Growth and prosperity of an economy, to an extent is reflected in its physical appearance. The industry responsible for this is the construction industry, which for quite sometime is experiencing boom. Times have changed and so has our focus. From, the basic necessity of housing and shelter of yesteryears, emphasis is now given on comfort, luxury and style. All this has importantly led to creation of avenues for those interested in making a career in this sector. In the last few decades our economy has witnessed hectic and massive construction activities, new structures have been raised, townships have evolved, evident of growth in the sector.
The construction task involves both the designer and constructors. Any built structure is an outcome of close coordination and participation of a number of people, technical and non-technical, including architects, contractors, surveyors, engineers, designers alongwith bricklayers, masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers etc. Everyone is specialised in his own area hence beyond comparison.
Nature of Work
Architecture, in particular is the study which deals with planning and designing of building and structures. The subject, not new at all, has been practiced since ages in different parts of the world. Everybody has heard about Roman, Victorian, Moslem and Indian architecture, examples of which even stand today. Architects blend their vision and dreams with materials to erect milestones which leave a powerful imprint on human mankind. Today, architecture has taken a totally different shape. The rapidly changing demands and requirements asks for professionally trained architects who can not only cope with changing times but also design and deliver quality, environment friendly constructions.
Designing any structure not only moves around giving physical facelift to it but involves other important factors which are equally important like its functional utility, safety and economy. Arhitects engage themselves in designing of a variety of structures including houses, apartments and colonies, offices and industrial complexes, hospitals, hotels, airport terminals, stadia, shopping and commercial complexes, schools etc. They provide professional services to individuals and organisations not only regarding new constructions but also in alterations and renovations.
Clients approach architects with some idea of what they want, but with little awareness regarding its feasibility. A good architect is the one who strikes a right balance between aesthetics and practicality. The work starts on the basis of ideas and requirements of the client like its appearance, financial budget and time frame. The arhitect then begins his job with sketching and making plans with details of sizes, specification and estimates of the cost of the structure. Sometimes models and graghic are also used for presentations. Once the plans are finalised and accepted by the client, the architect has to obtain the approval and permission of the local authority for construction. Subsequently, the architect negotiates contracts with building contractors, engineers and surveyors after which the construction starts. The architect is the overall incharge of the contract, his responsibility begins right form designing and planning the structure until the very same is erected. Architects can work alone as well as in a team. They also work with firms and organisations, some of which specialize in a particular type of construction. Architects even indulge in interior designing; an upcomimg field which involves scientific and artistic skills. Demand for interior designers continue to be high with these no longer limiting to corporate offices and hotels alone. One can see it coming into houses in a big way. Interior designers require abstract reasoning and three dimensional space perception to translate ideas into realities. Understanding client's need is at the very core of the profession.
Students having academically good background in physics and mathematics are better suited for the study of architecture. An aspirant for the field of architecture should be a creative artist with an interest and bent towards designing. Ability to sketch, free hand plan though not utmost important but is beneficial while explaining to the clients the very intricate details of the structure. He needs to have an imaginative and perspective outlook. Awareness of social and environmental factors, observant attitude adds to the advantage while designing structures. Apart from being technically sound, good mathematical ability is important as the work involves complex designing problems, building economies and cost estimations. Often architects deal with legal procedures and documents making it necessary for them to understand legal language related to the profession.
Good communication skills, hardwork, physical stamina to work on the desk as well on the site, a high degree of concentration level, flexibility, patience, team spirit, responsibility and accountability are some other important traits of the profession.
Anybody who has studied Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry at the 10+2 level can apply for admission to study architecture at the graduate level in colleges offering the course. B.Arch is a 5 year course and most schools and colleges select students through a written test. Further on completion of the graduate course, if interested, one can study architecture at the post graduate course which varies from 18 months to 2 years.
Entrance test for B.Arch Courses - The Council of Architecture conducts an aptitude test on an All India basis for admission to colleges of Architecture. Engineering colleges select students on the basis of the result to the appropriate engineering courses. Some other renowned institutes carry their own selection tests to identify suitable candidates while some give weightage to class 12 marks and entrance examinations to select students.
Colleges, Institutions and Universities
Some of the Colleges/Institutions/Universities offering Graduate/Post-Graduate courses in Architecture are mentioned below.
- School of Planning & Architecture, 4, Block-B, IP Estate, New Delhi 110002.
- Punjab University, Chandigarh College of Architecture, Chandigarh 160012.
- School of Architecture CEPT, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad 380009.
- Lucknow University, Govt. College of Architecture, Tagore Road, Lucknow 226002.
- Goa University, College of Architecture, Campal Panaji, Goa - 1.
- University of Mumbai, Sir J J College of Architecture, 78/3, Dr. D.N. Road, Mumbai 400001.
- Indian Education Society's College of Architecture, 791, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (W), Mumbai 400050.
- Pune University, Marathwada Mitra Mandal College of Architecture, 302, A, Deccan Gymkhana, Pune 411004.
- Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, School of Planning & Architecture, Mahavir Marg, Hyderabad 500028.
- Kerala University, College of Engineering, Thiruvananthpuram 695016.
- Anna University, School of Architecture & Planning, Sardar Patel Rd., Chennai 600025.
- IPS Academy, School of Architecture, Rajendra Nagar, Indore 452012.
- Bengal Engineering College, PO Botanic Garden, Howrah, West Bengal.
- Sushant School of Art and Architecture, Sushant lok, District Gurgaon, Haryana.
- Vastu Kala Academy, School of Architecture & Interior Designing, 9/1, Institutional Area, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067.
Though few in number, some architects prefer to go in for specialization at the post graduate level. They may choose to specialize in India or Abroad. The subjects of specialization may include urban designing, regional planning, building engineering and management, architectural conservation, industrial design, landscape arhitecture, naval architecture, architecture concerning traffic and transport planning etc. Sometimes even without pursuing specialization courses in any particular field, architects on gaining experience engage themselves in a particular type of work for eg:- in construction of housing societies and apartments, schools, hospitals, commercial complexes etc.
Substantial increase in investments in the construction sector has been recorded year after year. As far as architects are concerned, there is a huge gap in the demand and supply. Annual requirement projections of architects stands over 10,000 which is expected to rise further and the training facilities available are still short. All these factors contribute in making this field a very competetive one with healthy career prospects.
Employment opportunities for architects are available in government as well as private sectors. Some of the government organisations include Public Works Department, the Archaeological Department, Ministry of Defence, Departments of Railways, Post and Telegraphs, Public Sector Undertakings, National Building Organisation, Town and Country Planning Organisation, National Institute of Urban Affairs, Housing and Urban Development Corporation, National Building Construction Corporation Ltd., City Development Authorities etc. Besides these organisations, various other institutes and agencies like State Departments, Housing Boards, Local Bodies responsible for construction works also recruit architects.
Openings in the private sector exist with the Builders, Architecture Firms, Consultants etc. Architects with some experience can even set up their own business as Consultants and Contractors.
A well qualified architect can start up with a salary of around Rs. 7,000 p.m. in the government organisations. It continues to rise with time and experience. In the private sector, the scale is not fixed but surely one can expect to earn a good amount of money through this profession. Freshers can get a salary ranging anywhere from Rs. 3,000 p.m. to Rs. 10,000 p.m. Such variations in salaries are influenced by many factors like the type of the organisation, its size, qualification and experience of the candidate etc.