Assistant Architect : The Reality
I've been asked a lot about how exactly it is, working as an assistant architect especially from my high school juniors who are considering architecture as their major. So why not do a blog post to give you a clear vision on this.
An assistant architect, in mere fact, even as an architect itself, is not a job like what has been told in dramas and movies. Not the kind of job where you work exactly 9.00am to 6.00pm, a job where you bring AO size drawings on your back all the time to meetings or a job where you earn millions in a month time. No, it's not like that at all.
Working in the architectural field, even when studying architecture, pulling an all-nighter is a routine you'll never be able to avoid especially if you're working in a small firm with few staffs. I once stayed up till 6.00am in the office to finish the drawings and printings, only went home to shower and Subuh prayer, then at 8.00am went to tender briefing.
Sounds exhausted right? But the hard work would all be worth it especially if you got compliments from other consultants.
People often think that architects are good at drawing manually as it's our job. No, we draw using computer software, for example, AutoCAD, Sketchup, Revit, etc. But yes, the initial idea usually was done manually, a rough sketch. Since we now do drawings in computer and we have LCD, no one brings AO drawings to meeting nowadays even submitting the drawings was done online. Even if a hard copy of the drawings required for the meeting, folding the drawings into A4 size would be easier so don't dream of carrying the drawing tube on your back to meetings. You'll do that when you're in university, that is if the university still practices students for manual drafting.
When I tell someone that I'm an assistant architect, all they see in me is a rich young woman who works in the professional field. Little did they know that architect is listed as one of the low-paying jobs in the world. I'll just tell you what happen in Malaysia since it'll be more relatable. A starting salary of an assistant architect (fresh graduate of bachelor's degree Part I), is about RM1400-RM1800. But you'll get paid higher if your portfolio is outstanding and you work in a big firm in KL. So yeah, we don't get paid RM2000 and above like everyone else is thinking.
But of course, if we put our heart and sincerity in our job, God will make us feel richer than what we actually earn.
So did you know these things I mentioned about an assistant architect?
Well, when I read this post again, it feels like I only give the negative things but hey, I just want to be real here, okay. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, I love what I do. Passion is all you need to survive architecture field so if you have passion, just go for it.
If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life - Marc Anthony
I'm sure all of us agree with this quote, right?