what is an architectural technician?

During the designing stage of a building, the architects need to create a functional blueprint. While the architects have the structural knowledge to form the design, they may require technical expertise to create a practical drawing for contractors to use during construction. 

An architectural technician fills the gaps by providing technical expertise to architects and knowledge on designs to engineers. They combine the available designs from architects and calculations from engineers to create a blueprint.

what does an architectural technician do?

As an architectural technician, your job is to incorporate technical data into building drawings and create a functional model. You will use figures like material lengths, weights and quantities from surveyors to design a visual blueprint. Sometimes, you have to make a hand-drawn sketch of the design and features. However, most construction companies also require you to use computer-aided design software to digitise the designs and develop a workable guideline.

As an architectural technician, you can also assist in finding suitable materials for the project. For instance, if you are creating a sustainable architectural design, you need to help the contractors to find the ideal materials. You also recommend the best practices and construction techniques that meet the established sustainable building standards.

Would working as an architectural technician suit your creativity and attentiveness to details? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an architectural technician role.

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average salary of an architectural technician

According to National Careers, the salary of an architectural technician at an entry-level position is £18,000 per year. Your compensation package rises to £40,000 a year as you gain experience and improve your skills. Aside from the basic wages, architectural technicians receive various benefits, including medical insurance and multiple allowances that aid their jobs. Some employers also provide bonuses and paid vacation time to architectural technicians.

how to increase your salary as an architectural technician

Your take-home salary often depends on multiple factors, including the company size and experience levels. Working for a large construction company increases your salary prospects. Big companies offer higher salaries since they have unlimited resources. Besides, the complexity of the projects and the required expertise raise your compensation package. Small companies often have a limited budget and pay less, but the scope of work allows you to gain experience in all aspects of the job.

The location also affects your pay scale since small towns have lower living costs and attract fewer projects than urban centres. If you want to boost your wages, consider working in big cities like London. You also need to build your experience and enhance your skills to improve your competitiveness and salary prospects. Work experience shows the value you bring, and most companies pay more for expert knowledge in the field.

Close up - Smiling male looking away.
Close up - Smiling male looking away.

types of architectural technicians

As an architectural technician, you can specialise in the following roles:

  • residential architectural technician: as a residential architectural technician, you work alongside other professionals to create custom building designs for homes. Your job is to draw plans with accurate measurements and estimate the material costs. During remodelling, you fine-tune the existing plans to guide the construction crew in making suitable adjustments.
  • commercial/industrial architectural technician: when you work on industrial or commercial buildings, you need to develop functional design plans. The layout of a property should promote its purpose. It is your responsibility to ensure a building has the desired flow and is eye-catching to promote traffic for retail spaces.
  • sustainable architectural technician: with sustainability becoming a significant concern, green design architectural technicians are in demand. As a sustainable architect, your job is to draw environmentally friendly buildings. You also assist contractors in choosing sustainable materials and incorporating renewable energy sources like installing solar panels on the roofing.

working as an architectural technician

Becoming an architectural technician allows you to be a part of large structures and construction projects. Some of the daily activities and duties to expect include:


education and skills

Explore the following routes for becoming an architectural technician:

  • university: to become an architectural technician, you need a Higher National Diploma (HND) or a foundation degree. A course in architectural technology or related field is a great start, provided the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologist (CIAT) approves the course. For the degree, you need 1 or 2 A Levels.
  • college: completing a college course such as a Level 3 Diploma in Built Environment Design, Surveying and planning or Design can also make you an architectural technician. Level 3 Certificate in 3D Design is also an option, and you need 4 to 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4.
  • apprenticeship: instead of a degree or diploma course, you can join an apprenticeship with an architectural or construction company. You need 5 GCSEs to join an advanced apprenticeship in built environment and design. During the training, you work 30 hours a week.
  • work experience: you need to gain work experience to increase your employability. Attending internships and vocational training programmes adds some experience to your resume and increases your chances of getting a job.

skills and competencies

The skills below will help you succeed as an architectural technician:

  • knowledge of the design process: as an architectural technician, you need expert knowledge in design to create sketches and models. Drawing skills are crucial for crafting hand-drawn sketches and polishing up the designs using computer software.
  • aptitude for maths: while you won't spend days doing calculus and advanced mathematics, you need to understand their application in construction. For instance, it is vital to know how much weight a material can hold when selecting materials. Knowledge of maths and physics helps you make such calculations.
  • computer literacy: an architectural technician needs computer skills to design blueprints and create project guides.
  • knowledge in industry laws and codes: as an architectural technician, you need to advise clients on building regulations. Knowledge of industry laws and building codes ensures you acquire the necessary permissions for projects.
focused female looking down
focused female looking down


FAQs about working as an architectural technician

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