Who is an architect?
An architect is a design professional whose work entails overall planning, designing and management of construction work of various houses, office buildings and other physical structures.
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What architects do
Architects manage the entire design and construction process of all physical structures including site supervision and project management of all construction processes, controlling construction budgets as well as dealing with all planning issues.
Architects design new buildings as well as restoration and conservation of existing buildings. Their work covers all kinds of buildings such as residential houses, factories, educational buildings, agricultural premises and office buildings among other physical structures.
Architects may do the following among other duties;
- Meeting clients to gather project brief and determine its objectives.
- Preparation of scaled drawings using computers or by hand.
- Preparation of projects preliminary costs and estimates
- Presentation of project to the client and other project professionals.
- Preparation of contact documents for the building contractors.
- Managing construction contracts.
- Visiting construction sites to ensure that construction projects adhere to the proposed architectural plans.
- Overall project management and supervision of construction workers and other professionals.
- Seeking for new projects through marketing, presentation and networking among other duties
What is architect’s work environment?
Architects usually spend much of their time in offices developing plans, meeting clients as well as consulting with other professionals such as planners, engineers, surveyors and environmentalists among others. The rest of their time is spend on construction sites monitoring project progress.
What are some architect’s career opportunities?
Architects can be employed within various organizations that are concerned with the design, construction and management of buildings and other physical structures.
Areas of employment include; local and international design and construction companies, government authorities in allied fields, engineering companies, building contractors, architectural firms, property development companies, research organization, educational institutions, manufacturing firms, hospitals, banking institutions among other areas. With relevant industry experience, graduates can also opt to start their own companies.
How to become an architect in Kenya
Planning to become an architect is a process that requires continuous planning. To become an architect therefore, you need to start planning for this career early because the subjects you will take in secondary school will play a key role in determining your future career.
- SUBJECT 1: MAT A,
- SUBJECT 2: PHY,
- SUBJECT 3; any GROUP III,
- SUBJECT 4; 2nd GROUP II or 2nd GROUP III or any GROUP IV or any GROUP V. Besides, good performance in languages is paramount.
Education and Training Routes
If you work hard and score good grades in the above subject’s combination with a good overall mean grade, you can pursue this career directly in the university (academic route).
However, if you do not qualify for direct university admission for this career and interested in it, you can still pursue it through a different route (vocational route). Under the vocational route, you will pursue a diploma course that can help you further your education and later become an architect.
So what course(s) can you pursue in either route and eventually become an architect?
- Communication skills
- Visualization skills
- Analytical skills
- Technical skills
- Creativity skills
- Teamwork skills
- Problem solving skills
- Detail oriented skills
- Organizational skills
- Presentation skills among others
How to Join College and or university
There are two ways you can follow to join training institution(s) in pursuit of your career of choice. The majority way is applying through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps). This is a state owned agency that admits/ places government sponsored students to colleges and universities. One of the advantages of applying through Kuccps is that, upon successful placement, you will pay subsidized fee as a government sponsored student.
To be placed through Kuccps you must have attained a certain pass mark required for various education levels for (degrees/diplomas/certificates etc.) For more details on placement criteria, visit Kuccps website. The second approach is applying directly to training institution of your choice. Students who opt to apply this way do not get government fee subsidy and are therefore self-sponsored.
How to fund your post-secondary education.
If you are a needy student, upon application, you can get education loan from Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), a state owned institution that gives education loans to students joining technical colleges and universities. You can also access education bursaries from your local Member of Parliament (MP) or the County Government among other sources.
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