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Breaking Paradigms: Utilizing Your Architecture Degree in Construction Management


Architects are problem solvers. Whether it’s designing within a tight budget, maximizing the number of patient rooms on a hospital floor, or effectively utilizing the unique existing contours of a project site, these problem-solving skills are applicable to much more than design. An architecture degree is valuable for several career options within construction management, ranging from creative, to technical, to technological, to a combination.

From a technical perspective, having a general understanding of construction types and practices, contract vehicles, code and ADA compliance, and key software such as Autodesk REVIT and the Adobe Creative Suites allows those with this knowledge to succeed at a Construction Management firm. Creative thinking and teamwork are other highly important traits. Sometimes pragmatic engineers and contractors need a creative mindset to solve real problems that are encountered on a daily basis.

At Hourigan, several team members with architecture backgrounds have found success in a variety of roles. Read on to learn more how you can utilize your architecture degree in construction management.

Design Manager

This career path requires someone who possesses the skills to think like an architect, apply their knowledge on a design level, and serve as the second set of eyes on Design-Build projects.  The responsibility of the Design Manager is to ensure that the design team is proceeding with a project design that meets the project budget while also meeting the needs of the client.  This role acts as a bridge with all involved parties (client, design team, construction and estimating team, and virtual construction) to assist in keeping the project on course.  Along the way, the Design Manager may also provide insight and influence for product and construction alternatives and code compliance. Architectural knowledge is applied every day at work in this position.


Preconstruction and estimating professionals are able to use their architecture experience to both see and understand the building and specifications from a unique design perspective. Through the design background, they are able to provide well-wrought value management and cost control solutions that maintain the design intent while proactively anticipating potential issues down the road.

Pursuit / Proposal Management

As the person who is acquiring leads and work for the company, Pursuit/Proposal Managers have a background in understanding of the industry and varying types of processes, methodologies, and approaches to constructing the built environment. Their architectural education provides a proficiency in Adobe Creative Suites, a skill that is necessary for creating and developing engaging proposals, graphics, and renderings. In addition to technical skills, creative problem-solving abilities in a team environment are crucial to providing innovative solutions to clients in the early stages of project development.

A degree in architecture cultivates out-of-the-box thinking, creative problem solving, the ability to work effectively in teams, and many other skills that are an indispensable asset to any company, not just in the AEC industry. The construction industry runs largely on precision and logic, so having a creative mindset present can help inspire others to view situations from alternative angles and come up with alternative solutions to issues that arise. Whether or not you’re certain the life of an architect is for you, there are plenty of ways to put your degree to good use in the construction industry.


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