Stack of architecture plans

5 Jobs You Can Get With an Architecture Degree

“What are you planning to do with that?” is typically the question that follows telling someone your major, especially if it falls into an area they have little knowledge of. While people have more of a set expectation when the answer is architecture, there is still a spectrum of choices as far as careers go.

Almost all people who major in this field do something directly related to architecture, and close to half of them become architects. That leaves roughly 15% who end up in jobs that outside the industry (often moving to insurance or real estate). Let’s take a look at some of the career opportunities that come along with a degree in architecture.


This one shouldn’t surprise you. When many students set out to study architecture, much like Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother), they have a vision of one day contributing to the lavish skyline of a beautiful city. About half of them end up becoming architects, in one respect or another, making this the most popular job for graduates of this degree program.

Real Estate Agent

Who would you trust to know buildings better than the people who design them?  Following this way of thinking, many former architecture students opt for a career in real estate. This could take the form of an agent, a broker, or even an appraiser. Since much of real estate is based on commision, anyone with polished people skills and a way with words can live a fairly comfortable life in this position.

Construction Manager

Putting their knowledge of building design and development to good use, some students of architecture take the construction route. Given their training and experience in the field, it is often less trouble for them to find management positions. While construction managers are faced with a large amount of responsibility, they also see many benefits not at play in other positions. For example, they are able to exercise a large amount of control over the day-to-day operations they are a part of, and with a median annual income of $91,440, they are compensated considerably more than most architects.

Urban Planner

After watching Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, who wouldn’t want to get involved in city planning?  Urban planners are the first step in deciding the changes that will affect the layout of a city, and subsequently how it functions. The same skills used to design buildings translate over into ensuring that all land is being sufficiently utilized. Analyzing research data isn’t always glamorous, but the long-term benefits for the community are innumerable.

Civil Engineer

In a similar vein to urban planning, civil engineers make sure that societies are able to flow as smoothly as possible. They are normally tasked with overseeing infrastructure: bridges, roads, water treatment, and all sorts of other modern necessities. If you don’t know a civil engineer, don’t downplay their importance. We tend to only think about their work when it malfunctions. When civil engineers are doing their jobs well, they are often out of the public eye.  

Last Updated: June 13, 2017