Why did I become an Architect?

By: Elizabeth S. Holser, AIA

After nearly 30 years of being an Architect I get asked two questions most often- What is becoming of the Architect profession? Why would you want to be an Architect? My answers to these questions have evolved.

Somewhere I’ve read that Architects do not hit their stride until around age 50. I agree, as Architects we are required to orchestrate and integrate an incredible breadth of knowledge. We must learn sociology, psychology, human tendencies, art, history, building materials, symbology, and political processes, this list could go on. Whew! It’s no wonder there’s a curiosity about what we do and why our numbers are so few compared to other professions. I’ve always thought that we Architects are somewhat in the same boat as the agriculture community- our few provide for many!

The U. S. has about 105,000 licensed Architects at any given time. Not many, right? That number will likely not budge much in the years to come. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the employment of Architects is projected to grow only 4 percent from 2016 to 2026. Slower than the national average for ALL occupations. This is something we will continue to ponder as we consider the next generation of Architects.

This begs to answer, why would did I become an Architect? I became an Architect to leave my design footprint on the community. It is so rewarding that I am able to create tangible, functional, visible artwork that not only improves the surroundings visibly, but life experiences as well. How incredible is it to be an Architect!