what is an architectural assistant?

An architectural assistant is an entry-level employee within the architecture industry. The role allows newcomers to learn the ropes before becoming fully-fledged architects. Architectural projects often involve several moving parts, which would be impossible for an architect to juggle alone. As a result, many architects employ architectural assistants to help with some of their tasks.

As an architectural assistant, you support architects with basic tasks to free up their time, enabling them to concentrate on more complex responsibilities. For instance, you study building designs and develop initial drawings to highlight a project's technical details. Your work also involves coordinating other team members to ensure their activities contribute to the project design. You'll likely be responsible for double-checking compliance, building codes and certifications.

Architectural assistants who lack previous work experience but have a degree in architecture need more supervision and often carry out simple tasks. Architectural assistants have at least a year of experience and will have completed a master's, diploma or BArch course. This makes you qualified to take on most responsibilities. Aside from performing similar tasks as level one assistants, you are assigned more independent projects and other complex duties.

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average architectural assistant salary

According to Payscale, architectural assistants take home an average salary of ₹240,000 annually. In an entry-level position, you take home ₹180,000 per year. With experience, you earn over ₹300,000 annually. The pay scale depends on diverse factors, including work experience, qualifications and project types.

how to increase your salary as an architectural assistant

As an architectural assistant, you work on diverse projects with an architect. Working on large and complex projects increases your earnings. Large projects demand certain skills and competencies that warrant higher earnings. Working in a large company increases earning potential since they have more resources and can afford to pay higher salaries.

The location also influences your earnings. When you work in metropolitan areas, you will likely earn more due to the high demand for architectural assistants.


types of architectural assistants

Architectural assistants can specialise in specific building types, including:

  • sustainable architectural assistants: when designs call for sustainable features, green design architectural assistants help put together environmentally friendly building features and construction techniques for the property. They also find suitable materials for sustainable projects.
  • commercial architectural assistants: as a commercial or industrial architectural assistant, you help architects draw up the initial plans for structures like storefronts, hotels, skyscrapers and multi-unit apartments. You assist architects in creating an aesthetically pleasing structure that promotes good traffic.
  • landscape architectural assistant: your job is to assist architects in creating beautiful outdoor spaces for people to enjoy, like gardens and walking paths. You may also determine the plants and trees to be planted in an area.
  • residential architectural assistants: as a residential architectural assistant, you help an architect develop designs for new residential properties or adjustments to existing homes, such as extensions or roof conversions.

working as an architectural assistant

Architectural assistants perform vital roles in construction projects. Let's look at the tasks and duties you will undertake as an architectural assistant.


education and skills

To work as an architectural assistant in India, you should enrol for a formal education or training program. You are expected to complete a 10+2 in physics, mathematics and chemistry, as well as relevant entrance examinations, like the National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) and Joint Entrance Examination-Main (JEE Main).

You can pursue a bachelor of architecture or a bachelor of planning to gain the relevant skills required to accomplish your duties. For advanced qualifications, pursue a master’s degree in planning or architecture.

architectural assistant skills and competencies

Some of the skills that are useful to architectural assistants include:

  • numerical skills: as an architectural assistant, you need mathematical skills to design buildings, especially geometry and advanced algebra. Numerical principles help you with designing buildings and drawing blueprints.
  • creativity: buildings should be aesthetically pleasing and functional to enhance performance. You design eye-catching buildings with a flow to improve functionality with your innovativeness. Your creativity comes in handy when developing exterior and interior designs for residential and commercial buildings.
  • drawing skills: while most architects adopt digital drawings, architectural assistants need exceptional drawing skills for sketching building ideas. Before digitising a design, you draw its schematics on paper and make the necessary adjustments.
  • legal knowledge: the client's specification isn't the only thing to adhere to during building design. You need knowledge of building codes and regulations for the construction site. Incorporating the legislation into the design plans is crucial to avoid legal problems or non-compliance. You may work with a legal secretary to accomplish this task.
  • communication skills: your job is to work alongside the architectural team and other construction professionals. Communication skills promote teamwork and ensure all the members are on the same page.
  • organisational skills: as an architectural assistant, you manage the work schedule of an architect. You need organisational skills to keep up with all tasks and meet deadlines.

FAQs about working as an architectural assistant

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of an architectural assistant.

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