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Architects design and advise clients about building projects. They provide a wide range of services, including developing sketches and construction drawings and estimating costs. They write specifications, review on-site construction work and provide design solutions to complex problems.

  • Avg. Salary $96,877.00
  • Avg. Wage $47.62
  • Minimum Education 6 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Architects (2151) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Architects (C051) 
  • 2011 NOC: Architects (2151) 
  • 2016 NOC: Architects (2151) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Architect is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Interest in synthesizing information to conceptualize and design buildings, and to develop plans describing design specifications, building materials, costs and construction schedules


Interest in precision working to prepare sketches and models according to clients' specifications; and in participating in contract negotiations


Interest in supervising and monitoring activities on construction sites to ensure compliance with specifications; and in awarding construction contracts

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 31, 2019

Architects meet with clients to discuss their needs and desires. They visit proposed building sites, analyze their requirements, and review land-use bylaws as well as other codes and regulations. They work with construction companies on costs, construction schedules and site supervision. Architects also develop concept sketches of proposed designs for presentation to clients. This typically results in presentation drawings that include site plans, perspective drawings, models and videos.

With a client’s approval of the design and budget, architects proceed through design development and on to the construction document stage. These documents, usually created on a computer, include:

  • Detailed construction drawings
  • Specifications (written instructions for contractors)
  • Contract and construction documents

When architects plan layouts, they must keep in mind how the building’s interior, structural, electrical and mechanical systems relate to each other in terms of placement and space. They take into account codes and regulations that influence the layout. They make recommendations on the sustainability and energy efficiency of the site and building design, including its operation and maintenance.

Architects prepare estimates of construction costs with information they get from building contractors. They may also consult with:

  • Soil engineers and surveyors
  • Structural, electrical and mechanical engineers
  • Urban planners
  • Landscape architects
  • Interior designers and kitchen consultants
  • Cost estimators
  • Acoustical engineers
  • Local planning, zoning and building code officials
  • Community organizations
  • Contractors and construction companies
  • Materials and equipment manufacturers and suppliers

Architects frequently meet with clients to:

  • Evaluate designs and discuss concerns
  • Give advice about building sites, tenders and the selection of contractors
  • Report on progress and costs
  • Review plans
  • Choose materials, finishes and colours

Architects also may prepare land-use studies and carry out long-range land development plans.

Architectural firms put in a considerable amount of time marketing their services to potential clients so they have a steady and growing workload. This includes networking and developing a wide range of promotional material.

Some architects specialize in areas such as:

  • Programming
  • Sustainable design
  • Building and construction technology
  • Specifications writing and cost estimating
  • Project management
  • Arbitration

Individual architects or architectural firms may choose to specialize in, or be associated with, the design of particular types of buildings. These could include:

  • Residential buildings, such as single- and multi-family homes or high-rise apartments
  • Commercial buildings, such as office buildings and shopping centres
  • Institutions such as churches, schools or hospitals
  • Historic or heritage rehabilitation (restoration of older buildings)
  • Urban design
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Architects spend much of their time in offices, communicating with clients and consultants and working with colleagues. At times, they visit building sites to do construction administration.

Some architects take on very large projects. Others work directly with users on smaller projects.

Architects have a wide range of opportunities all over the world.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Architects need:

  • Creativity and imagination
  • Confidence and self-motivation
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication and writing skills
  • Organizational and problem-solving skills
  • Spatial awareness
  • The ability to work with and lead clients, stakeholders and teams
  • A strong interest in technical work

They should enjoy synthesizing information and developing innovative designs. They should be at ease working with people on precision tasks.

If self-employed, architects must also be good business managers.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

The minimum educational requirement is either a bachelor of architecture degree or a professional master of architecture degree. The master of architecture degree is currently the only degree offered by Canadian schools of architecture. The University of Calgary currently provides the only professional program in Alberta. The accreditation of professional programs in Canada is managed by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB). For the current list of professional programs in Canada, visit the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) website.

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019


Architects design building projects and advise clients regarding building projects. They prepare programs, sketches and cost estimates, produce scale construction drawings, write specifications and review on-site construction work.


Under Alberta's Architects Act and Architects Act General Regulation, you must be registered with the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) to practice as an Architect and use the title Architect. If you are not registered with AAA, you may work under the supervision of a registered architect. Licensed interior designers and restricted practitioners may practice architecture on projects of limited scope with AAA approval.

What You Need

Registration requires the equivalent of:

  • Completion of an approved bachelor's or master's degree program in architecture
  • An internship of at least 2 years of work experience under the supervision of an architect
  • Successful completion of registration examinations

For detailed official information about registration requirements, contact the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA).

Working in Alberta

Architects who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered architects in Alberta and the jurisdiction which the applicant originates have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory in Canada? and the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) website.

To learn about certification for internationally educated architects, see Architect Registration Process.

Contact Details

The Alberta Association of Architects (AAA)
Duggan House
10515 Saskatchewan Dr. NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T6E 4S1

Call: 780-432-0224

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Architects may be self-employed or employed by:

  • Architectural firms
  • Government agencies
  • Commercial or industrial organizations
  • Developers, real estate companies or contractors
  • Post-secondary schools
  • Related industries, including film, exhibition design, furniture design or interior design

Registered architects may become project architects or specialize in other areas of the industry. With experience, architects may move into project design or construction management. They may have the opportunity to become associates or partners in larger firms. Some architects teach in post-secondary schools. Others do research or move into careers as writers or critics.

In Alberta, 89% of people employed as architects work in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting the provincial economy and overall employment, especially in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

As of February 2019, there were 1,235 architects actively registered with the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) to practise in the province.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the 2151: Architects occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the 0 new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $24.04 $63.44 $32.00 $25.96
Overall $36.44 $63.44 $47.62 $45.73
Top $53.85 $96.15 $72.85 $66.35

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) website:

Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) website:

The Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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