How to Become an Architectural Designer

An architectural designer is an artist who works with the client to design both the exterior and interior of buildings. Architectural designers design commercial and industrial buildings, as well as buildings intended for private use. Among the things an architectural designer does are:

  • Consult with the client to discuss and finalize the plan.
  • Assist the client in finding the best contractor.
  • Direct the preparation of blueprints, drawings and specifications.
  • Determine and document design, materials, colors, equipment and cost estimates.
  • Monitor the construction work to ensure compliance with the original plan [source: NYCareerzone].

Here's how to become an architectural designer:


  1. Earn a bachelor's of arts degree.
  2. Apply to architectural schools accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
  3. Earn a master's degree in architecture.
  4. Learn and become proficient in Computer Aided Design (CAD).
  5. Find out if you require any additional training in the field.
  6. Apply for an internship after graduating. Every state requires an internship of at least three years.
  7. Get licensed. This will entail taking the necessary licensing exams after completing your internship.
  8. Apply for a job with a firm or private practice.
  9. Make and keep a portfolio of your designs.
  10. Consider opening your own firm when you have enough experience.
  11. Take continuing education courses. This is required in order to remain a licensed architectural designer [source: cvtips].