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8 traits needed to be a great architect

Want to design the world's next iconic building? Check out our guide on the essential traits needed for an architecture career.

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Keen to pursue a career in architecture? To succeed in this field, it will help to have certain qualities that will give you an edge over your competition. We’ve outlined some of these characteristics and personality traits for you below. But before we explain these, it is important that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.


What is architecture?

Architecture is the science and art of designing and engineering buildings and large-scale structures. Someone who studies this field will be interested in both the sciences and arts. In fact, the admissions requirements for architecture degree programmes often include both an artistic ability and proficiency in mathematics. A career in architecture is rewarding personally and financially, which is why it is a highly sought-after profession.


Traits that are good to have


Any architect worth his salt needs to have a strong passion for what they do. A strong drive will be what helps you get through the tough times in school and at work. If you have the fervour and the determination to get the job done and done right, you will be more productive and can excel in this field.


Easy going

In a field of work where designs can change and budget influences key fundamentals, approaching a project with a calm and rational attitude is important. Being easy going is a great quality to have as an architect, because the nature of your work means that you will encounter stressful situations. The ability to take criticisms ensures that you stay focused on the project and see it to completion.


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You’ll encounter clients who may not like your designs and who will criticise your work. This is simply the way it is. In any job that involves personal preference and taste, you will be able to appeal to most, but not everyone. It’s essential that you don’t let criticisms and one person’s opinion of your work get you down. Believe in yourself and the quality of work that you produce. Always portray your confidence in the way you work and communicate to facilitate interaction with clients and your project will end on a positive note.



Architects need to be ready to adapt their designs and workload when faced with unexpected issues or situations. All plans and projects are susceptible to change, at any minute and at any stage, which means that the most successful architects have the ability to adapt to their changing environment quickly and efficiently. They ensure that any and all problems encountered are solved and the project can proceed. 


Singapore airport waterfall



In the architecture industry, being creative and possessing the ability to look at things differently will go a long way in helping you get noticed and stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to challenge traditional values and present an alternative (that are feasible, of course) ensure that you have a long and successful career.



As a fresh graduate, you’ll be at the bottom of the food chain and will most likely be paired with a more senior architect for a project. You will need to work well with your teammates and have the ability to communicate clearly and succinctly. As a fresher, you’ll be doing most of the grunt work, however, you won’t be stuck on the lowest rung of the ladder for long. Work hard and learn as much as you can from you seniors and soon you’ll be leading a team of your own.


team of people planning



Once you’ve acquired the necessary experience, you’ll have the opportunity to lead your very own team on a project. Being a leader can be stressful, on top of your own workload, you’ll need to ensure that everyone else stays on track to prevent any delays. The communication and team work skills that you’ve developed in your early days as an architect will help. As a leader, you need to be impartial and be able to anticipate any form of reluctance that might come from your team members and take suitable steps to mitigate it.



It doesn’t matter what stage of your architecture career you’re at, it is vital that you stay organised. There will be lots of things on your to-do list and these will get even longer the higher up the ladder you go. If you’re not a naturally organised person, it’s time to start cultivating that habit now. Invest in a notebook or download an app to help keep all the things that you need to do in order. Be consistent and it will turn into a natural habit before you know it.


Best places to study architecture

Washington State University has a strong architecture programme that allows students plenty of opportunities to study abroad, with studio critiques and portfolio reviews held in Seattle to provide additional exposure to industry professionals.


Another great place to study is the University of Bath in the UK offering a number of highly-regarded architecture courses. This institution ranks first in the country according to the Complete University Guide’s 2020 league tables.


Thinking of studying abroad? Use our course matcher tool to input your qualifications and preferences to find the right programme and university for you.


Or download a university prospectus now!


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