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consultant vs. Architect: What Are the Differences?

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

A consultant is a person who provides professional or expert advice in a particular area of expertise. An architect is a professional who designs buildings and other structures. Both roles require a high level of education and experience. In this article, we compare and contrast the job titles consultant and architect. We discuss the similarities and differences between the two, and we provide helpful tips for those interested in pursuing a career in either field.

What is a Consultant?

Consultants are hired by organizations to provide impartial, expert advice on a specific issue or problem. They are often brought in to provide an outside perspective on a company’s operations, processes or strategies. Consultants typically have extensive experience in their field and use this knowledge to help organizations improve their performance. They conduct research, analyze data and develop recommendations for their clients. Consultants typically work on a project basis and are not employed directly by the organization they are advising.

What is an Architect?

Architects design new buildings and oversee the construction process to ensure that the finished product meets all safety, aesthetic and functional requirements. They collaborate with clients, engineers and other architects to create detailed plans and drawings of proposed structures. Architects also visit construction sites to monitor progress and ensure that contractors are following the approved plans. In some cases, they may need to make changes to the plans as construction progresses. After a building is completed, Architects may continue to provide support by conducting inspections and conducting repairs as necessary.

Consultant vs. Architect

Here are the main differences between a consultant and an architect.

Job Duties

Consultants and architects share some job duties, such as researching a project, developing a design plan and creating detailed blueprints. However, their job duties differ in important ways. Architects are responsible for the overall design of a structure, while consultants provide advice on specific elements of a project. For example, a consultant might advise a client on building regulations or zoning laws.

Consultants typically perform administrative tasks, such as scheduling meetings and keeping accurate records of projects. They also help clients communicate with other parties involved in a project, such as contractors and builders. Architects often perform creative tasks, such as designing buildings that meet a client’s specifications. They also oversee construction projects to ensure that builders follow their plans and use materials correctly.

Job Requirements

Consultants typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing or another related field. Some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well, but it is not required for entry-level positions. Additionally, many consultants pursue certifications through the National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM) or the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). These organizations offer training programs that teach professionals how to use consulting software and other tools they might need on the job.

Architects usually pursue at least a bachelor’s degree to work in the field. A Bachelor of Architecture typically takes five years to complete. Some architects also opt to earn a Master of Architecture, which can take five additional years to earn. Most of these programs include coursework on fundamental topics like the history of architecture and architectural theories and more advanced subjects like structural design and CAD.

Work Environment

Architects typically work in an office setting, but they may also travel to construction sites. They often spend time on-site observing the progress of projects and ensuring that their designs are being implemented correctly. Architects can also work long hours during design phases or when there’s a tight deadline for completing a project.

Consultants usually work in an office environment, although some consultants may travel to meet with clients. Consultants may also need to work long hours to complete projects within deadlines.


Both consultants and architects need to have strong problem-solving skills. This is because they are both typically called upon to solve complex issues for their clients. For consultants, their work revolves around providing advice and guidance to help their clients improve their businesses. Architects, on the other hand, design physical structures like buildings and bridges.

Both consultants and architects also need to be excellent communicators. This is because they often need to present their ideas to clients, colleagues and other stakeholders. They also need to be able to listen to their clients’ needs and understand their wants and desires.

While both of these professionals need to have a strong understanding of business concepts, architects also need to have a strong understanding of engineering concepts. This is because they need to be able to design structures that are safe and sound. They also need to be familiar with building codes and regulations.


The average salary for a consultant is $84,847 per year, while the average salary for an architect is $87,570 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the type of work you do, your level of experience and the location of your job.


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