An Architectural Intern is a trainee or student in the field of architecture, typically working under the guidance of experienced architects. This role involves assisting in various stages of architectural projects, from initial design and planning to construction documentation. Interns gain hands-on experience in drafting, model building, research, and software use. They often participate in site visits and project meetings, offering creative input and learning about building codes and sustainability practices. The position is an opportunity for professional growth, allowing interns to apply academic knowledge in a practical setting, develop technical skills, and understand the real-world challenges of architectural design and implementation.
This role, also known as a design intern or architectural apprentice in some circles, is a stepping stone into the dynamic field of architecture.
The architectural industry is currently experiencing a digital revolution, with the advent of technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), Virtual Reality (VR), and 3D printing. As an intern, you’ll be at the forefront of these changes, learning and adapting to the evolving landscape.
The architectural industry is also making strides in diversity and inclusion, with an increasing number of women and individuals from diverse backgrounds entering the field. You’ll find this role in a variety of industries, including construction, real estate, and urban planning, among others.
You’ll be immersed in the world of building design and construction. Your primary role will be to support the architectural team in various stages of project development. From drafting plans to assisting with client presentations, you’ll be involved in many aspects of architectural design.
You’ll also have the opportunity to work with a variety of professionals, including architects, engineers, and contractors. This will give you a holistic view of the architectural process, from initial design to final construction.
Duties and Responsibilities
Your day-to-day tasks will vary depending on the projects at hand. However, some of the common responsibilities include:
- Assisting in the development of architectural designs
- Drafting detailed plans using CAD software
- Conducting research for project development
- Participating in client meetings and presentations
- Coordinating with other professionals such as engineers and contractors
Other duties include:
- Assisting in the preparation of construction documents
- Participating in site visits
- Supporting the team in administrative tasks
Skills and Qualifications
To excel in this role, you’ll need a combination of technical and soft skills. A degree in architecture or a related field is typically required. Familiarity with CAD software and other architectural tools is also essential.
On the soft skills side, strong communication and teamwork skills are crucial. You’ll be working with a diverse team of professionals, so the ability to collaborate effectively is key. Attention to detail and problem-solving skills are also important, given the nature of the work.
Starting as an architectural intern is a common entry point into the field of architecture. After gaining experience and completing your licensure, you can move into roles such as junior architect, project architect, and eventually, senior architect or project manager.
The interview process typically involves a review of your portfolio, a discussion of your skills and experiences, and potentially a practical test or task. Common interview questions might include “What architectural styles interest you?” or “Tell us about a project you’re proud of.”
Are you actively pursuing this position? If yes, check out our 🗒️ Resume Example and ✉️ Cover Letter for this role and our detailed ✅ Interview Questions page to help you understand the interview process.
🏷️ Additional Details
- Working Conditions – You can expect to work standard office hours, with occasional overtime during project deadlines. Some travel may be required for site visits. The work environment is typically a mix of office work and on-site inspections.
- Reporting Structure – You’ll typically report to a senior architect or project manager. You may also work closely with other interns or junior architects. At this stage, you won’t likely have anyone reporting to you.
- Professional Development – There are numerous professional development opportunities you can pursue. These include certifications, courses, and workshops in BIM, sustainable design, and architectural software.
- KPIs – Key performance indicators might include the quality of your design work, your ability to meet project deadlines, and your collaboration with the team.
- How to find work – Finding work typically involves networking, applying to job postings, and showcasing your portfolio. Professional organizations and online forums can be great resources for job opportunities.
- Average workday – A typical workday might involve drafting plans, attending meetings, conducting research, and coordinating with other team members. Work-life balance can vary, but most architectural firms value the well-being of their employees.
Being an architectural intern is a rewarding and challenging role. It offers the opportunity to learn, grow, and contribute to the creation of beautiful and functional spaces. Notable companies in this field include Gensler, Perkins+Will, and HOK. Despite the challenges, the rewards of seeing your designs come to life are immeasurable.