Discover your child’s strengths and passions

By 2023 science, research, engineering and technology jobs are expected to make up 7.8% of all jobs in the UK and occupy 2.5m roles – if your child enjoys their IT, science or maths lessons at school then encourage them to stick with it! Perhaps they already have an interest in the way buildings or structures are designed? Read on to find out how you can help them make the right choices whilst still at school.

Career type:
Creative

Education:
University

Avg. Salary:
£33k - £50k

What is Architecture?

Architects work in the construction industry designing new buildings as well as alterations or extensions to existing buildings. They may also work on conserving old buildings as well as designing the surrounding landscape.

Here’s just some of the roles architecture covers:

  • Architect
    Use their knowledge of building materials s to design buildings that are safe, aesthetic and fit the needs of the user – the designs may start on paper and evolve into cardboard or plastic models. They stay involved throughout the whole construction process ensuring the building meets the vision, these are very creative, big picture thinkers. 
  • Interior Designer
    Design the inside space of buildings making sure they are functional, safe and attractive . This includes everything from the lighting to the colour of carpets, meeting the brief of the client. 
  • Landscape Designer
    Design and create attractive and functional outdoor spaces. They could be charged with creating anything from garden displays to flower beds to playgrounds. 
  • Project Manager
    Responsible for seeing that all aspects of a project go according to plan and as per client’s instructions including areas such as budgets and contracts
  • Model Maker
    Responsible for visualising ideas by making models for different uses including architectural design, product design and visual effects design. They are also referred to as Visualisation/ Architectural Renderers. 
  • Surveyor
    Professionals who offer advice on many aspects of design and construction. They are also responsible for valuing the worth of properties and creating building survey reports. 

How much could you earn in an Architecture role?

The average salary for an architect is £33,600 per year. In a senior role as an Architect you could earn up to £50,000 per year depending on the company and location of the employer.  

How to become an Architect

Education

There are many ways to get into architecture from courses and degrees to apprenticeships and starting early can only be an advantage - you could also encourage your kids to enrol in art, design or maths courses to spark their creativity and interest in the field. 

During GCSEs or Standard Grades, you could opt to study:

  • Art & Design
  • Design Technology
  • Computer Studies
  • Graphic Design

For academic subjects such as A Levels or Highers, you could opt to study:

  • Computer Science
  • Art & Design
  • Further Maths
  • Graphic Design

Related subjects include:

  • Physics
  • English

If your child is unsure of what to study at school you could encourage them to take subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, English Lit, Geography, History, Languages (Modern & Classical), Maths, Further Maths and Physics. These are ‘facilitating’ subjects which are required for large number of university courses and will allow them to keep their options open until they’re more certain of the career path they wish to go down. 

Skills you need

If your child is passionate about architecture, here are just some of the skills that will be useful in the future and they can work on developing. 

  • Problem solving
  • Social and cultural awareness
  • Time management and organisation
  • Creativity
  • Research skills
  • Communication
  • Numeracy
  • Teamwork      

Work experience

Work experience is a good way for your child to apply knowledge and build skills for the industry they want to enter, which can be in the form of volunteering or shadowing, internships or Architecture-related work placements.

Alternatively, during university, depending on the course, it may include a year in industry (also known as a sandwich course) where they can build a network of contacts, develop employability skills and get a taster for a real work environment. Extracurricular activities that give them the opportunity to develop design, artistic and mathematical skills are also useful to include on job applications.

Diversity in STEM

Although many women are already in this type of career, there’s still more work to do to attract women into the science industry as whole. The UK is trailing behind Europe in terms of female representation -  currently making up just 16% of the workforce.

Many companies, including EDF Energy, are committed to helping address the lack of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). We run a number of STEM initiatives including the Pretty Curious programme which sets out to challenge what girls’ think they know about STEM. There are some amazing careers that use science and it’s our job to help inspire girls to look differently at STEM using strong female role models and creative digital and hands-on experiences.

The demand for those who are skilled in architecture is expected to continuously increase!  It is predicted that by 2023, 2 million jobs will be created worldwide that fall under computer and mathematical and architecture and engineering related fields. 

What can I do to help my child?

  • You could find a role model in a friend or colleague that can encourage them through their own experiences.
     
  • There are many free exhibitions and events that bring science to life outside of the classroom, for example take a look at our eight UK-wide visitor centres where you can explore science in a fun free and family-friendly way every school holiday or weekend.
     
  • Be supportive - we’re all unique in our passions and it doesn’t matter if they aren’t sure what they want to do yet.
     
  • Be patient, encouraging and provide the support they need to find their way whether that’s with tutoring, extracurricular activities or just celebrating their successes.
     
  • You could encourage your child to look at volunteering for organisations that marry with their interests. They get to explore a variety of working environments, develop employability skills and make new friends all of which will boost their confidence. You can find a list of volunteer opportunities here.
     
  • If your child is unsure of the subjects to take, you could encourage them to speak to a careers advisor or explore the below resources for guidance:

    My World of Work – choosing GCSE options
    Prospects career guide
    UCAS
    The Complete University Guide
    Which? guide to university
     
  • Your child is young and it’s okay for them to change their minds. Roma who was part of the team that design London’s iconic Shard building, did just that – watch her story in 360°.

Explore our other career profiles

  • Jobs in STEMLearn more about our other profiled in-demand careers
  • Early CareersWhether you’ve just finished your GCSEs or A Levels take a look at our range of apprenticeships and grad schemes