Careers in the public sector

What do architects do in the public sector?

Architects in the public sector influence the quality of design and sustainability for places at a neighbourhood or building scale. Architects bring their design skills and knowledge, spatial and analytical skills, and stakeholder and project management experience in-house.

Architects may advise on the development design and construction, including critiquing projects proposed by developers and landowners. Architects might be tasked with creating sketches, models and plans; managing projects; developing design codes; preparing masterplans; writing reports; engaging with stakeholders; and undertaking site visits.

Architectural designers in the public sector need to be creative and able to put forward persuasive ideas and proposals; enjoy critical analysis and problem-solving; be able to communicate clearly with a diverse range of people through written, verbal and visual (including drawings and diagrams) communication methods; and be comfortable working with financial information such as costs and budgets.

What job roles might an architect be suitable for in the public sector?

Architects could work in a wide range of roles, including urban design - inputting on design quality at pre-apps or creating design codes; sustainability roles - working on retrofitting buildings or working on energy policy; economic development - working on regenerating high streets or cultural programming; property development - working on development capacity appraisals or delivering housing in partnership with the private sector.

Progression would involve moving to a managerial or senior leadership position, with more responsibility for overseeing projects and budgets, day-to-day supervision of the work of team members, and more interaction with senior politicians and officials.

Architects we've recruited into public sector roles

Qualifications needed

To work in the public sector, it is not a requirement to be a qualified Architect (part 3 status and on the ARB register). However, most public sector organisations do ask for a degree or equivalent experience in this field, which could be anything from a bachelor's degree (part 1 status) and above.

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