Updated December 2022
Frankly, there are so many reasons to choose a career in building design, we had a hard time narrowing it down to just nine.
Anyone who's working happily in this field knows how creative/exciting/challenging/cutting-edge/diverse building design can be.
But if you're just starting out—just beginning to look at training programs—you need to dig a little deeper. You need solid information about what it's like to become a building designer, and what to expect out in the field.
And that's what this post is all about.
So read on and explore these nine excellent reasons to go for it and start a career in building design.
1. You have a real passion for building design
This reason might seem obvious, but it's actually really key to building a successful career in this field. Students who are naturally passionate about the work have a much better chance of doing well in training and being happy in design jobs.
Herzing's building design instructor Jacob Allderdice says that to be an ideal applicant for this program, all you really need is "a driving interest and aptitude for art and design."
That's it! That's all you need to get the ball rolling. All the other technical skills can be taught in training. So if you're passionate about making building design plans and seeing them come to life, that's reason enough to pursue a career in building design.
2. Building design training is quick to complete
Now we move on to the more practical side of things. For many people, length of training is a major issue when heading back to school. In most cases, students are eager to get working as soon as possible and don't want to rack up tons of tuition debt in the process.
If many years of an expensive university architecture degree isn't right for you, the college diploma route could be an ideal solution.
At Herzing, for example, we offer a building design program students can finish in just 12 months. In only one year, you'll learn everything you need to begin work in the field.
Bottom line: You don't need a degree to establish a successful career in building design. If you're looking for a faster route to your first job, a diploma is an excellent alternative.
3. Stable demand for Building designers in Ontario
Another good practical reason to choose building design is the stable demand for these professionals in Ontario.
The Government of Canada Job Bank gives "architectural design technician" three out of five stars for demand across the province.
Where are most of the jobs for architectural designers in Ontario? According to the Job Bank, the province is seeing a rise in construction activity for condominium projects (although this will depend on the housing market) as well as a more emphasis on retrofitting older buildings to make them more energy efficient.
4. So many options for specialization
Another great thing about building design is the sheer number of ways to specialize in this field. You might become an expert in kitchen design, landscaping and decking, retail stores, industrial structures, houses, apartment buildings and condos, etc.
There are so many types of design projects out there. After finishing building design training, you can move around, work for different firms, and figure out which area fits you best.
Plus, since the design process has so many stages, students can become specialists in a particular part of the process. Our instructor, Jacob Allderdice, explains it like this:
"Each student has strengths upon which to build. For example, a background in business management will be useful for students who wish to run their own design business. And a background in computers will help students who wish to focus on the technical aspects of a design office.
A background in law and writing will prove essential for the student who wishes to work on the building code and specification-writing side of the design profession.
A talented artist will likely find employment in rendering and presentation, while a confident, verbal person could be employed on the sales and development side of the profession."
There are many ways to let your talents shine in the field of building design. Find what you're great at and run with it.
5. Every project brings new creative challenges
Don't want a job where every day is the same? Fear repetition and boredom like the plague?
You can rest assured, a career in building design won't be any of these things. This field is all about creativity, problem solving, and constantly pushing yourself to learn new things.
Every single project you work on will bring fresh challenges. Whether it's about staying on budget, solving tricky design problems, keeping builders on schedule, or hunting down unusual materials—you can count on each day being different.
And there's always something new to learn. From design software to changes in the building code, to edgy new design trends...this job will keep you on your toes!
6. Work with talented, respected professionals
Building designers work with accomplished, respected professionals. They're hired by architects, engineers, established design firms, and construction companies.
All day long, you'll be surrounded by people you can learn from—people with expertise in the field of building design. Nothing is more inspiring for someone with a true passion for this kind of work.
7. Learn cutting-edge design tech
Some new students don't realize this, but building design is very much a technology field. Creativity and artistic talent is an important part of the work, but at the end of the day, you'll express yourself using cutting-edge design software.
A solid architectural design program teaches students the latest tools, like Microsoft Visio, AutoCAD 2D and 3D, and Revit. These are the programs you'll use every day at work and keep up with as the technology evolves throughout your career.
If you're into tech, building design offers many ways to explore the latest innovations in building software and project presentation tools. There's no doubt about it—we'll see some pretty amazing advances in this area over the next 10 years.
8. building design attracts people from all backgrounds
When we interviewed Jacob about the kinds of students he teaches in Herzing's building design program, he immediately focused on diversity:
"Our classes are lively and diverse—and because of the 'rolling start' nature of the program, there are always more advanced students learning and working alongside others who have just begun their Herzing education. The result is what I like to call a 'one-room schoolhouse.' Students often learn as much from each other as they do from the teacher."
In other words, there isn't just one "type" of person who excels in architectural design. Whether you're an artist, technology geek, great at memorizing building codes, or want to be on the sales side of design—this career has a place for you.
9. Seeing your design plans become real buildings
For many designers—both career veterans and brand-new grads—there's nothing more exciting than seeing a project you worked on become a real building.
One of the really cool things about becoming a building designer is getting to work on builds from start to finish. From the first client meetings to the final brick of construction, you'll be there, helping to ensure everything gets done right.
Building designers take part in every stage of the design and building process. They work on the very first sketches.
Once those are approved, they create and finalize blueprints and building plans. They coordinate with builders and visit the job site to make sure projects go according to plan.
They get to see how a computerized design becomes an actual, real structure, right in front of their eyes. And then they get to say, I helped create that apartment building, office, home, or hospital! I did that.
Next Steps: Starting your career in architectural design
Think you would make a great building designer? Excited to learn more about starting a career in this field?
What's your next step? We strongly recommend speaking with a qualified academic advisor to look into admission requirements and the courses you'd need to complete for this diploma.
This is the best way to determine if this occupation is right for you. Plus, you can get help with financial aid or completing your application. Click below to get started.
Browse Herzing's Building Design Technician program and chat live with an admissions advisor right now. We're here to help.