5 Best-Paid Architecture Specialisations you need to know

Chinenye Uba

9 mins read

March 12

Architects at Work
We all know that architecture can be very time consuming with little to no returns. New skills are in demand, and with new in-demand skills comes better pay! It is essential always to be informed on the latest developments in architecture as this is a crucial step to earning more in the field. Read on to learn about the best-paid architecture specialisations!

1. BIM Specialisation and Management

BIM Modeller creating 3D models on computer software

BIM Specialist (Source: www.omrania.com)

BIM (Building Information Modelling) is rapidly becoming essential in design processes in today's architecture industry. Due to its automotive nature, many users consider it more effective. BIM applications are gradually taking over traditional office tools and it is indeed turning into one of the best-paid architecture specialisations.

The level of technology needed in architectural advancements requires BIM and, indirectly, the need for specialists has been on the rise. As a BIM specialist, you need to be up to date with these latest technologies. To become a professional in this field, you need experience in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry and you can even take up BIM as a major while pursuing your master's degree. However, there are certification online courses available nowadays that prepare and enable you to work in this field with no advanced degree required!

You should know that 'BIM specialist' is a general term for roles available in the BIM scope. There are BIM Modellers or Technicians, BIM Analysts, and even BIM Managers. Metrics state that BIM Specialists make around 50,000 - 95,000 USD annually depending on their role, skill and ability.

[Read: Salaries and Career Growth of BIM Professionals in India]

2. Sustainability Consulting

image showing a sustainability Venn Diagram

Sustainability Consulting (Source: www.businessarchives.org/)

There are ongoing discussions about Earth failing and the need for more sustainable architectural designs to mitigate the effects of the built environment while ensuring the longevity of already existing structures. These discussions have brought about the need for sustainability consultants. Sustainability is now an essential part of the industry, and the primary duty of these professionals is to help clients improve a project's performance.

Sustainability consultants are not limited to residential homes or areas as they also work in large scale urban environments. They may also work in offshore industries at oil and gas plants, transport facilities, and urban regeneration schemes.

Although there are no formal background requirements, sustainable design is a very relevant master's major right now. Many colleges in some parts of the world offer specialisations in it. Asides from this, you can also undertake various online courses to upskill and gain more knowledge about the field. In addition, participating in sustainability efforts in your community improves your mastery in this field because it opens up your mind to real-life problems faced in society.

Sustainability Consultants may earn anywhere from about $35,000 to $78,000 a year. If you are actively interested in waste management, sustainable design and renewable energy, this would be an excellent field for you!

3. Parametric Architecture

ContemPLAY Student-Designed Pavilion

The ContemPLAY Pavilion / DRS + FARMM (Source: www.archdaily.com)

Lately, you would observe that architecture has transcended the bubble of straight lines and edges, and many designers have begun to embrace the use of free-forms and computational design in buildings.

Parametric architecture is gradually transforming the thought and problem-solving process behind most buildings, intending to create buildings that coexist with the natural environment. This change in perception and thinking does not apply to forms and structure but to texture and materials too.

This field is an exciting and profound specialisation and is gaining much traction among students and professionals within the architecture field. With knowledge in parametric design, you can choose to fabricate useful items like furniture as an added skill. Although it can be very complex, you can become a professional in parametric architecture with proper education. Many colleges now offer specialisations in parametric architecture. There are also practical online courses that teach the fundamentals and the tools and software used!

Parametric architects are in demand because of recent advancements in architecture. As a parametric architect, you could work for large firms that specialise in the field or as a freelancer and both pay well. Metrics say parametric designers may earn an average of $62,005 per year. If you have an interest in designing and creating out-of-the-box structures, parametric architecture as a specialisation might be the way to go!

[Read: 10 Respected Parametric Design Firms in India to Look Out For]

4. Virtual Reality

GIF showing the application of VR technologies in real life

Virtual Reality (Source: https://archipreneur.com/)

Are you looking to have a firm edge over competitors and other firms in the architecture industry? Virtual reality is a profound advancement in technology where users can experience spaces and objects outside of physical reality. For decades, virtual reality has existed in other areas outside of architecture. Nonetheless, its capabilities have recently extended to the architecture field and what better way to sell an idea than this?

The need to reduce the cost incurred with sufficiently visualising proposals to clients has contributed to utilising VR technologies in architecture. Virtual reality could also be offered as a paid service to smaller architecture firms that might require this advancement. Larger architectural firms require people to work on these technologies, increasing the need for VR specialists.

The scope of services you can offer as a VR specialist is broad. You can provide VR services as an added feature to your clients by setting up a VR studio where they get an immersive experience of the spaces before implementation to make feedback processes straightforward and reduce revisions.

The hassle of visiting and experiencing built areas as a disabled person can limit designers. Still, virtual reality can enable you as an architect to communicate a proposed space without inconveniencing a disabled client.

Virtual reality requires wearable technology like the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR to immerse people into the virtual world. These devices cost about $600 to $800 per gadget, which is quite expensive. You can learn to use and implement them through online courses and tutorials!

5. Interior Design and Architecture

image showing interior designers at work

Interior Design and Architecture (Source: https://www.wpldesign.com/)

Interior design is another exciting and lucrative area of specialisation in architecture. Interior architects play a large part in ensuring that built spaces are well planned and functional. From the initial layout, harmonising colours, to lighting selection and fitting, the main goal of an interior designer is to ensure sustainable and comfortable living.

Living today in the modern world requires utmost comfort, and as building architects and engineers develop the structure, these designers are needed to ensure that the spaces within the design serve the intended purpose!

Most interior designers are known to have a background in architecture. Nonetheless, you can learn through theoretical reading, online courses and workshops, and practical work experience in an established firm these days. Although, most professionals advise earning a diploma or certification to add to your credibility.

Interior architects could freelance as consultants for individual clients, providing visualised images of their proposed spaces or even work for architectural firms requiring an interior specialist. They can earn an average salary of $36,000 to about $74,000 annually. If you have an aptitude for design and organisation, this field is an excellent choice for you.

[Here’s an interesting read: What a BIM Specialist Does – And How to Become One]

More specialisations exist within and outside of architecture, and getting informed about these fields is crucial to selecting the most suitable one for you. If any of these fields interest you, getting in-depth knowledge about them would be helpful towards achieving and helping your career!

Oneistox provides comprehensive courses in BIM Specialisation and Parametric Modelling to enable you to work and grow in these fields!

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