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Breana is interested in becoming an architect and likes the idea of designing homes for people that are not only beautiful and functional, but also healthy and safe.

Small single family home with covered front porch.

She knows architects need a degree, but wonders what else can help her have a successful career.

Explore the profession of residential architecture with Breana!

Apartment building with multiple balconies.

Preparing the Foundation

Breana is in high school and is preparing to enter an architecture program when she graduates. To get herself ready for the program, she's taking courses like these:

  • drafting or technical drawing

  • computer graphics and art

  • studio art

  • photography

  • art history

Her focus on STEM and art courses will help her develop a great background for getting into an architecture program in college.

Pouring the Foundation

Breana knows that the foundation of any building is critical. So she's dedicated to building the skills she needs to become an architect.

  • problem-solving and critical thinking

  • creativity

  • precision

  • adaptability

  • persistence

  • diligence

The Nuts & Bolts

An architectural degree will provide the knowledge and skills Breana needs to become a residential architect.

The United States and Canada both have professional accreditation organizations that provide information about architecture colleges and universities.

Landscaped space with sidewalks and navigation sign between buildings. Photo by Gabriel Vasiliu on Unsplash

Breana needs to decide between a four-year degree program and a five-year program. In either case, she's looking for a program where she can experience different architecture types, rather than specializing.

More Than Just Window Dressing

Residential architecture is a specialty area in the larger field of architecture.

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Dwelling specialties:

  • Single-family homes

  • Multi-family homes

  • Mansions

  • Apartment buildings

  • Condos

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Other specialties:

  • Renovations

  • Green & sustainable design

  • Passive houses

  • Log cabins

  • Tiny homes

  • Other specific design styles

Breana isn't sure about any specialties, but she'll explore them in college internships, through continuing education credits, and through her work.

You'll Go Through the Roof

With a degree behind her, Breana has a few more years before she'll be able to call herself an architect.

During this time, she'll be gaining experience under the guidance of a practicing architect, a requirement prior to licensure.

Person standing on residential roof looking at shingle damage. Photo by Zohair Mirza on Unsplash

All architects need to be licensed. Specific requirements of licensure vary within the United States and between regions of Canada.

A Structurally Sound Career

An architect's job of learning is never done!

Hill side slope covered in buildings of different colors juxtaposed with a natural rock and plant covered mountain behind. Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

Breana, like all architects, is required to take time to keep up-to-date on architectural trends and regulations through continuing education credits.

Requirements for continuing education vary. However, they may include specific areas such as compliance and safety. Credits can be earned through approved webinars, college courses, and conference sessions.

Advice from a Pro

Breana is on her path to becoming a residential architect. Her curiosity about the profession has led her to find architects already in their careers to find out even more about what her career may hold.

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Architecture is hard work. Like anything, it can be both challenging and rewarding. What is most exciting is that every day is different to the last, and there are so many different opportunities and paths you can take.

— Archi Mash, architect

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Breana's found some professional architects to inspire her journey. Every architect needs to find their own inspiration.


Breana's strength is in problem-solving. What can she do to build on that strength and prepare herself for this career? Select all that apply.

Take Action

Mother, father, and child laughing together in their living room. Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

If you've decided that designing spaces where people can create a home is a job you want:


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