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Architectural Technologist vs. Architect: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Architects and architectural technologists are both professionals who work in the field of architecture. They use their creativity and technical skills to design buildings and other structures. Though they share some similarities, there are several key differences between these two job titles. In this article, we discuss the differences between an architect and an architectural technologist, and we provide additional information about careers in architecture.

What is an Architectural Technologist?

Architectural Technologists are responsible for translating the designs of Architects into detailed plans and drawings that can be used by construction crews to build the project. They use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) models of the Architect’s designs. They also prepare construction documents, such as floor plans, elevations and sections, that include all of the necessary details that the builders will need. In some cases, Architectural Technologists may be responsible for managing the construction project to ensure that it is completed according to the plans and specifications.

What is an Architect?

Architects design and oversee the construction of buildings and other structures. They work with clients to determine the functional and aesthetic needs of a project, then they create detailed plans and drawings. Architects must take into account the safety and stability of a structure, as well as the budget and schedule for the project. During construction, Architects typically visit the site to make sure that the work is being completed according to the plans. After construction is completed, Architects may be involved in the maintenance or renovation of a structure.

Architectural Technologist vs. Architect

Here are the main differences between an architectural technologist and an architect.

Job Duties

One of the biggest differences between an architectural technologist and an architect is the type of duties they perform. Architects are responsible for creating a design that meets the needs of a particular client, such as a business or individual buyer. They use their expertise to determine the best structure for a building based on its purpose and location.

An architectural technologist performs research and provides support to help an architect complete their work. They may collect data about a site where a new building is being constructed and provide this information to the architect. Additionally, architectural technologists may assist with drafting documents related to a project and managing projects’ budgets and schedules.

Job Requirements

Architectural technologists typically need to earn an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in architectural technology, engineering technology or another related field. Some employers prefer candidates who have experience working in the architecture field, but it is not always required. After completing their education, architectural technologists can pursue certification through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). This certification is not required, but it can help technologists stand out to potential employers.

To become an architect, you must first complete a professional degree accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), which typically takes at least five years. Once you have earned your degree, you must complete a period of internship under the supervision of a licensed architect. After completing your internship, you must pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) to earn your license.

Work Environment

Architectural technologists work in a variety of environments, depending on the project they’re working on. They may spend time in construction sites and buildings to ensure that their designs are being implemented correctly. Architects also work in many different environments, but they typically have more control over where they work. For example, an architect might choose to work from home or in an office rather than at a construction site.


Both architectural technologists and architects use problem-solving skills to develop solutions to challenges posed by their clients. They also both need to be able to think creatively to come up with innovative designs.

An architectural technologist needs to have strong technical skills to be able to produce the drawings and models that will be used to communicate their designs to others. They also need to be able to use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create these drawings and models. An architect also needs to have strong technical skills, but they may not need to be as proficient in CAD software as an architectural technologist because they often have a team of drafters who create drawings and models based on the architect’s designs.

While an architectural technologist typically works more closely with engineers and other construction professionals to ensure their designs can be built, an architect may have less interaction with these types of professionals. Instead, they may work more with clients, presenting them with different design options and answering any questions they have. Architects also typically have more responsibility for the overall look and feel of a project, while an architectural technologist is more focused on the technical aspects of the design.


The average salary for an architectural technologist is $78,946 per year. The average salary for an architect is $87,570 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the type of work you’re doing, your location and your experience level.


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