Being a licensed architect can be very profitable and rewarding, but it is also highly competitive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for architects in 2019 was just over $80,000 per year, and the highest-paid 10% earned more than $129,500 annually. However, this does not tell the whole story – salaries vary widely depending on geographic location, experience level, specialization, and other factors such as industry-specific knowledge and design skills.
The competition for jobs in architecture is often stiff. Although architecture schools generally produce more graduates than available positions, those who have graduated from the best institutions and built up an impressive portfolio typically command higher salaries than those with lesser qualifications. Furthermore, job seekers must often travel to find work due to limited opportunities in certain areas.
It can be tricky for architects, but it doesn’t mean they can’t find ways to improve their careers. One of the best tactics to consider is networking. Networking with other architects, contractors, and related industry professionals can help an architect gain invaluable insights into the profession and increase their job prospects. It also allows them to make connections that may lead to referrals or better job opportunities. Here are a few ways to improve networking for an aspiring architect.
Attend Trade Shows and Other Events
Attending trade shows and other events dedicated to architecture can be an invaluable way for architects to network and build professional relationships. These events offer a unique opportunity to meet with industry peers, contractors, and other professionals in the field. Attending these events allows architects to get an inside look at what’s happening in the architectural community, stay up-to-date on trends, learn best practices from experienced professionals, share ideas with like-minded people, and discover new opportunities.
At these events, architects have access to a wide range of resources to help them develop their careers. They can connect with potential employers or clients, explore job postings, and attend panel discussions about the latest advances in design techniques. They can also take workshops on CAD programs or software tools, participate in business development seminars, connect with manufacturers who may provide discounts on building materials, and much more.
Networking at events is also key to increasing visibility and credibility as an architect. By attending trade shows, conferences, or other architecture events, architects can showcase their work and demonstrate their expertise in the industry. This helps them establish themselves as reliable professionals within the field by providing evidence of their skillset through projects they’ve completed or designs they’ve created. As more people become aware of an architect’s abilities, it increases the chances for potential referrals or job prospects down the line.
Create Your Brand
Attracting potential employers or clients often requires more than just a great portfolio and resume. Architects need to demonstrate their achievements, skills, and experiences to stand out from the crowd, and one of the best ways to do this is by creating a unique brand for themselves.
Creating an online presence is essential for architects looking to establish themselves as professionals. Platforms like LinkedIn offer architects the chance to create profiles that outline their experience, qualifications, skill set, and past projects. This can help them develop a strong network of contacts who may be able to open doors for future job opportunities or referrals. An active blog or website with regular updates on design trends and other relevant topics can help architects establish their professional identity.
Social media is another powerful tool for architects to increase their visibility and network with other industry professionals. Architects can share their work portfolio and connect with contractors, suppliers, potential employers, or clients through platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Lead generation, however, is an underrated tool that should not be overlooked. Utilizing SEO techniques can help architects become more visible online and make them easier to find for potential clients or employers. You can also partner with essential services related to creating properties. You can get interior designers’ email addresses and send them your services, or you can join referral programs to get more work.
Referral programs can be critical in helping architects find new clients or job opportunities. Establishing a referral program where existing clients can refer friends and associates to your services is an excellent way for architects to get their name out there and increase their visibility within the industry. This helps build trust with potential employers and clients, which makes it easier for them to hire you when they have a project available.
At the same time, it’s also essential for architects to stay active in professional organizations such as AIA (American Institute of Architects) or BSA (Boston Society of Architects). Participating in these organizations gives architects access to training sessions, seminars, workshops, conferences, and other resources that can help them hone their skills and develop professionally.
Networking is an invaluable tool for architects looking to build their careers. By attending trade shows and other events, creating a unique brand, using social media to connect with industry professionals, or participating in referral programs, architects can increase their visibility within the industry and gain access to more job opportunities. With the right strategies and resources in place, networking can be an excellent way for aspiring architects to get ahead in their careers.