A Landmark of a Career Path: Become an Architect!
Architecture and construction are highly valuable professions that help shape our world. While architects help design buildings that are efficient, innovative or aesthetically sublime, construction professionals help see those plans to fruition. As existing buildings begin to age and new projects are approved, professionals in architecture and construction will continue to be needed to make our society function.
Architecture and construction are general majors, containing all the elements necessary for a wide variety of professions. However, there are a few subcategories focused on more specific careers. Students of color can find a particularly lucrative career path following any of these options. Some of these include:
- Construction Management: Professionals in this field are specialists in ensuring a construction project is done well. They manage the labor, costs and materials necessary to get a job done on time and within budget constraints.
- Urban Planning: Urban planners work with civic leaders to efficiently plan and design city projects. Instead of focusing on one specific building, urban planners consider how buildings fit into the larger makeup of a city.
Careers in Architecture and Construction
A major in architecture and construction can lead to a few intuitive careers. However, those with a degree in architecture and construction will find themselves equipped with numerous skills that may help them achieve careers outside of the field. Some of the common careers include:
- Architect: Architects have great career prospects, though the field is not growing at a tremendous rate. The median annual salary for architects is $82,320 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Construction Manager: The field of construction management is growing at a rate of 8% over the next decade. This is faster than most fields and signifies great demand for experienced construction managers. With a median annual salary of $97,180, construction management is a lucrative career for anyone interested in the discipline.
- Urban Planner: As mentioned above, urban planning is always in demand. With a growth rate of 11% and a median annual salary of $75,950, this career is perfect for anyone who also wants to participate in civil service.
- Landscape Architect: These professionals do architectural work with landscapes in mind. They design green space in and around buildings. Landscape architects have slightly different career outcomes with a median annual salary of $75,440.
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How to Prepare for Success
Potential majors should have a good grasp of math, science and basic engineering. Construction and design experience will be a major asset.
UNCF Schools to Consider
One UNCF-member schools offers a program for students wishing to work in the field of architecture and construction:
There are various organizations in various fields of architecture and construction that offer more insight into working in those fields. A sample list includes:
- American Institute of Architects
- American Society of Landscape Architects
- American Institute of Constructors
- Construction Management Association of America
- The National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)
Several scholarships are available throughout the year from UNCF. The UNCF General Scholarship Awards are an excellent opportunity for any student going to a UNCF-member college, regardless of their major. The UNCF/Koch Scholars Program offers scholarships, mentorship, academic support and networking opportunities to undergraduate African American students. The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program awards a $10,000 scholarship to one exceptional HBCU senior each year who has demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and unmet financial need.
UNCF offers scholarships specifically to students majoring in architecture or construction. For instance, the SMPS Foundation Zinsmeyer Scholarship Fund is available to these students, offering a one-time scholarship of $1,500.
(Please note: UNCF scholarships have opening and closing application times; a scholarship application may not be available when you visit.)
Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are additional scholarships available to study architecture and construction.
Reach out for guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in architecture and construction. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!