Pony Express News

Career Profile; So, you want to be an Architect

Angel Moreno, reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

An Architect is a person who designs building and in many cases also supervises their construction.They draw up the blueprints for the buildings or structures and send them to the contractors to commence the construction. you can see them in any construction sites; for example Morton west New freshman  center. P.S the blueprints for the house you live could of came from an architects.

Who can do this?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Someone with some artistic skills.

What dose it take?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Five years BS degree + three years or so of an internship.

Where can you get it?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Four year university

when can you get it?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Five years of school plus an internship

Why should you do it?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You can have your work created and part of a cite or town and your work could benefit many people with homes and their work space and meet aesthetic appeal.

How much will you make?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     At the start you could make $76 k and $96 and up for the work you do.

There is six colleges that offer you the architecture course in the state of IL. The most cost effective school to go to, is Southern Illinois with the tuition being about $24,233 and that is of in state students. The next best alternative would be going to UIC  because it is closer to home but the tuition is $25,946. The tuition could be lower if you choose to commute and potentially save about $10,000 for the room and board , leaving the total tuition being about $15,000. The way I am doing it is by going to my community college and then transfer into UIC. Going to Morton College and pay $3,668 and then commuting to UIC and pay $15,000.


The Q&A with Prashanth Mahakali an architect that works in Down Town Chicago.

  • What is the most enjoyable part about your job and why?

The most enjoyable part of my job is the ability to work with clients and be part of building their dream home or make their home even better through Architectural services. I enjoy the fact that they trust my skills and experience to help them with something that is very important to their family. I enjoy being part of making the difference with creative skills. 

  • What school did you go to and why?

I pursued undergraduate studies in India, where I am from and came to University of Illinois at Chicago ( UIC) to complete graduate studies in Architecture. I would say rather than me choosing UIC,  UIC chose me and I could not be more happy than to come to the home of the skyscraper.

  •  What is the biggest difference between a big firm and a smaller one?

The biggest difference is the ability to make a difference with what you do at work. While one may enjoy working on a small portion of a very large project in a big firm, they could do a large portion of a small project in a small firm. The level of personal satisfaction is far superior working in a small firm than in a large firm. However, there are merits towards working in a larger firm. They offer you an opportunity to be part of a significant project which you may not get a chance to work on at a smaller firm. There is not anything better or worse between the two options, rather they offer two different paths to practice your skill set.

  • What do you specialize in? And why?

I specialize in residential architecture. I like it because I get to interact with the occupants of the home rather than commercial architecture, where you don’t always get to know the future occupants. I know I can tailor spaces to fit inhabitants in residential architecture versus fulfilling a purely functional program in commercial architecture with limited chances to display one’s creative skills.

  • What is one thing you would do differently in getting your education?

I would interact more with working professionals since there appears to be a disconnect between what one learns in school and what is expected of the same individual at work. More professional interaction while in school makes the experience of education more usable after completion.

  • What is your daily routine in your line of work?

I usually make calls while commuting to work to catch up with clients and staff. I use my calendar and start off with making site visits and other meetings with potential clients. There is a lot of communication and also design meetings, which I really enjoy.

  • What piece of advice would you give to young people that want to enter this profession that you didn’t get?

Architecture is a tough profession. It is a very demanding course to complete as a student and often takes a long time before one can start earning a good salary. So if you are in for the short term income potential, this may not be the ideal profession for you. However, if you value creativity and making a difference in people’s lives through creative solutions, you will be rewarded with lots of success and resulting income. This takes a while but with the dedication and continuous learning, success will definitely occur.

  • What is your favorite architectural work and why?

My favorite architectural work is the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York City, NY by Architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  It is a testament to the creativity of Frank Lloyd Wright who could visualize such spaces without anything but pen and paper. A visit to this space would leave anyone spellbound as the building itself appears to be richer than the works it was meant to exhibit.

  • Why did you want to become an architect?

My father worked with a few Architects back in my hometown of Chennai, India. He was an engineering consultant and being around him gave me a good resource to know what Architects do and how they do it. With his encouragement, I pursued Architecture and love being an Architect here in Chicago.

  • What is your goal or the legacy that you want to have or leave behind?

My goal is make a difference in lives of thousands of people.  The legacy I want to leave behind is that the south side of Chicago has transformed into a rich and vibrant community due to my efforts.

  • What city did you want to work in?

I want to continue working in Chicago, my favorite city in the entire world.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

The student news site of Morton East High School
Career Profile; So, you want to be an Architect