Career Development

What Does a Junior Architect Do?

Find out what a junior architect does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a junior architect.

Junior architects are the entry-level employees of the architectural field. They typically work under the supervision of senior architects, but they may also be tasked with completing small projects on their own.

Junior architects must have a strong understanding of design principles and an eye for aesthetics. They must also be able to effectively communicate with clients, contractors, and other stakeholders involved in the building process.

Junior Architect Job Duties

Junior architects typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Communicating with clients, contractors and other architects to ensure that projects are completed on time
  • Estimating the amount of materials needed to complete projects based on design plans
  • Reviewing blueprints and other design documents to ensure they meet code requirements
  • Preparing computer models of designs to be used in the construction process
  • Reviewing construction drawings to ensure they meet building codes and regulations
  • Conducting site inspections to assess the quality of work performed by contractors
  • Preparing drawings and working with engineers to design new buildings or remodel existing structures
  • Creating detailed plans for new construction projects based on client specifications
  • Preparing detailed estimates of construction costs for new projects

Junior Architect Salary & Outlook

Junior architects’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and type of company for which they work.

  • Median Annual Salary: $76,500 ($36.78/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $142,000 ($68.27/hour)

The employment of junior architects is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be limited because many large architectural firms are hiring fewer new architects and more experienced ones. This trend reflects a greater demand for the services of senior architects, who have more experience and higher productivity rates than their junior colleagues.

Related: Junior Architect Interview Questions and Answers

Junior Architect Job Requirements

Junior architects typically need to have the following:

Education: Architects need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in architecture or a related field, such as construction management or building science. These programs typically take four years to complete and include courses in design, construction, mathematics, building technology and building systems.

Many architects choose to pursue a master’s degree in architecture to further their education and increase their earning potential. These programs typically take two years to complete and include advanced courses in design, construction and building technology.

Training & Experience: Most junior architects receive on-the-job training from their supervisors. This training may include learning the company’s specific software, procedures and workflow. It may also include shadowing a more experienced architect to learn how to complete tasks and interact with clients.

Certifications & Licenses: Although junior architects do not need any additional certifications, they may choose to obtain several to improve their chances of finding a job, test their skills and advance their careers.

Junior Architect Skills

Junior architects need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Junior architects often work with a team of other architects, engineers, contractors and other professionals. Effective communication is important to ensure everyone on a project understands each other and works together to complete the project.

Technical skills: Technical skills are the ability to use software and programs to create architectural designs. Junior architects may be required to use specific software to create their designs, so it’s important to have the technical skills to use the software.

Problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills are essential for junior architects, as they are often the first point of contact for clients and other team members. When a client or colleague has a question about a project, they often turn to the junior architect for an answer. This means that junior architects must be able to identify the issue and propose a solution.

Teamwork skills: Working with a team is an important part of being an architect. Junior architects may work with a team of other architects, engineers, contractors and other professionals to complete a project. This can require the ability to work with others and share ideas.

Leadership skills: Junior architects may be expected to lead teams of other architects or other professionals, such as engineers or drafters. Leadership skills can help you take charge of projects and ensure that everyone on the team is working together to complete the project.

Junior Architect Work Environment

Junior architects work in a variety of settings, including architectural firms, engineering firms, construction companies, and government agencies. They typically work regular business hours, although they may occasionally work overtime to meet deadlines. Junior architects typically work on teams with other architects, engineers, and construction professionals. They may also work with clients to develop designs that meet their needs and budget. Junior architects typically have a bachelor’s degree in architecture and must be licensed by the state in which they practice.

Junior Architect Trends

Here are three trends influencing how junior architects work. Junior architects will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Skills

The need for more technical skills is a trend that is quickly becoming apparent in the architecture industry. As buildings become more complex, architects will need to be able to design and build them using computer software.

This means that junior architects will need to learn how to use these programs in order to be successful in the field. They will also need to be familiar with the latest building codes and regulations in order to ensure that their designs are up to code.

A Greater Focus on Collaboration

As technology advances, the architectural profession is changing. Architects are now being asked to work more closely with other professionals, such as engineers and contractors, in order to create better projects.

Junior architects can capitalize on this trend by developing strong communication and collaboration skills. This will allow them to work more effectively with other team members and produce better results for their clients.

More Attention Paid to Sustainability

Sustainability has become an increasingly important topic in recent years, as people have become more aware of the impact that our actions have on the environment. This has led to a greater focus on sustainability in the architecture industry, which has resulted in a demand for architects who are knowledgeable about sustainable design practices.

Junior architects can capitalize on this trend by learning about sustainable design practices and how to incorporate them into their projects. This will make them more attractive to potential employers and help them to stand out from the competition.

How to Become a Junior Architect

A career as a junior architect can be both rewarding and challenging. It’s important to start off on the right foot by choosing the right firm for you. Consider factors such as culture, location, and work hours when making your decision.

Once you’ve found the perfect fit, it’s time to get down to business. Start by learning everything you can about the company and its projects. Attend meetings, ask questions, and take notes. This will help you become familiar with the company’s workflow and processes.

Additionally, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in architecture. Read industry publications, attend conferences, and participate in online forums. This will help you develop your skills and stand out from the crowd.

Advancement Prospects

Junior architects typically start out working under the supervision of a more experienced architect. As they gain experience and knowledge, they are given more responsibility and may eventually be promoted to a senior architect position. Some junior architects may also choose to open their own architecture firms.

Junior Architect Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we’re looking for a talented and ambitious junior architect to join our team and help us turn our clients’ dreams into reality. As a junior architect at [CompanyX], you will be working closely with our senior architects and project managers on a variety of projects, from small residential to large commercial. You will be responsible for the development of architectural designs, drawings, and models, as well as assisting with the preparation of construction documents. The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Architecture, 1-3 years of relevant experience, and strong AutoCAD skills.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Assist the project manager and lead architect with all aspects of the design process, from initial concept through to completion
  • Prepare detailed drawings and 3D models using AutoCAD and other software programs
  • Liaise with clients, contractors, and other professionals to gather information and discuss project requirements
  • Undertake site visits and surveys to collect data and measure spaces
  • Analyze survey results, maps, reports, and other data to inform the development of project plans
  • Assist in the preparation of planning applications, tenders, contracts, and construction specifications
  • Use computer-aided design (CAD) technologies to produce various types of drawings
  • Work closely with engineers, surveyors, and other architects during the design process
  • Attend client meetings and present design proposals
  • Manage and coordinate work on a variety of projects at different stages of development
  • Keep up to date with new developments in technology and architecture
  • Stay abreast of industry news and developments

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in architecture, engineering, or related field
  • 1-3 years professional experience in architectural design
  • Proficiency with AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, 3ds Max, or other design software
  • Strong portfolio of previous work
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in architecture or engineering
  • LEED accreditation
  • Experience with sustainable design principles
  • Experience working on government or institutional projects
  • Proficiency with BIM software


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