What Is the Difference Between an Architect and an Architectural Technologist?

Date: 29 Jan 2024

Construction jobs in Ireland have been in high demand due to the growing population and a lagging supply of housing stock. Many projects were also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Architects are one part of the equation that can also help create new homes for Ireland residents. However, you may wonder what the difference is between an architect vs architectural technologist. After all, they sound similar but they serve different roles in the creation of new infrastructure.

What is the difference between an architect and an architectural technologist, then?


Architect vs Architectural Technologist

The architecture industry requires a wide array of skills and backgrounds to create new buildings. Even someone as unrelated as an IT professional might be needed to keep software up to date and work computers in good condition.

Likewise, two options when entertaining the field are architects and architectural technologists. Both of these roles create blueprints for clients, but they each have different processes.


Focus of Work

Architects focus on the aesthetics and structure of buildings. When they make a new design, they consider how it looks when compared to other structures in the area. They see whether or not the design will clash or stand out in a significant way.

On top of that, architects must know local building codes and regulations.

As for architectural technologists, they focus on the more practical aspects. This includes considering client instructions and utilizing CAD software to create blueprints. They care less about the appearance and more about the technical aspects.


Duties on the Job

How both of these roles go about their jobs also differs, largely due to the tasks they're responsible for.

For example, an architect often visits a building site to assess their design and how it may impact the area. They'll also collaborate with construction engineers throughout the process.

An architectural technologist will work with architects to focus on a specific part of the construction project. They also study local building regulations to make sure that they don't violate any construction codes.

Both positions will meet with construction managers and engineers to clarify blueprints and discuss the overall progress.


Average Salaries

One thing to consider is how much you will get paid based on the position. In general, architects pursue more schooling than architectural technologists. They also oversee more of a project than the latter.

Architects generally make more money depending on their area, the firm they work for, and the project. An architect could make around €38,559 per year. They can also make upwards of €76k.

In comparison, an architectural technologist might make an average base salary of €33,895 per year. At most, they may expect to earn upwards of €50k a year.


Education and Credentials

Future architectural technologists will need a three to four-year Bachelor's degree in Architectural Technology before they can pursue work experience. They can also become members of professional bodies to gain certification in their roles.

In comparison, an architect will need at least a five-year program accredited by the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI). They will also need to train for roughly two years under a registered architect before they can register as one.


Skill Set

As both an architect and an architectural technologist work in the same field, they also have similar skill sets. For example, both of them need strong communication skills and the ability to work with others. They need to be able to apply these skills in various settings, such as with both building contractors and local authorities.

However, an architect is expected to possess strong design skills and oversee a project from a holistic viewpoint. Meanwhile, an architectural technologist needs more detail-oriented skills and proficiency in Building Information Modeling (BIM) software.


Career Progression

Architects start their careers as interns for licensed architects. After a couple of years of experience, they can get certified to do freelance work or join a firm. As they progress in their careers, they may get to work on more significant buildings such as libraries or skyscrapers.

In comparison, an architectural technologist starts much the same by working with licensed architects. However, their jobs require more management over various aspects of their projects.


Work Environment

Both architects and architectural technologists work primarily in office environments and use computer software. The main difference is that architects will often travel to building sites to conduct inspections and attend professional conferences. A technologist may meet with clients but rarely will they need to attend an actual construction site.


Is an Architectural Technologist an Architect?

Both an architect and an architectural technologist count as distinct professions within the architecture industry. Although they play similar roles, they have very different requirements and skills.

However, a technologist with a degree in architecture may be able to pursue further training to become an architect. They'll also need to participate in the required training period and pass the architectural licensing exam.

While an architectural technologist can cover services such as technical drawing and construction documentation, they cannot sign off on design plans for building permits.


Where to Find Jobs

There are two places you'll want to visit if you want to find a job in your field.

First, there are specialized global recruitment agencies that can find open positions on your behalf. They help to connect qualified employees with employers who need them.

Second, you can find information on open positions from architect groups. For example, the RIAI has a job search page that lists job titles, employers, locations, and application due dates.

Make sure your cover letter lists information such as your education and qualifications, as well as your hobbies outside of work. The latter can help humanize you and help you stand out.


Find the Position You Desire

If you're looking into a new career, the decision of architect vs architectural technologist comes down to how much time you're willing to commit. You can also expect an architect to make more money and work on a much larger scope than a technologist.

Professionals who fit either of these rules can get help looking for a position with SSA Group. Our global recruitment agency has offices in the UK, Ireland, North America, Australia, and the Middle East. Browse jobs on our site and contact us with any questions.

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