What Does an Architect Do?

what does an architect do

What Does an Architect Do?

The word architect derives from the Greek arkitekton, which means chief builder.

If you are thinking of hiring an architect, you may have wondered, “What does an architect do exactly?”


The National Council of Registration Boards defines an architect as a licensed professional trained in the art and science of building design and construction. An architect plans, designs and oversees the complex task of constructing a building. The word architect derives from the Greek arkitekton, which means chief builder or director of works. It is important to understand that a designer or draftsperson is unlicensed. They may know a lot about designing buildings but it is illegal for them to provide architectural services. Hiring a designer or draftsperson to design your house is equivalent to having a paralegal to represent you in court or an intern to perform your surgery. You must pass the Registration Exams to be an architect just like you have to pass the Bar Exam to be a lawyer or the Medical Boards to be a doctor.


Professional organizations such as your city or country’s local architectural institutions are great sources to find licensed architects. Word of mouth is also a common way to look for an architect. Ask family, friends and/or professional colleagues for referrals. Websites like Houzz are good places to search for a licensed architect because you can narrow the search results by style or geographic location. Web searches using key words can also yield results, for example “modern vacation house.”


Interested in learning more about hiring an architect? Check out our free guide!

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