The dated argument between architects and architectural designers. Most likely, you’ve heard people talk about “architectural designers,” but who are they exactly? Do they carry out similar tasks to architects? Do they share the same credentials? Do they both work there?

We shall discuss the similarities and contrasts between the two positions in this post, as well as their respective tasks and responsibilities, wages, and perceptions within the architectural community.

Who are Architects?

Architects are licensed experts who create private, public, or commercial structures. Clients and other experts, like engineers and lighting designers, produce sketches, plans, and technical drawings. Advanced CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software abilities are necessary for this work, while occasionally, hand-drawn sketches may still be needed.

Having a strong sense of aesthetics and a detailed understanding of how structures are constructed are requirements for architects. As they collaborate with numerous other stakeholders and work in teams throughout the design process, they also require great interpersonal skills.

What Does a Designer of Buildings Do?

While they perform similar tasks to architects, architectural designers lack a complete license. Generally speaking, it refers to someone who has not completed the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) in the US and the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) in the UK;

Architectural designers may already have completed their education and plan to apply for licensure soon, or they may not be interested in doing so.

But Why Might Someone Decide Against Getting a License?

One compelling argument is that architects are legally responsible for their work, a weighty obligation that not everyone wants to bear. The same liability does not apply to architects. Another explanation is that some people enter the architectural sector after receiving their original education in a related field (such as product design or interior design) and don’t want to return to school.

You’ll come across architects with a lot of experience and others with hardly any. An architectural designer will work just fine for some construction projects if the assertion that they are architects is avoided because that is a protected term.

What Are the Distinctions Between Architectural Design and Architecture?

The above-mentioned legal responsibility is the main distinction. A licensed architect must approve the plans that an architectural designer has developed.

Additionally, it is illegal for anybody other than a professional architect to design commercial structures or those with more than three stories in several American states. But because they haven’t completed the last step of certification, architectural designers are also probably paid less on average (see the part below titled “Salaries in Architecture and Architectural Design”).

Not all architects will, however, make more money than all architectural designers. As with any career, earnings rise with skill and experience.

How Can I Learn Architecture?

For instance, in the UK, you must complete a seven-year certification that entails five years of study and two years of internship. It always proceeds as follows: three years for the bachelor’s degree, one year of practice, two years for the master’s degree, and one more year of practice. You have a little more latitude in the US. 

A five-year B.Arch, a combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in architecture that must be completed by additional years as an intern before license, is typically chosen by students who are definite about their future employment.

Students who major in a field other than architecture at the Bachelor’s level can enroll in a Master’s-level conversion course (which is not offered in the UK), although it is more time-consuming and requires additional training in the workplace.

No matter where you receive your architectural qualification, it will undoubtedly be time- and money-consuming. For more details about eligibility, see How to Become an Architect in our article library.

How Can I Train to be an Architect?

Since architectural designers typically start out as entry-level employees within firms, there are no set requirements for becoming one.

Architectural designers are frequently individuals who successfully finished their academic work while majoring in architecture but choose not to pursue license for a variety of reasons. They might also be candidates who are still awaiting approval, such as American students who failed to pass a certain section of the ARE the first time around.

To work in architectural design, however, one need not have studied architecture. You can enter an architectural office and develop new knowledge and abilities on the job if you have credentials in adjacent subjects like product design. If this is the path you intend to take, you must highlight transferable abilities like CAD while applying.

Architects and Architectural Design Salaries

Architects typically make £45,000 and $70,000 annually on average in the UK and the US, respectively (the latter is worth a little more). However, wages greatly vary depending on a number of variables, such as seniority, job title, and region.

If you are interested in more articles like this, here’s one about how does an architecture firm works.