So, the last essay began our series on Selecting a Program; the first step to the process was to answer the question – Why Architecture? Now, we focus on the tasks of an architect to ensure you know the end goal – the hard part is actually defining those tasks.

As you might imagine, there are a number of resources to explore the career of an architect; one in particular that we have used in from the U.S. Government.  Below you can learn what architects typically do from the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH); it should be shared that if you have questions on any career field that requires a university education, the OOH is a great resource to start.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Architects typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients to determine objectives and requirements for structures
  • Give preliminary estimates on cost and construction time
  • Prepare structure specifications
  • Direct workers who prepare drawings and documents
  • Prepare scaled drawings, either with computer software or by hand
  • Prepare contract documents for building contractors
  • Manage construction contracts
  • Visit worksites to ensure that construction adheres to architectural plans
  • Seek new work by marketing and giving presentations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Architects,
on the Internet at (visited September 01, 2020).


Another source to learn from is a new publication done by the firm HKS (See below); while I only list the active verbs, please refer to the publication for more details.

Getting Into Architecture


Team Work





And, finally, below is a YouTube video that outlines what architects do.  If you are a visual learner, viewing the video may be a better choice.  No worries, it is only about three minutes in length.

What Architects Do – The American Institute of Architects

Of course, perhaps the best approach to truly learn what an architect is to talk with one or better shadow one for a day.


As always, let us know if you have questions by contacting us at


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.