Overview of Architecture & Planning
Architects combine creativity with technical knowledge to design new buildings, while planners organise urban landscapes for the way we live today. Studying at university is essential to become an architect, as you need an architecture degree to become accredited to work in Australia.
While a degree is not essential for planning, many employers now expect applicants to have completed some kind of tertiary education.
Studying Architecture & Planning
In order to become an architect, you must first complete an undergraduate architecture degree, and then gain two years' experience in an architecture internship with a practicing architect or firm. After this, you must sit a test to obtain a license with the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) to trade as a registered architect in any of Australia’s states or territories.
Courses vary from a straight five year architecture degree, to a two-part process which starts with an undergraduate architecture course, followed by a postgraduate architecture degree. Both variations are offered at a range of universities around Australia.
Urban planners are able to begin working immediately after obtaining their degree.
In both of these specialties, it is worthwhile undertaking work experience while studying your degree at university in order to build up contacts and industry knowledge.
Careers in Architecture & Planning
Traditionally, architects design buildings and landscapes to suit specific purposes either for private purposes or community needs. This specialty combines science and technology with creative ability, and has the potential to change townscapes, environments, and social settings.
Architects consult with a range of people, such as structural, mechanical, or even civil engineers, in order to bring your designs to life. You can also specialise in areas such as landscape design.
Planning is a flourishing area of study, and can be classed either as urban planning or urban design, depending on the university.
Working as an urban planner involves organising urban landscapes in a way which will work for the community. This can involve planning new zoning for an area, or organising new transport corridors, or developing long term plans for growth in a city or environment.
Many universities offer a flexible planning and urban design degree which can give you a lot of employment options, from urban and regional planning, to transport planning, to construction management.
While there are many people in the industry without a degree, employers are increasingly expecting potential planners to hold some kind of tertiary qualification, so studying a Bachelors degree in either planning or urban design at university will improve your chances of being hired.
Skills needed in Architecture & Planning
Both architecture and planning careers involve technical skill, creative thinking, and community consultation, and can lead to challenging and satisfying work options.
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