Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Architects in Chicago, Illinois

If you want to be an architect, the Chicago, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 5,640 people work as architects in Illinois. This is expected to grow 15% to about 6,500 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for architects, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.2% over the next eight years. In general, architects plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, and other structural property.

Income for architects is about $32 per hour or $68,560 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $33 per hour or $70,320 annually. Incomes for architects are better than in the overall category of Architecture in Illinois, and better than the overall Architecture category nationally. People working as architects can fill a number of jobs, such as: building consultant, supervising architect, and architectural project manager.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including three within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as an architect. Architects usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years studying to be an architect if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Architect

Architect video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, architects plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, and other structural property.

Architects integrate engineering elements into a unified layout. They also direct efforts of staff working on preparing drawings and specification documents. Equally important, architects have to ready data regarding layout or construction time. They are often called upon to confer with clients to establish the functional and spatial requirements of structures. They are expected to conduct periodic on-site observation of work during construction to track adherence to plans. Finally, architects administer construction contracts.

Every day, architects are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for architects to ready operating and maintenance manuals, studies, and reports. Somewhat less frequently, architects are also expected to conduct periodic on-site observation of work during construction to track adherence to plans.

Architects sometimes are asked to represent clients in obtaining bids and awarding construction contracts. and formulate layout of projects. And finally, they sometimes have to ready operating and maintenance manuals, studies, and reports.

Like many other jobs, architects must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
  • Landscape Architect. Plan and design land areas for such projects as parks and other recreational facilities, airports, and commercial, industrial, and residential sites.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Architect Training

University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Illinois at Chicago, 601 S Morgan, Chicago, IL 60607. University of Illinois at Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,709 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Illinois at Chicago has 2 areas of study related to Architect. They are:

  • Architecture, master's degree which graduated 47 students in 2008.
  • Architecture and Related Services, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 90 students in 2008.

Columbia College Chicago - Chicago, IL

Columbia College Chicago, 600 South Michigan, Chicago, IL 60605-1996. Columbia College Chicago is a large college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 12,464 students. Columbia College Chicago has a master's degree program in Architecture.

Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago, IL

Illinois Institute of Technology, 3300 S Federal St, Chicago, IL 60616. Illinois Institute of Technology is a medium sized school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,404 students and an admission rate of 57%. Illinois Institute of Technology has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Architecture which graduated seventy, fifty-four, and two students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional: AEE's Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional (CLEP) program is designed to provide recognition for professionals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field of lighting efficiency.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Certified Lighting Management Consultant: The lighting industry prides itself on distinguishing those persons who have accomplished this professional and personal achievement.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.

LICENSES

ARCHITECT

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Address: 320 West Washington, Springfield, IL 62786

Phone: (217) 782-8556
Website: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.