Who is a good architect

What does everyday work look like?

8:00 a.m.

Start of work: After you arrive at the office, the first thing you do is check your emails. Mr. Meier sent you the specifications for the construction of the office building yesterday evening. You have an appointment with him at 9 a.m.

09:00 a.m.

Mr. Meier is the client of the current project. You discuss how to proceed. This week the construction workers are already pouring the foundation. The plan is so far that you only make small changes, such as adjusting the planned construction time.

10:15 am

It is time for the first external appointment. Together with your colleague, Ms. Glember, you drive to a property to take a look at the local conditions. Mr. Ultek would like to build his house here. The site is very suitable, and there is also space for the desired garage.

12:00 o'clock

When you get back to the office, you have a bite to eat and watch the architects' news on your mobile phone.

12:30 pm

After the lunch break, you will exchange ideas with your employees. You will transfer the management of the construction project from Mr Ultek to Ms. Glember and give her the most important information about this construction project, such as the customer's wishes and the price budget.

14:00 clock

Mr. Lamper calls. He's been waiting for your colleague Mr. Trult for half an hour. However, he is not in the office today. Something must have gone wrong. You drive to your customers yourself and can appease them.

3:35 pm

The next appointment is already pending. So from one construction site it goes straight to the next. The construction project, a new shopping center, is as good as complete, so that the client can open it as planned at the end of the year.


Back in the office you talk to Ms. Opier on the phone. She would like to have her house remodeled and asks you to draw up the plans for it. You start making sketches immediately after the phone call. As soon as they are ready, you send them to your client by email.

6:15 pm

For tomorrow's appointment with a customer, you finish creating a 3D model of the planned office building.

7:00 p.m.

After you have answered a few more emails, you leave for the evening.


  • General or subject-specific higher education entrance qualification
  • Spatial imagination
  • Drawing skills
  • Perseverance
Distance learning as an alternative?

Do you have spatial thinking, a good dose of creativity and do you love to draw? Is it your dream to become an architect? In this case, the 6-semester Bachelor Architecture (B.A.) from the IU International University in distance learning suits you well. As an alternative to the usual face-to-face study, you can learn here comfortably and flexibly from home.

While you first deal with building construction, building materials and building physics, you then deal with the history of construction and acquire knowledge of building technology. You can find out how to plan landscape areas as well as individual settlements or entire city districts in the modules landscape planning and urban development.

Various design projects give you the opportunity to put your theoretically acquired knowledge into practice. In the sixth semester you then decide on two specializations, for example Smart Building and Building Information Modeling.

What does an architect do?

Not only as a freelance architect, but also as an employed architect, it is often important to convince new customers of you. In particular, companies usually officially advertise larger construction contracts. You apply for it together with your competition. To do this, you compile your career as an architect and formulate a letter of application. It is important that you adapt each application to the job and clearly highlight your references and experiences. For example, you list the completion of a large office building in your portfolio, provided that the new order involves the construction of a new commercial building.
As an architect, you not only design residential buildings, but also plan the construction of office buildings or the conversion of a private property. You often start the first phase of the project in the traditional way with pen and paper. You prepare sketches, discuss them with your customer and finally transfer them to the visualization program on the computer. In the drafts, you make sure that you meet the needs of the customer and also act economically and environmentally friendly. If your client agrees with the concept, after the planning phase you move on to the implementation planning.
To implement the construction project, you will work out an execution plan, so to speak a construction manual. This concept contains all the information that the site manager needs to implement the project. This includes the special dimensions but also the material- and processing instructions. You will also prepare a 1:50 scale floor plan. Based on the floor plan, the client can determine every detail in the room so that this plan forms the basis for further action. You can also pass on the finished concept to the construction company involved in the construction process, for example.
The construction supervision is one of the main tasks of the architect. After the planning work it is now a matter of making sure that everything goes as you intended in your drafts. In addition, you control the costs. You check whether the invoices match the order sums that you agreed upon beforehand. At the end of the construction phase, you will examine the result and register and, if necessary, note any defects.
Contrary to the common belief that as an architect you work consistently with pen and paper, you often transfer the sketches and drafts into so-called CAD programs. The abbreviation stands for Computer-Aided Design and means computer-aided design. You use them, for example, to create a true-to-scale 2D or 3D representation of the planned building object. You can then send this to your customer and the other parties involved so that everyone is on the same level of knowledge of the concept.

What are the job prospects?

Your career opportunities as an architect are currently looking good. However, they depend heavily on the development of the construction industry. Currently, the low interest rates and the high demand for housing are leading to an increasing order book. In 2016, the Federal Employment Agency found the lowest unemployment rate for architects in 10 years.

What qualities should I have?

  • Scientific understanding

What specializations are there?

Building planning and design is the responsibility of the architects. Her profession includes both engineering and the arts. Architects often work with interior designers, landscape and garden designers, and city planners. During your studies, you have the opportunity to develop yourself further in these areas through elective courses. You can also take each of these subject areas as an independent course of study.
As the name suggests, the focus is on furnishing interiors. As an interior designer, for example, you design a new building or plan a renovation. When choosing furniture, colors and accessories, you pay attention to the needs and wishes of the people who will use the space later.
In landscape and garden architecture, you deal with the design of undeveloped spaces, so-called open spaces. Your goal is to create atmosphere. Because a place should be recognizable. For example, you create meeting points and places to stay for the residents of a city. Sometimes these constructions develop into real landmarks. Private individuals often turn to a landscape architect when they want to remodel their garden.
Creating design concepts for a city not only requires creative ability, but also legal knowledge. That is why the specialization in urban planning also includes a large part of building law. Urban planners try to minimize conflicts by mediating between the ideas of the population and the economic and ecological aspects.


  • Non-binding salary tariff recommendation by the Federal Chamber of Architects (BAK) for independent architects, consulting engineers and engineering and planning offices
  • Combination of creative and engineering work
  • Study places are not always allocated according to numerus clausus (NC), but sometimes also depends on successful participation in aptitude tests

Did you already know, that ...

  • ... there are a total of 130,000 architects and urban planners in Germany, 110,000 of whom are building construction architects, 7,500 landscape architects, 6,000 interior designers and 6,500 urban planners?
  • ... you could win a medal for architecture at the Olympic Games between 1912 and 1948?
  • ... the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world at 828 meters?

These celebrities are architects too

Reinhold Messner - mountaineer

The extreme athlete from Italy began studying civil engineering in Padua in 1966. Instead of finishing it, from 1970 to 1986 he was the first person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders on earth without additional oxygen. Today he enjoys spending time with his family and only occasionally climbs with his son. (Image: Ordercrazy)

Olaf Schubert - fictional character

Michael Haubold, better known to many as Olaf Schubert, not only studied architecture, but also music, among other things. He did not graduate from any of his courses. The comedian justifies his university trips as follows: “Doing nothing was outlawed. The study was thus a pretense of active activity. " (Image: Udo Grimberg)

Starting salary as an architect

Your starting salary as an employed architect depends on several factors, such as the size of the company. In a small architecture office you usually get less than in a larger one. At the beginning of your career you can expect an average gross income of € 2,800 ¹ per month.

In the first two years of your career as an architect, your gross salary will be around € 3,000 ¹ per month. In the architects' office you are responsible for project coordination and make sure that everything runs smoothly.

  • architect2.800 €¹
  • interior architect3.130 €¹

Salary based on work experience

After 6 to 10 years of professional experience, your monthly income increases to around € 3,500 ¹ gross. Many open their own real estate office or go into self-employment with a partner. As a freelancer, your income depends heavily on the order situation, the size of your team and your free capacities. In general, it can be said that employees in architecture and planning offices earn less than in the public sector. You get most of it in business.

Salary based on work experience

After 6 to 10 years of professional experience, your monthly income increases to around € 3,500 ¹ gross. Many open their own real estate office or go into self-employment with a partner. As a freelancer, your income depends heavily on the order situation, the size of your team and your free capacities. In general, it can be said that employees in architecture and planning offices earn less than in the public sector. You get most of it in business.

Salary by state

The salaries differ greatly in the various federal states. In Hesse, the average payment as an architect is € 3,700 ¹ gross per month and is therefore the highest there in a comparison of the federal states. In contrast, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania comes in last with € 2,450 ¹ gross. In general, you earn less in the new federal states. In return, the cost of living is usually correspondingly lower.

With these 334 courses you can become an architect

With these 334 courses you can become an architect