A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include maths, physics, design and visual communication, digital technologies, and construction and mechanical technologies.
Demand for architectural graduates has remained stable over recent years with most finding work in the industry. This demand is expected to continue at the same rate.
Growth in the number of construction and infrastructure projects in New Zealand has created a strong demand for experienced architects, especially in Auckland. There are fewer opportunities for architects in regional centres.
However, this role can be affected by economic conditions. A downturn in the economy can lower demand for architects.
According to the New Zealand Registered Architects Board, 2,035 registered architects worked in New Zealand in June 2019.
Work experience and networking important
Architectural students should gain as much work experience as they can by taking up internships and other opportunities. Having a portfolio of work increases your chances of getting a job.
It is also important to widen your networks by attending industry functions and conferences.
Most architects work for private firms
Most architects work for small to medium-sized private practices, or for themselves.
There are also opportunities to work for:
construction consultancies (organisations that employ experts from different disciplines such as architecture, engineering and interior design)
Architects may progress into management roles or to setup their own architecture firm.
Architects may specialise in:
interior, urban, or sustainable design
project management or planning
What's the job really like?
Vignesh Krishnamoorthy talks about being an architectural graduate – 2.25 mins.
This here is a 2D representation of the floor plan.
And the good thing about this programme is that it actually translates straight
away into 3D. So if you've ever played Sims before, um,
I heard a lot of people compare Revit to Sims - minus the people. Hi,
my name is Vignesh Krishnamoorthy and I'm an architectural graduate.
As an architectural graduate, you don't get into designing stuff,
straight away at least.
You have to kind of work up the ranks and after you gain some experience,
you get to maybe design some work early on.
Or you get to maybe design some details, which doesn't sound fun,
but it is, uh, because then you kind of get to see it in person.
When you walk through the building,
you get to look at a corner of the building and say, "Hey, look,
I've made something." So this is a concept package and we get this out to
the client. Once we've kind of come up with an idea,
you kind of start off very zoomed out,
and then you go closer and closer in until you get to the site that we're
Then the concept is where it comes out after you've done all this.
Model making is, uh,
a very good tool to use in the concept stage primarily for the client who can
kind of observe the idea from all angles.
Something that you look forward to because you get to kind of get hands on,
actually build what you're designing or what you're thinking.
Personally, I wouldn't say I have a favourite building.
I'm more interested in like the details. So something as an example here, the,
the columns here.
I quite like the idea or like the narrative behind the actual building.
Architecture is kind of the midway point between art and engineering and it kind
of serves a technical mind,
but also the creative mind. An architect is basically the facilitator between
the client and the contractor or the builder.
So you kind of have to know a little bit about a lot of things as opposed to a
lot about one thing. You don't have to have the answer,
but you need to know where to find it.
So my journey was straight after high school. I, uh, did my undergrad,
which was the Bachelor of Architectural Studies,
and then I went on straight to do my Master's,
which was Master of Architecture Professional.
Becoming an architect isn't the only pathway,
which I learned personally as well. I was in film for a bit.
You kind of just mould what you've learned into, into whatever path.
You'll find a home for what it is that you're actually interested in,
in your career.
usually work regular business hours, but may work longer hours to meet deadlines
work in offices
may travel locally to visit construction sites or clients, and nationally or overseas to work on projects or attend conferences and workshops.
Useful personal qualities
Architects need to be:
accurate, with an eye for detail
able to work well under pressure
good at planning and organising
strong problem solvers
good at communicating and relationship management.