For many reasons, to work as an architect, people need a registered license, and for that, they need a college degree. This takes a lot of time, effort, and motivation. Not everyone has the ambition and motivation it takes to learn all that being an architect entails, but they may still be admirers of the craft and would love to stay close to the profession.
This article is for those who love and admire architecture, but for some reason don’t want to or can’t complete the necessary college education for their license. In this list, we’ve compiled all professions that are close-knit to architecture but don’t necessarily require a college degree. It should be noted that some kind of training is required when working anywhere near design and construction, so there’s no way around education on a whole. Also, short or part-time training will probably not result in the same salary as that of a licensed professional. Still, all of these professions are highly sought-after, and are very much involved with architecture, but can stand on their own also.
Becoming an interior designer mostly depends on determination and talent. As with every other profession, some kind of training or part-time course exploring the craft in-depth is needed, but a big part of becoming an interior designer can be self-taught.
To become a freelance interior designer, you must have in-depth knowledge of:
- The behavior of light, shapes, and spaces
- Psychology of colors
- The proper combination of colors
- Ventilation and airflow
- Safety measures
- Utility services such as plumbing, constructions of walls, false ceilings, and carpentry
- How to sketch a blueprint
Some of these require some sort of official training, and/or a basic certificate, while others, like the behavior of lights, and the psychology of colors can be self-taught with lengthy research and ambition. As with all self-taught things, this too requires a lot of research to get started. That way you’ll see what each of these aforementioned topics mean, and which of them require further training to achieve authority in the subject.
Flipping a house was never truly seen as a profession, but more and more people are doing it. Whether it’s creating a mobile house out of a minivan or bus, or the traditional flipping of a house, this hobby has become a full-time job and lifestyle for a lot of people.
Being a house flipper means that you have to know a lot about construction, design, and the entire planning process of the demolishing and rebuilding of a structure. Perhaps, this is the profession most related to architecture, but because a lot of people are doing it as a hobby and lifestyle next to other jobs, it doesn’t require a college degree. It does, however, require in-depth knowledge of how to build a standing structure, whether that knowledge is self-taught or not.
Believe it or not, people this profession is more profitable with the hired help of contractors and licensed real estate agents. The job is smoother, there will be fewer complications, and you’ll have all the help you could possibly need by being surrounded by professionals. It’s a great way to learn about the profession as well. To sell and “confirm” the house, you’d have to either be or hire a licensed real estate agent as the last step. But overall, this craft entails everything that goes into being an architect on the most basic, introductory level, while being a very exciting and rewarding job or project.
Real Estate Agent
While on the subject, anyone can become a real estate agent without having to go through a 4-year college. To earn your real estate agent license takes only 2-5 months, including going through the course. With your license, you can work for any broker that will hire you, or if you feel more ambitious, completing your broker’s license will allow you to go to business for yourself. Although this is something that’s recommended after a minimum of 5 years of experience as a real estate agent.
As a real estate agent, you will have to have a deep-rooted knowledge of design and basic architecture (like the value of land, natural light, materials, etc.), but you can choose to dive deeper into the business and learn more about the profession as a real estate agent. This will make you, as an agent, more valuable, and your relationship with architecture would be closer. Some real estate agents go on to explore the market of raw land, and design and build upon that, and some go on to flip houses. Whatever the case, being a real estate agent, you can explore a whole new aspect of architecture.
Being a drafter takes a lot of determination, some basic training, and a lot of self-taught information. An architectural drafter is someone who draws architectural and structural features of buildings for construction projects. Drafters can specialize in the type of building (commercial, or residential, etc.), or by the materials used, such as steel, wood, glass, concrete, and so on. Being a drafter means that you’d dive into a few topics, but you’d become an expert at them. For example, if you want to specialize in one material, you’d have to learn everything that goes into that, including chemistry, physics, aerodynamics, etc. Similarly, if you want to specialize in a type of building, for example, if you want to work with the features of a skyscraper, you’d have to be an expert in the workings of such a structure.
Architectural Model Builder
The duty of model builders is to create a 3 dimensional scaled model of an architect’s design. These are often done by interpreting the architect’s (or designer’s) drawings and plans and include an interpretation of the materials that will be used. These models are mostly used as a way of advertising upcoming projects but are also very valuable when pitching the project, or meeting with investors. Models are a great way to communicate a professional’s message on a more “human” level, because more often than not when a professional and/or artist is pitching to a business investor, things get lost in translation. It is the model builder’s job to make sure that their hands-on interpretation is done to perfection, and carries all important information. For those who are more creative, and love the profession of architecture, this is perhaps the perfect position to look into.
There are a lot of opportunities that allow admirers of a profession to work close by without having to sit through years of a college education. All of these jobs view architecture from a different perspective, and all of them will make you an expert in something. They’re all versatile, but demanding positions, perfect for those thinking about or just admiring architecture. And for the most part, neither require a 4-year college degree.
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