Life as an Architectural Technician: Explore Training & Careers

Updated January 2024

Architectural technicians provide an essential service to architects, civil engineers, and construction companies. They combine expert drafting skills with thorough knowledge of building codes, best design practices, and creative insight.

If you're passionate about architecture and enjoy the meticulous, detailed process of creating blueprints and technical drawings, training to become an architectural technician could be your ideal career path.

But before you begin investigating diploma programs, take a moment to explore exactly what architectural technicians do, areas of specialty within this field, and your career options post-graduation. Let's get started.


What does an Architectural Technician Do?

Architectural technicians bring design concepts to life by developing the technical drawings, schematics, and blueprints for new buildings and renovations. They don't usually develop the initial design—this is done by an architect or engineer. However, with experience, some technicians do consult with clients to provide input during the early stages of a new project.

What exactly is involved in developing technical plans for a building project? The architectural technician gathers information and coordinates with several team members to develop a plan that is up to code, functional, meets client requirements, and reflects the original design concept. This process usually involves:

  • Meeting with construction managers, materials suppliers, and project managers
  • Drafting 2D and 3D drawings that incorporate electrical, plumbing, HVAC systems, and landscaping solutions
  • Creating virtual 3D architectural models of each design
  • Determining quantities of materials necessary for the project
  • Estimating the cost of the project
  • Conducting site visits to monitor progress and address any design challenges or required modifications

Architectural technicians may choose to specialize in a specific sector of the market, such as commercial, industrial, or residential building projects. Or they may develop expertise in a particular domain, such as sustainable architectural design.

If you work in sustainable architecture as a technician, your focus will be on designing ecologically responsible structures. When creating your plans, you will apply best practices in material selection, building system design, and construction techniques, following established "green" building standards and techniques.

Where will you be employed as an architectural technician? Architectural technicians work for architectural or engineering firms, or independently as freelancers.


Architectural Technician Job Outlook and salaries

Considering starting an architectural technician career? Your first step is to investigate the job outlook for technicians in this area. Every three years, the Government of Canada Job Bank researches hundreds of professions, all across the country, and ranks each one by demand in each region.

The latest report for architectural technicians is quite promising for Quebec and Saskatchewan. The Job Bank gives this profession four out of five stars for job outlook in those provinces, predicting good demand over the next few years.

What's the average salary for architectural technicians? The Job Bank pegs the median salary for this profession at approximately $62,000 per year—with an average starting salary of about $44,000. At the highest level of the pay scale, architectural technicians make over $101,000 per year.


Architectural Technician Training Programs

So what kind of credentials do you need to become an architectural technician? You can get started in this field with a diploma in architectural (or sustainable architectural) design, which typically takes about two years to complete.

Your training program will equip you with relevant technical skills and software knowledge, using programs like AutoCAD as well as hand-drawing techniques. You can expect to learn how to create 2D drawings, blueprints, schematics, and building site plans, as well as 3D models and virtual walkthroughs.

You will also learn the fundamentals of building design, how to analyze a building site, how to select materials, and how to estimate project costs.

A program that focuses on sustainable architectural design will include all of these topics, plus detailed instruction on green building methods and materials, energy efficiency, and analyzing the environmental impact of commercial, residential, and industrial buildings.

Quality architectural technician training will include an internship, so students have the opportunity to apply their technical skills and theoretical knowledge in a real business setting.


Interested in learning more about becoming an architectural technician?

Have a particular passion for green building and sustainable design?

Explore the sustainable architecture program delivered by Herzing College. Click below to browse courses, career paths, and admission information—or chat live with a friendly advisor. We're here to help!

Learn More About Herzing's Sustainable Architecture Training

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