- What Does an Architect Do?
- Find an Architect
- Check the Register
- Top Tips from Architects
- Useful Questions Before you Start
- Working with an Older Building
- Ask a Question
- Work with an Architect: Commercial
- Work with an Architect: Your Home
- Why your Architect must be Registered
- Raising a Concern
- Professional Conduct Committee
- Misuse of Title
How to Become an Architectural Technologist
How Do I Become An Architectural Technologist?
The best way to qualify as an Architectural Technologist is to take a degree through an RIAI accredited programme, which generally takes three or four years of full-time study, followed a period of supervised practical training. You are then eligible to become an Architectural Technologist member of the RIAI.
Graduates of RIAI accredited programmes in Architectural Technology may apply under Route T1.
Qualifications awarded outside the State are evaluated by the RIAI on a case by case basis against the Irish standard for entry through Route T1.
Courses In Architectural Technology
Carlow Institute of Technology offers a three year RIAI accredited BSc in Architectural Technology (Level 7) and a four year RIAI accredited Bsc (Hons) in Architectural Technology (Level 8). RIAI Accreditation: Qualification Date 2014 and after.
Contact: IT Carlow, Kilkenny Road, Carlow, Ireland
Tel: 059 91 75000
Fax: 059 91 75005
Cork Institute of Technology offers a three year RIAI accredited BSc in Architectural Technology (Level 7). RIAI Accreditation: Qualification date 1989 - 1999 and 2014 and after.
Contact: Cork Institute of Technology, Bishopstown, Cork
Tel: 021-432 6100
Fax: 021-454 5343
Technological University Dublin (formerly DIT) offers a four year RIAI accredited BSc (Hons) in Architectural Technology (Level 8) and a three RIAI accredited BSc in Architectural Technology (Level 7). RIAI Accreditation: Qualification date 1975 and after.
Contact: Dublin School of Architecture, TU Dublin, Bolton Street, Dublin 1.
Tel: +353 1 4023000
Letterkenny Institute of Technology offers a three year RIAI accredited BSc in Architectural Technology (Level 7). RIAI Accreditation: Qualification date 2011 and after.
Contact: School of Engineering, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Port Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
Tel: +353 (0)74 918 6000
Fax: +353 (0)74 918 6005.
Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (Galway Campus) offers a three year RIAI accredited BSc in Architectural Technology (Level 7) and a four year RIAI accredited Bsc (Hons) in Architectural Technology (Level 8). RIAI Accreditation: Qualification date 2011 and after.
Contact: School of Engineering, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Galway.
Tel: (091) 753161.
Fax: (091) 751107.
Waterford Institute of Technology three year BSc in Architectural Technology (Level 7) - RIAI Accreditation applies to this qualification when awarded between 1989 and August 2016 only.
Contact: Department of Architecture, School of Engineering, Waterford Institute of Technology, Cork Road, Waterford.
Tel: +353 51 302 035
Points & Subject Requirements For Admission
CAO points and subject requirements for Architectural Technology vary from year to year and from one course to another. You can get all of the up-to-date information from the Central Applications Office (CAO) website: www.cao.ie.
For Northern Ireland and the UK check the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) website: www.ucas.ac.uk. Please note the RIAI does not accredit programmes in Architectural Technology outside the Republic of Ireland.
You should also visit the website of any programme you are considering to check out the details.
What Subjects Should I Do In My Leaving Cert?
Because Maths and either English or Irish are the only required subjects you have quite a wide choice of subjects for your Leaving Cert. Most educational institutions prefer if you have a good general education in a broad range of subjects.
Construction Studies or Design and Communication Graphics are not required by any of the educational institutions which provide accredited programmes in architectural technology, but if you enjoy them and they will help you get the points you need, then they are certainly worth studying in preparation to undertake a third level programme in architectural technology.
Studying Architectural Technology
Subjects covered in most courses include building technology, materials, structures, building services, surveying, architectural history, graphics, computer applications, costs and contracts. Much of your time will be spent on project work, site visits and practical work.
Once you have your diploma you will need to get some practical training in an Architect’s office. To be recognised by the RIAI as ‘Approved Experience’ your work has to be done under the supervision of a Member of the RIAI, someone on the Register for Architects, or equivalent.
The quality of a Architectual Technology Graduate’s practical experience is the single most important factor contributing to successful completion of the final stage of professional formation. The RIAI Policy on Post-Graduate Professional Training is intended to provide information and guidance on graduate’s practical experience to students and graduates, RIAI members and practices, Schools of Architecture and of Architectural Technology, and State agencies with roles in education, training and employment.
Is There Any Other Way?
Second level students, parents and careers guidance counsellors, or people considering a career change, often ask if there is any other way to qualify as an Architectural Technologist.
In Ireland there is no part-time route to qualification as an Architectural Technologist. Educational Institutions have procedures for the admission of students transferring or stepping up from other courses and graduates from other disciplines. If you have already covered some of the course subjects at the same level the Educational Institution may decide to grant you some exemptions from certian modules or credits. Refer to the Educational Institutions' websites for further information.
A number of colleges offer QQI Level 5 and Level 6 awards in architectural areas. The subjects studied vary: architectural, engineering and technical graphics; CAD; building construction, heating and ventilation, mathematics and business studies are common. A period of work experience is usually included. None of these courses meets the requirements for Architectural Tecnologist Membership of the RIAI, but they do provide job skills and some of them provide, for students with ability, a route to a degree in architectural technology.
Working life of an Architectural Technologist
The Architectural Technologist usually works as part of the Architect’s team, with particular responsibility for the preparation of production information such as working drawings, schedules and specifications. They also work on site surveys, administrative procedures to do with building regulations, fire safety certificates, planning applications, the building contract, etc.. Some technologists develop specialisations in particular areas, such as specification writing, technology, materials, regulations, BIM, for example.
Most Architectural Technologists work for private Architectural practices or in the Architectural departments of Government Departments, Local Authorities or Semi-State Agencies. But there are also job opportunities with building contractors, manufacturers or suppliers of building products and materials, in private Architectural Technology practice, architectural graphics and model-making.
As with Architecture, career possibilities are very much dependent on the state of the economy. In a booming economy there is a shortage of Architectural Technologists. When it is depressed the building industry is soon affected. But the situation could change between now and the time you qualify.
The RIAI has no current information on salaries in the private sector. They vary with experience, responsibility, market demand and location. The website of employment agencies, such as Hays Montrose for example, often contain information on current salary levels in private practice.
How Can I Tell If I Will Be Good At It?
You need to have mechanical aptitude, and the ability to think in three dimensions. The Differential Aptitude Tests given by the Careers Guidance Counsellor in your school may give some indication of your strength in these areas. You also need to be able to work to tight deadlines and to work in a team. Above all, you need to have an interest in buildings, how they are built, how they work and how they are used.
How Do I Choose?
It is difficult to tell in advance if you have the aptitude for Architectural Technology, because there is nothing that you experience at Second Level that is anything like it. Courses in Architectural Technology are of their nature vocational. In choosing a course in Architectural Technology you are usually making quite a big decision about your career direction so it is important to research it well.
Collect all the information you can from the course booklets published by the educational institutions. Look at the subjects you will have to study during the course - do they appeal to you? Talk to your parents and school career guidance counsellor. Talk to an Architectural Technologist or and Architect if you know one. Go to Open Days for accredited programmes in Architectural Technology.
The RIAI Bookshop stocks a range of books on Architectural Technology. If you find them fascinating you are probably on the right track.
If your school offers a Shaping Space module in Transition Year, get involved.
If these books interest you, but you think Architectural Technology may not be for you, consider the other careers involved in the design of buildings and the built environment: Architect, Interior Designer, Structural Engineer, Building Services Engineer, Quantity Surveyor, Landscape Architect, Urban or Regional Planner.
Finally, if you are seriously thinking about a career in Architectural Technology, try to get some work experience, however short, in an Architect’s office. This will give you a better idea of what the life is like, and whether you would find it satisfying, before you commit yourself to the training it requires.