WHAT does a day in the life of a professional senior architectural technologist entail?
Each day is challenging and different, which is what makes architecture such a wonderful profession to be in. though we design everything from bed and breakfasts to offices, I must confess that houses are my biggest passion.
A project starts by incorporating each client's needs and personalities into a client brief.
Using the client's brief and the visual surroundings with all available information, you create spaces where key elements, like light and feature points, create a living space with a soul of its own.
All these spaces together will in a couple of months become your client's living space, where they can relax while enjoying the natural landscape and climate that our beautiful country has to offer.
Why did you decide on this career?
My interest in design and architecture came early in my life. Growing up in a family of contractors I was blessed to be exposed to building and designing from an early age.
For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by buildings and I knew that I would be designing them one day.
How did you get into this career?
With lots of hard work, great passion and respect for the profession and always striving to be better.
What's challenging about the job?
Being part of a small practice in today's economic climate is challenging.
Staying positive and doing work as quickly as possible, making deadlines but at the same time giving each client that personal service and designing as economically as possible to make the client's budgets.
What do you enjoy the most about it?
It is wonderful to be able to have a career and to do what you love every single day.
The best part of my job is seeing the end product and knowing that all the time and effort you have put into this design was worth it.
Your work will be exposed for all to see for years to come - that is extremely fulfilling.
What type of person will make it in the industry?
This profession needs people who are creative and can think out of the box - people who can start trends rather than follow them. You need good interpersonal skills, with an eye for detail and precision.
What subjects do you need to pass in high school to be able to study for this career?
Mathematics is required with a minimum of an E symbol on higher grade or a minimum of a C symbol on standard grade.
University entrance requirements are: a completed high school Senior Certificate or equivalent with a minimum of six subjects.
At least three of these subjects must be on higher grade and lower grade subjects will not be considered.
Selection is based on an entrance assessment consisting of: a written component; a practical assessment of two and three-dimensional skills; a mathematical test; a comprehension component; and an interview
What does one study at tertiary level to be able to get into this career?
National Diploma in Architectural Technology. This three-year, full-time programme aims to produce candidates for registration as architectural technologists, a mid-level registration category defined by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession.
What growth prospects are there for this career?
After doing a National Diploma in Architecture you will qualify with enough practical experience to fill your place in an architectural firm and work towards getting enough experience and knowledge to qualify as a professional senior architectural technologist.
You can either continue working for a big practice or alternatively start your own practice.
My partner (Pauline Fisher) and I started our architectural firm six years ago. With a lot of hard work, dedication and love for our profession, we have built a small but passionate firm where we strive to make our client's dreams a reality.
What is the starting salary of an architectural technologist?
Starting salaries depend on the practice you get to work for and could range from R4 000 to R6 000 per month.
A higher qualification and more experience increases your value in the job market. Despite the lower starting salary, you need to understand that firms invest a great deal of time and money in training and this is something that money can never buy.