How To Become an Architect In Australia: A Complete Guide

Students want to know how they can become architects in Australia.


Becoming an architect is worth pursuing if you like beautiful designs and want a career that utilises your abilities to impact society.


With the endless demand for architecture in different sectors, including education, health care, residential dwellings, shopping centres, restaurants, and businesses – there is an increasing need for skilled licensed architects in Australia.


This post will discuss everything you need to know about becoming an architect in Australia, including education and licensing requirements, how long it takes, and the tasks involved in this exciting industry. So keep reading.



1. What Does an Architect Do?


An architect is a skilled professional involved with every stage of building projects, from design to construction and maintenance. Here are a few project phases that an architect usually works on.


  • Starting The Project: In this phase, the architect talks with the client about their budget and project expectations. Keeping this in mind, they create a design brief for the client.


  • Design Phase: Here, the architect analyses the site conditions and design brief. He then works on models and sketches to create conceptual drawings.


  • Design Documentation, Development, and Building Approvals: In this stage, the architect works with the project team to prepare elaborate drawings for the builder and finalise the building's structural details. Later, they submit the drawings to get the building approved.


  • Construction Phase: The architect works closely with the project team members and the builders to ensure the project complies with the sketches and other specifications.


  • After Construction: The architect checks the unfinished work and other issues and discusses them with the client. He also asks the builder about the warranty period of the project.


An architect may work with several others, including engineers, tradespeople, accountants, and lawyers. Therefore, he needs to possess excellent communication skills. 


Besides, he may require negotiation skills to balance the client's desires with concerns such as complying with environmental standards, building codes, and the budget. This helps him to achieve an optimum outcome within the parameters of each project.



2. Major Duties and Tasks of an Architect


Practising architects may undertake a wide range of duties and tasks, which includes the following:


  • Prepare production drawings, sketches, and detailed drawings using CAD (Computer-Aided Design Software) or by hand. 

  • Meet with builders or clients to discuss their requirements and create a design brief. 

  • Discuss cost estimates and designs with clients and others involved in the project. 

  • Prepare contract documents and specifications for tradespeople, builders, and legal advisers. 

  • Travel to the building site and other different office locations for meetings regularly.

  • Inspect construction work in progress to ensure specifications, plans, and quality standards are met.

  • Provide information to the client regarding materials, designs, and the estimated building time. 

  • Incorporate mechanical, structural, and artistic features into the building's final design, such as air conditioning systems, atriums, decks, lifts, and other decorative finishes. 

  • Obtain advice from management and clients to determine the planned building's style, type, and size and what improvements need to be made in the existing building.

  • Get the requisite approvals from the authorities.

  • Adapt plans based on local government feedback and resolve any issues that could occur in the building process.

  • Once the project is completed and occupied, evaluate it. 



3. Where Do Architects Work?


Many architects work in firms or corporations with comprehensive building programs. Some may even start their practice after gaining experience for a few years.


Architects develop the potential to combine scienceart, and technology through architectural training and can find job opportunities beyond architecture.


These are interior designurban planning and design, teachingproperty development, industrial design, furniture design, construction management, research and journalism.



4. What Are The Requirements To Become an Architect in Australia?


Architecture is a forward-thinking field that leads to exciting and varied career opportunities. If you want to become an architect in Australia, you must meet requirements that will help you to get accreditation.


Let us check the requirements you need to fulfil to become an architect in Australia:



  • You must complete a three-year undergraduate degree in architecture (usually a Bachelor of Design in Architecture, Bachelor of Architecture, or a Bachelor of Architectural Studies) before pursuing an accredited Master of Architecture qualification. This makes it a total of five years of academic training. Before attaining an undergraduate degree, you must complete Year 12 prerequisites or equivalent and earn the required ATAR.


Note: Some universities may have flexible entry requirements, so you must contact the institution of your choice to gather more information. Additionally, you can obtain previous learning recognition if you have an approved overseas equivalent of the Australian Master of Architecture qualification.


  • You must have two years of experience working in the architecture industry.


  • You will also need to take the Architectural Practice Examination twice yearly. This exam aims to ensure that candidates applying to register as architects in Australia have a good understanding of the practice of Architecture. This three-part competency assessment consists of a written paper, completion of a logbook, and an interview with the current practising architects.


  • Each Australian state and territory has its own Architect Registration Board established to carry out disciplinary investigations, register architects, accredit programs of study, educate the public on architectural issues, and prosecute unregistered use of the term architect.


  • You must register with the Architects Registration Board of your respective state or territory. Just remember, you need to register individually, and you might also have to get the architecture firm registered as an entity in some states and territories of Australia. There are 8 Architect Registration Boards in Australia. Let us check them out:


  1. Board of Architects of Queensland

  2. NSW Architects Registration Board

  3. Architects Registration Board of Victoria

  4. Board of Architects of Tasmania

  5. Architects Board of Western Australia

  6. The Architectural Practice Board of South Australia

  7. Northern Territory Architects Board

  8. Australian Capital Territory Architects Board


Note: In Australia, only people who get accredited by following the above requirements may call themselves architects.



5. What Are The Best Architecture Schools In Australia?


Several universities in Australia offer architecture degrees at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Given below is a list of some of the top architecture universities in Australia and the programs offered by them:


State/Territory University Name Programs Offered
Australian Capital Territory
  • Faculty of Arts and Design
South Australia
  • School of Architecture and Built Environment

  • School of Art, Architecture and Design

New South Wales
  • School of Architecture and Built Environment

  • Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment

  • Faculty of the Built Environment

  • Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning

  • School of Architecture

  • Faculty of Design Architecture and Building

  • School of Architecture & Design

  • Faculty of Science Engineering & Technology

Northern Territory
  • School of Creative Arts and Humanities
  • School of Architecture and Built Environment

  • Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment

  • Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

  • School of Architecture and Design

  • Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning

  • Soheil Abedian School of Architecture Institute of Sustainable Development & Architecture

  • Griffith School of Environment (Architecture) Science, Environment & Engineering Technology Group

  • School of Design

  • School of Architecture

Western Australia
  • School of Built Environment Department of Architecture and Interior Architecture

  • Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts


Note: To get detailed information on architecture programs, contact the university you are interested in. You can also visit their website.



6. What Are The Skills Required to Become an Architect in Australia?


Architects use a practical understanding of materials and structures and their creativity to develop specifications, plans, concepts, and detailed drawings for structures and buildings. Not only that, but they also administer building contracts, negotiate with planning authorities, and inspect completed work.


All these roles require them to possess specific attributes and skills, which are as follows:


  • Excellent verbal communication skills

  • Customer service skills

  • Creative and design-oriented

  • Analytical thinking skills

  • Experienced with CAD software

  • Precise and technically capable

  • Mathematical skills

  • Ability to use your initiative

  • Be thorough and pay attention to details

  • Areas of Specialisation in Architecture


As an architect, you can specialise in multiple areas. The job of an architect entails both technical expertise and creative expression, which creates enough opportunity to specialise in the technical side of things like draughtsmanship or the creative side like interior designing. 


Let us check out a few architecture specialisations that you can explore:


  • Urban and Regional Planner: A regional planner is responsible for designing and considering urban growth and development plans. Therefore, they need to thoroughly understand a settlement's environmental and cultural backgrounds to plan further development of the area to withstand growth and economic change.


  • Interior Designer: The primary role of an interior designer is to discuss with clients what changes they need in their interior spaces. Additionally, this profession deals with the room's structural components and how to accomplish aesthetics and functionality by incorporating lighting design, furnishings, and colour schemes.


  • Landscape Architect: A landscape architect is primarily responsible for designing the layout of outdoor spaces like parks and gardens. They also consider the surrounding buildings, the slope and its aspect. They consider how to use the open green space and how it can shape the maintenance to create a space that functions well.



7. How Long Does It Take To Become an Architect in Australia?


Architectural studies in Australia may take around five to seven years to complete, depending on the length of the program and curriculum. 


In addition to the time-investing and comprehensive studies, architectural students must take practice exams and register as architects after gaining at least two years of experience in the field.



8. How Much Does an Architect Earn in Australia?


The architect's salary in Australia depends on many factors like the firm's size, place of work, registration status, experience, and specialisation.


However, according to PayScale, the average annual salary of an architect ranges between AU$52,000 to AU$101,000.


Architects with specialised skills and experience are in high demand at architectural firms, where they may receive a decent salary package and other benefits.


These benefits include building creative spaces, influencing the built environment, and getting both personal and professionally rewarding.



9. Final Words


Becoming a licensed architect in Australia takes a long time and is only for some.


However, the architecture industry is so vast that architects have many opportunities to succeed using their skills, strengths, and interests. As long as they are willing to work hard, to will achieve their dream.


Additionally, modern technology and the internet have influenced how this industry does business, further increasing the number of opportunities for people aspiring to become architects.


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