How To Become an Architect In Australia: A Complete Guide

A student wants to know how he can become an architect in Australia and what subjects are needed for that.


If you are into creating beautiful designs and are looking for a career that will utilise your abilities to make a positive impact in society, architecture is a path worth pursuing.


With the endless demand for architecture in different sectors, including educational and health care facilities, residential dwellings, shopping centres, restaurants, and places of employment and business – there is an increasing need for skilled licensed architects in Australia.


In this post, we will discuss everything you need to know about how to become an architect in Australia, including education and licensing requirements, as well as duties involved in this exciting job market. So keep reading.



1. What Does an Architect Do?


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


  • Starting the Project: In this phase, the architect has a conversation with the client about their budget and project expectations. Keeping this in mind, he or she creates 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 structural details of the building. Later, the drawings are submitted for the approval of the building.


  • Construction Phase: The architect works closely with the project team members and the builders to make sure that the project is carried out in compliance with the sketches and other specifications.


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


Additionally, an architect may work with several other people on a project, 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 other people involved in the project. 

  • Prepare contract documents and other 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 make sure specifications, plans, and quality standards are being met.

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

  • Incorporate mechanical, structural, 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 style, type, and size of the planned building 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 architectural firms or with corporations that have broad building programs. Some may even start their own practice after gaining experience for a couple of years.

Through architectural training, architects develop the potential to combine science, art, and technology — this implies that architects may find job opportunities in fields beyond architecture, such as interior design, urban planning and design, teaching, property 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 are interested in becoming an architect in Australia, you need to meet certain requirements that will help you to get accreditation. Let us check the requirements you need to fulfil to become an architect in Australia:



  • You need to 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 moving on to pursue an accredited Master of Architecture qualification, making it a total of five years academic training. Prior to attaining an undergraduate degree, you first need to 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 a minimum of two years of experience working in the architecture industry.


  • You will also need to take the Architectural Practice Examination, which is conducted twice each year. This exam aims to ensure that candidates applying to be registered as architects in any territory or state of Australia have sufficient understanding and knowledge of the practice of Architecture and have the capability to implement professional skills.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, which is 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?


There are several universities in Australia that offer architecture degrees at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. 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 drawing for structures and buildings. Not only that, but they also administer building contracts, negotiate with planning authorities, and inspect the work that has been completed.


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 plans related to urban growth and development. Therefore, they need to thoroughly understand the environmental and cultural backgrounds of a settlement to plan further development of the area so that it can 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 includes dealing with the room’s structural components and considering how overall aesthetics and functionality can be accomplished 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. He or she also considers the surrounding buildings, the slope and its aspect, and takes into account how the open green space can be used, and how they can be shaped and maintained to create a space that functions well.



7. How Long Does it Take to be an Architect in Australia?


Architectural studies in Australia may take somewhere 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 need to take practice exams and get registered as an architect after gaining at least two years of experience in the field.



8. How Much Does an Architect Earn in Australia?


The architect salary in Australia depends on many factors like the size of the firm, 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.


It is crucial to remember that architects with specialised skills and experience continue to be in high demand at architectural firms, where they may receive a decent salary package and receive other benefits, such as the ability to build creative spaces, influence the built environment, and get both personally and professionally rewarded.



9. Final Words


Becoming a licensed architect in Australia takes a long time and is certainly not for everyone. However, the architecture industry is so vast that there is ample opportunity for architects to succeed using whatever skills, strength, and interests they might have, as long as they are willing to work hard.


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



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