A Typical Day in the Life of an Architect

Imagine for a moment that you’re an architect. If that’s your dream career, it’s something you’ve probably done hundreds of times before. But what, exactly, does your day as an architect consist of? Let’s go through an average day in your new life as an architect, from switching off your alarm clock in the morning to switching off your lights to go to bed at night.

You work for a small architectural firm, and you’re up at 7am to shower, dress, brush your teeth and grab a quick breakfast so you can get to the office by 8am. There’s a busy day ahead, and you’ve got to get an early start.

At 8:15, you’re in a meeting with a client. As it turns out, your initial cost estimates for their project were a little off the mark, and it’s going to take a few more hundreds of thousands of dollars than expected to carry out the project. You need to convince your clients to stay, or risk losing your firm a lot of money in fees. Twenty minutes later, they tell you they’ll think about it and call you later.

You sit down at your desk and start doing some research on building codes and zoning laws for a new project you’re starting in a nearby town. Each time your phone rings, your heart leaps, thinking it’s your clients from this morning, but each time it’s just another consultant or contractor or client, asking questions about costs and schedules.

An hour later, you remember you have a proposal meeting with a client tomorrow and pull out the plans for their new apartment building you were working on. You spend the rest of your morning sketching and answering phone calls, finishing up just before lunchtime.

Once you’ve eaten, it’s time to head out to your car – you have construction sites to visit. Your first site is a building whose framing is almost complete; you can happily check in with your clients and let them know that everything is on schedule. At the second site, however, you spot problems when you realize they’re doing the roof all wrong. Uh-oh. A certain contractor is going to be getting a very cranky phone call from you soon. Your final site doesn’t have anything on it yet, but you just got the reports back from the soil engineer and now you need to check it out for yourself to get an idea of how to plan the building. Once you’ve gathered all the information you need, it’s back to the office for you.

You haven’t been back in the door more than five minutes and you’re in a meeting with another architect, going over the plans you finished this morning and discussing what you’ll say in the client meeting. Once that’s been settled, you place a few phone calls (including those calls relating to your site visits) and manage to slip out the door just before six.

You arrive home to a lovely dinner with your family. Just after 7pm, the phone rings; it’s your client from this morning, calling to let you know that they’ve decided to go through with the project at an increased cost. That’s a relief. You spend the rest of your evening relaxing at home and fall into bed at just past 11pm, ready to do it all over again tomorrow.