy. Architects seeking design projects for office
and retail construction will face especially strong competition for jobs or
clients during recessions, and layoffs may ensue in less successful firms. Those
involved in the design of institutional buildings, such as schools, hospitals,
nursing homes, and correctional facilities, will be less affected by
fluctuations in the economy. Residential construction makes up a small portion
of work for architects, so major changes in the housing market would not be as
significant as fluctuations in the nonresidential market.
Despite good overall job opportunities some
architects may not fare as well as others. The profession is geographically
sensitive, and some parts of the Nation may have fewer new building projects.
Also, many firms specialize in specific buildings, such as hospitals or office
towers, and demand for these buildings may vary by region. Architects may find
it increasingly necessary to gain reciprocity in order to compete for the best
jobs and projects in other States.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition
Find related resources below:
Architect Job Outlook
Architect Licensing Architecture Colleges