Employment Challenges In The Architecture Field (For Employees And Employers)

Caroline Nixon Caroline Nixon
Employment Challenges In The Architecture Field (For Employees And Employers), Caroline Nixon Caroline Nixon
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When it comes to renovating an apartment, redesigning a room, or even building a new house from scratch, it is vital to hire a good architect. There are many things to consider when planning even a single room makeover. An untrained eye is likely to make many mistakes in planning and design. And fixing these mistakes often costs time and money.

However, hiring an architect often proves to be a challenge in and of itself. It happens for a variety of reasons. The same goes for architects: it is difficult to find a customer without aid from an agency. The existence of job boards where architects can find exciting vacancies helps a lot, but miscommunications between employers and employees still happen often. Here we will outline some of the common problems appearing in the field.

Challenges Employers Face

Lack of Knowledge

For an average person, the field of architecture is a mystery. Like in medicine, the knowledge is limited to some fundamental facts. There are walls, floor, roof, plumbing, and wiring that connect to the city grid, but the way everything works together is often a mystery. This leads to people underestimating the complexity of a good design.


Unclear Pricing

The lack of understanding always creates more problems. The most significant one is pricing: a good house design may cost a lot, for sure. But how does the customer know the difference between a good, expensive design and one that is not that good? Besides, how much should the work cost? A healthy conversation between the customer and a professional is necessary to resolve this. However, it will take extra time and resources from the architect’s side, which may drive up both the price of the project and the time it takes.

Timeline and Budget Expectations

The expectations on timeline and budget are often wrong for the same reasons we outlined previously. While people have a good grasp of prices on various commodities, the construction materials are terra incognita. The same goes for the time it takes to finish construction or renovation.

Challenges Employees Face

Getting the First Job

For an architect, getting their foot in the door is often challenging, as it is in other creative fields. Since the portfolio is the only way to judge competence, the first job is hard to get. It is usually possible to get it by damping the price, which harms the employee and the market alike. An alternative is looking for a friend of a friend who would trust you (which is often risky and requires a discount as well).

Feedback and Criteria

Is the design good? The answer to this question is often subjective and depends on an individual. There are ways to tell if the project is done well, and the building design may have practical flaws. But in the end, the design solution is subjective and has to satisfy the employer’s taste. This means there will be multiple compromises between the architect’s taste and the employer’s demand. Such a compromise usually means various iterations of edits, which makes the project more difficult.

Employee-driven Market

Last but not least, the market is employee-driven. It is in part due to the ratio of employers and employees. Another reason is the way hiring platforms work. Either way, the employees compete for the hires, not the other way around. High competition drives the price down, making the industry challenging to work in.

The market in the architecture field is changing under the influence of online hiring platforms. The pandemic contributed to this process, shifting the paradigm even more. It is unclear how this situation will transform in the next few years, but the architect job is sure to stay, albeit in a more competitive market than before.


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