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Architects Job Outlook

Employment of architects is projected to grow 24 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.

Current demographic trends will result in a greater need for architects. As campus buildings age, many school districts and universities will build new facilities or renovate existing ones. The population of sunbelt states continues to grow, and residents there will need new places to live and work. As the population continues to live longer and baby boomers retire, there will be a need for more healthcare facilities, nursing homes, and retirement communities.

There should be demand for architects with knowledge of green design, also called sustainable design. Sustainable design emphasizes the efficient use of resources, such as energy and water conservation; waste and pollution reduction; and environmentally friendly design, specifications, and materials. Rising energy costs and increased concern about the environment have led to many new buildings being built green.

During the construction boom, some architecture firms outsourced the drafting of construction documents and basic design for large-scale commercial and residential projects to architecture firms overseas. Recently, however, this trend of outsourcing overseas has slowed considerably.

Job Prospects

With a growing number of students graduating with architectural degrees, applicants will experience competition for jobs. Competition for jobs will be especially strong at the most prestigious architectural firms. Although those who have completed internships will have an advantage, the best job opportunities will be for candidates who can distinguish themselves with their creativity.

Employment of architects is strongly tied to the activity of the construction industry. Therefore, these workers, especially the self-employed, may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition