Did you know that the demand for architects is projected to grow by 8%, by the year 2028? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is a faster than average growth in similar industries, adding additional 11,200 jobs in the next eight years.
This statistic is not surprising since the world, and thus this field is constantly changing. The change brings about the opportunities to innovate and improve upon old ideas. Also, trends and tastes change, giving the new architects the chance to showcase their creativity.
While this career can be extremely rewarding, doling out professional advice also exposes you to a great deal of liability. We don’t mean just a customer unhappy with the design. We are talking about a mistake or negligence on your part that causes financial harm to your client. And what do unhappy clients who lost money because of you, do? They file a lawsuit!
Professional liability insurance for architects is a crucial insurance policy for both new and veteran professionals in this industry. This policy was designed to provide architects just like you peace of mind that if you were to get sued, your insurance would protect you. We all know how expensive lawsuits are. High attorney fees, cost to investigate the case, hours of depositions, settlements against you – all of it turns your life upside down and drains your bank account. Professional Liability insurance covers those costs (and more) in case of such a lawsuit.
So now, that we have the Professional Liability policy explained let’s talk about the different career paths that are available to you within the industry.
Restoration: A restoration architect takes his inspiration from the past. You can expect to restore buildings to their former glory as well as convert residential structures to commercial (and vice versa) while maintaining their historical architectural style. A restoration architect needs to be knowledgeable about all the different architectural styles during the corresponding time periods as well as being particularly conscious of the history and dominant architectural style of the community that he serves.
Commercial / Residential: There are many ways to make your mark, designing commercial and residential buildings. Whether you design a well thought out shopping mall or a custom residential home, this line of work is sure to be diverse and present new challenges every day. Both specializations require strong design, construction, and engineering skills. While many residential neighborhoods resemble each other, there is still room to move away from the cookie cutter home trend and create beautiful custom homes. Commercial specialization allows less room for creativity. Instead it focuses more on creating practical spaces that enable both the employees and the visitors to the space get where they need quickly and efficiently (such as shopping mall).
Interior Design: This is one of the most popular choices for those graduating with an architecture degree, because this field can be relatively easy to start in. Many established interior design firms are happy to take on an apprentice. Then it’s up to you, to show your creativity and find your loyal clientele who will respond to your design aesthetic. As with any creative profession – the sky is the limit. While it is important to be familiar with current and period trends, you can let your creativity flow, playing with textures and colors and bringing a new, unexpected twist to an expected design.
Landscape: As the name suggests, a landscape architect is responsible for planning and designing outdoor landscaping for gardens, parks, school campuses, etc. You need to be familiar with different plants, how the particular climate affects them, and make sound recommendations as to which plants will achieve the look, and the purpose the client wants.
Urban Planning:If for all other specializations, the customer is an individual or a business, for an urban planner, the client is the community that he serves. This is a broad specialization that includes elements of all of the above areas of expertise. They all come together to plan or improve the flow and design of neighborhoods and cities. An urban planner will create whole communities, planning their commercial zones, the parks and children’s playgrounds, the residential streets. He will plan for transportation as well as roads that connect all parts of the neighborhood.
As you can see, there are many paths available to you as a brand new architect. Once you graduate, choose a path that resonates the most with you. However, as you learn more about the business, don’t be surprised if you discover that another branch of the industry interests you more.
Of course, whichever path you choose, do not forget about protecting yourself. Whether you decide to work for someone or open your own firm from the get-go, Professional Liability policy is vital in protecting your pocketbook in this new adventure. Adding an extra expense may seem daunting, but the costs you will face in case of a lawsuit are enormous.