If you’re interested in construction, but want to focus more on the planning process (versus the actual building work), a career in architectural design could be your ideal path.
An understanding of how structures are designed and developed is helpful for almost everyone involved in the construction trades—from carpenters to electricians to plumbers to HVAC technicians.
And if your passion is drafting, architectural design training is an essential stepping stone to your career as an architectural technician.
The Pre-apprenticeship Training (PAT) Institute is very pleased to announce that we now offer a comprehensive architectural design program at our Toronto campus.
Wondering what this program is all about? Here are 5 things to know about your training and career options in architectural design.
1. What Does an Architectural Designer Do?
Architectural designers prepare drawings and specifications for new buildings and renovation projects.
They use computer-aided-design (CAD) software to create building plans, schematics, blueprints, and 3D models—and are also responsible for putting together cost estimates and materials lists.
Architectural designers are known by several different names, including:
- architectural technologist
- architectural technician
- architectural drafter
- CAD technician
- architectural assistant
They work with architects, engineers, and construction companies, and participate in every stage of the design and building process.
Architectural designers are there at the very beginning, during client consultations—and they follow projects through to the very end, ensuring builders stay true to the original concept, on schedule, and on budget.
2. How Long is PAT’s Architectural Design Training?
PAT’s new architectural design training takes 10 months to complete, and includes 9 key areas of study (more on those next).
In less than one year, students graduate ready for entry-level designer/drafter positions, and are prepared to challenge the Ontario Building Code Exam.
3. What Skills Will You Learn in Class?
During the 10-month architectural design program, students learn the principles of building design, and how to use today’s most relevant computer-aided-design (CAD) software.
You can expect your coursework to cover:
- How to create 2D and 3D architectural drawings, floor plans, elevations, and renderings in AutoCAD
- How to use Revit—the industry standard in Building Information Modelling (BIM)
- Principles of architectural design and drafting (with hands-on projects to practice those skills)
- How to interpret and create blueprints
- How to develop your own landscape designs
- The Ontario Building Code (in preparation for the Building Code certification exam)
- How to develop and present a design concept to a client, from start to finish
By the time you finish training, you will have worked through every stage of the drafting process, and created your own interior and exterior design plans using a full range of AutoCAD tools.
4. What are Your Career Options After Architectural Design Training?
After completing the architectural design program, students are prepared to start work at architectural, design, engineering, or construction firms.
At the beginning, you will work under a supervising designer, architect, or engineer. But, with experience, you may be able to consult directly with clients and develop initial concepts for new projects by yourself.
Some designers start their own practice, or work freelance for several different firms. Many designers end up specializing in a particular area, such as residential, commercial, or industrial design.
You could focus on designing homes and condos, become a specialist in restaurants, hotels, or retail spaces—or use your skills to work on large scale structures, like hospitals, schools, and factories.
5. What Qualities Do you Need to Succeed in Architectural Design?
First and foremost, students considering this program should have a genuine interest in architecture, design, and the building process. Next, you’ll need to be comfortable learning and working with computer software.
To do well in this program (and career), you should be patient, detail-oriented, and meticulous. Design work is extremely precise, and requires long periods of sustained focus.
Inaccurate plans can cause all kinds of problems, from safety and building code violations to budget mistakes to major construction delays.
But if you’re responsible, a good problem-solver, and really love the idea of bringing design concepts to life, you’ll be an excellent candidate for architectural design training.
Learn more about architectural design training at PAT
If you can see yourself building a career as an architectural designer, and want to dig deeper into PAT’s program, follow the links below for free information and guidance. We’re here to help!
We’re happy to talk with you about your needs and goals, and help you plan your next steps.
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