architecture blog

Advice for Architecture Job Hunters

Posted by Derek Leavitt on Mon, Mar 23, 2009 @ 11:03 AM

Last week we had an interesting question posted to our Ask an Architect feature about the difficulty in finding an architecture job. I thought this Q & A would be helpful to other architecture job seekers out there, especially the less experienced, so here is a reposting of that question and answer.

The Question

How hard, on a scale of 1-10, is it to get a job right after graduating with a Bachelors in Architecture?

The Answer

Good question. A lot of new architecture graduates and young professionals are facing this same issue right now. I wish I had better news, but I don't. Things are tough right now for architecture job seekers. If you want a scale, I would say an 8 in terms of difficulty. Many firms are letting people go or on hiring freeze.
However, I'm an optimist, so lets look at some positives given your situation.

You Cost Less

Because you are less experienced, you cost less to a potential employer. This means that hiring you is less of a financial commitment versus hiring a licensed architect or someone with 5+ years of experience.

You Are Young (I'm Assuming)

Now is a bad time to enter the job market, but things could be worse. You could have just been laid off as an experienced architect with kids, a mortgage, etc. Hopefully you are light on expenses and responsibilities. This gives you flexibility. You could work in another city or overseas where the economy may be better. You may also consider going for a masters, maybe not even in architecture (I recommend an MBA).

Part Time

Although many firms are hesitating to hire because of uncertainty, many still have work that needs to be done. You could offer yourself up for some part time work. Tell them no commitment, just by the hour. This is a great way to get in. Before you know it, they could get busier, and they'll turn to you first for a full time job.


Even less of a commitment for a firm would be to offer yourself as a freelancer. You just need your own computer, software, and a place to work (probably home). Many firms love to outsource because they avoid the commitment and costs of an employee, but still have a place to get work done when they get busy. This may not be ideal for you, but given these hard times, it is a viable option that many people don't consider.

New Skills

Recent graduates often have better computer skills than professionals just a few years older. Use this to your advantage. Maybe you even have computer skills outside of architecture, like web design. Many firms utilize down time to redesign websites or reorganize themselves. Show that you can do more than just CAD.
Hopefully this gives you a glimmer of hope. Also keep checking back on our web site as we'll be releasing a guide to creative resumes in the coming months. Good luck out there.  

Tags: architect advice, Architectual Practice, architecture resorces, architecture job search