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Architect: Alternative Careers

You may find that your international training and experience as an architect are not immediately accepted in B.C.

The scientific and mathematical skills you have already acquired, along with your artistic talent and communication skills, can be used in alternative careers. You may wish to investigate certification as either an Applied Science Technologist (AScT) or Certified Technician (CTech), or Provisional Member under the disciplines of ‘Building-Architecture’. You can also consider alternative careers in construction.

Architectural Technologist / Technician (NOC 2251)

You provide technical assistance to professional architects and civil design engineers in conducting research, preparing drawings, architectural models, specifications and contracts, and cost estimate. You also ensure designs meet provincial building code regulations and supervise construction projects.

Requirements:

  • Two to three year diploma program for technologists or one to two year program for technicians
  • Certification with Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC) may be required
  • Supervised work experience, usually two years, is required before certification

Certification:

Skills:

  • creativity, persistence, and an eye for detail
  • ability to visualize buildings in three dimensions and then reproduce them in two dimensions.
  • strong math and computer skills
  • communication skills and ability to work in a team environment

Wages: median hourly wage $28.88 per hour
Source: WorkBC 2251

Cost Estimator / Construction Estimator (NOC 2234)

You calculate construction project costs, and how long the project will take to complete. You review building drawings and specifications, visit construction sites, and research current material prices.

Requirements:

Although a diploma in civil or construction engineering is usually required, some positions may accept construction experience

Skills:

  • strong math, organization, analytical, writing and communication skills
  • computer skills are a requirement for this position due to the use of estimating software and document management programs
  • interest in planning, decision making, problem solving, working with people, and the financial aspect of construction

Wages: median hourly wage $31.25 per hour
Source: WorkBC 2234

Construction Inspector (NOC 2264)

You inspect and examine buildings, bridges, highways and construction sites to ensure that specifications, building codes and safety regulations are observed

Requirements:

Most construction inspectors hold post secondary education in construction, civil engineering or architectural technology. However, you may also qualify if you have several years of experience as a qualified tradesperson in a construction trade such as plumbing, carpentry or electrical.

Skills:

  • knowledge of construction techniques, building codes and standards
  • well organized and analytical; good mathematical skills
  • ability to communicate information clearly and precisely

Wages: median hourly wage $36.00 per hour
Source: WorkBC 2264

Construction Manager (NOC 0711)

You organize, direct and evaluate the activities of a construction company or a construction department. You plan and oversee the building of all kinds of structures, including skyscrapers, houses, roads, and bridges.

Requirements:

  • a university degree in civil engineering or a college diploma in construction technology is usually required;
  • master’s degree in project management may be required
  • several years of experience in the construction industry, including experience as a construction supervisor, are usually required
  • extensive experience in the construction industry may substitute for post-secondary education requirements
  • construction trade certification may be required by some employers

Skills:

  • ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently
  • thorough, detail-oriented, highly organized
  • good oral and written communication skills needed to effectively communicate with engineers, architects, tradespeople, clients, and suppliers

Wages: median hourly wage $39.00 per hour
Source: WorkBC 0711

Employment Outlook

Architectural Technologists and Technicians (NOC 2251)

The demand for architectural technologists and technicians is expected to continue to grow over the next few years. The non-residential construction, new housing construction and renovation projects, and investments in major resource and infrastructure projects in northern BC are the biggest contributors to job creation.

Job Opening Outlook: Architectural Technologists and Technicians

employment outlook for architectural technologists and technicians (NOC 2251)

Source: Work BC Career Profile 2251

Construction/Cost Estimators (NOC 2234)

Industry reports there is a shortage of qualified estimators. In particular, smaller companies need highly trained estimators who can also serve as project managers or schedulers.

Job Opening Outlook: Construction / Cost Estimator

 employment outlook for construction / cost estimators (NOC 2234)

Source: Work BC Career Profile 2234

Construction Inspectors (NOC 2264)

Growth in construction activities supports demand for construction inspection services by both local governments and private buyers. Building inspection services for prospective home buyers is also growing source of employment.

Job Opening Outlook: Construction Inspectors

employment outlook for construction inspectors

Source: Work BC Career Profile 2264

Construction Managers (NOC 0711)

The demand for workers in B.C.’s construction industry will fluctuate over the next decade depending on the region and sector, but the overall trend is toward near-record levels of employment. Construction managers work in all construction sectors: New Home Building and Renovation, Industrial, Institutional and Commercial, and Civil Engineering.

Job Opening Outlook: Construction Managers

employment outlook for construction managers (NOC 0711)

Source: Work BC Career Profile 0711

Retraining

You may want to consider upgrading your skills to increase your employment options in this field. The following courses may improve your current skill set:

Public Works Association of B.C. (PWABC) provides a variety of programs

BCIT School of Construction and the Environment

Canadian Construction Association Gold Seal Certification

BC Construction Job Store

Construction Job Centre

Eluta.ca

Indeed.ca

MyJobSite.ca

Neuvoo

Skilled Workers.com

T-Net British Columbia: BC Technology Job Search

TechJobs.ca

Volunteering in the Field

Volunteering can help you to explore a new career and learn more about architecture and technical work in B.C. You will meet new people and build a network of contacts that may lead to information on job openings and an inside connection at a potential employer.

Go Volunteer

Volunteer BC

Habitat for Humanity
(can volunteer at construction sites or at ReStores)

Architectural Institute of British Columbia Volunteer Opportunities

Helpful Resources

Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC (ASTTBC)

Architectural Institute of British Columbia

British Columbia Construction Association

Vancouver Regional Construction Association

Fastest Growing Industries: Construction

Choose the following links for further assistance: