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Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design 1st Edition

24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471709541
ISBN-10: 0471709549
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Editorial Reviews


"Waldrep brings the perceptions and narratives of dozens of students and practitioners as he defines the role of an architect. He gives a number of valuable resources for architects, including professional organizations and websites, and lists accredited architecture programs in the US and Canada." (Book News, February 2008)

From the Inside Flap

Becoming an Architect is the definitive guide to obtaining the skills and education necessary to be an architect. This hands-on book features complete coverage of the three central components of becoming an architect—education, experience, and exam. Waldrep guides the reader through the major hurdles of graduating with an accredited professional degree in architecture, gaining experience through an internship, and passing the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).

Culled from years of experience guiding eager students along the path to becoming professional architects, Lee Waldrep covers everything aspiring architects needs to know—from helpful information on the profession, design specialties, and educational and registration requirements to advice on finding a job and the many career options in architecture.

Dozens of in-depth interviews and career profiles with practicing architects give insightful, authoritative perspectives on numerous specialties and alternative paths that one can pursue with an education in architecture.

In her Foreword, Kate Schwennsen, FAIA, the 2006 AIA national president, writes, "This book recognizes the breadth and depth of architect's responsibilities and possibilities. It recognizes that architects' are uniquely placed by virtue of their education and experience to understand and mitigate the complex predicaments of the twenty-first century. This book is a fundamental beginning to a life of accomplishment as an architect."

Packed with helpful, accessible information, Becoming an Architect is an essential guide for anyone entering or considering the architecture profession.


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Product Details

  • Series: Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley; 1 edition (April 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471709549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471709541
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lee W. Waldrep, Ph.D.

Currently, I work in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I have over 20 years of experience in higher education with an emphasis in academic affairs and career development architecture students.

Previously, I served as associate executive director of NAAB, the associate dean in the School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation at the University of Maryland and associate dean in the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). I hold a Ph.D. in Counseling and Development from The American University along with a Master of Architecture from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Science from the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan.

I am the author of the book, Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design, 2nd Edition published by J. Wiley and Sons with the 3rd edition being published in May 2014. Also, I have lectured and presented on the topics of careers and architecture extensively around the country. I am also the author of, a website dedicated to assisting individuals learn about the process of becoming an architect.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Peter Roselle on April 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
My son knew at an early age that he wanted to pursue a career in architecture. Lacking first-hand experience I tried to help him research what the career was all about. I wish I had this book early in the process. We ended up interviewing architects on our own, reading articles, college rankings, etc. Going in I assumed the CAD/CAM / math / physics aspect would dominate; while important, I soon found out that the artistic / sketching / creative aspect is equally important. As this book so beautiully points out however, the value of intangibles such as "creative problem-solving" and "ability to communicate abstract ideas" outweigh pure technical or artistic skills. Dr. Waldrep skillfully weaves the thoughts and experiences of 49 professionals from diverse backgrounds in architecture to help fill in the knowledge gaps about the career - and may I say - what a broad career! After reading the book you will be impressed with the fact that a career in architecture is a never-ending learning experience with a myriad of "career spokes" springing from the hub of the core disciplines. We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Waldrep for artfully constructing this launching pad of thought-provoking gems from the bright lights of the architecture industry.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Brian J. Crowley on September 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
Have you ever been frustrated with the lack of knowledge about architectural careers out there? Does everyone you speak to seem to have no idea where to start or what to do to end up where you picture yourself being? Unfortunately, this is one of the many pitfalls of architecture and until recently prospective architecture students have been left to fend for themselves and blaze a trail over and over again. However, things may be about to change for the better! For over twenty years Professor Lee Waldrep has been conceptualizing this all encompassing guide to Becoming an Architect. Now, finally here, this book serves as the ultimate counselor in pursuing the ever elusive career in architecture!

From his days as a freshman in high school Prof. Waldrep had fantasized about becoming an architect. After years of hard study through high school and college, he graduated with two degrees in architecture and moved on to work in a firm for three months before he realized that the career he had spent over 10 essential years of his life working towards was not right for him. At this point he decided to dedicate his life to helping prospective architecture students achieve their goals by one day becoming eligible to sit for a licensing exam. Thus, this guide came about.

This book is a MUST for anyone even half considering pursuing a career in architecture. Waldrep acts as a personal mentor guiding you though the many paths that could lead to becoming a licensed architect. He does this by starting early, setting you on the right path and keeping you there from your pre-high school days into college and continues to guide you towards your licensing exam after graduation.
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Format: Paperback
One of my daughters is very interested in becoming an architect and this is an ideal book for her. I think any young person of even an undergraduate college student considering this career path will find this book very helpful.

I appreciate that the book asks and answers the most likely questions a young person will ask or should ask about the career. Even more I appreciate that the author has brought in a broad range of practicing architects to answer than and share their views. This range of opinions and suggestions is quite helpful. It also has the benefit of being interesting.

There are five chapters, the first provides some definition of what an architect is by talking about the wide range of things architects do, and helps the prospective architect think through if such a career is for them. The important skills of architects are also discussed.

Chapter two talks about the education of an architect and even gets back into childhood toys, books and activities. For the high school student considering this career they suggest which courses are most beneficial for the student. They also discuss the licensing, paths to various degrees and what they are needed for. Appendix B also gives a list of accredited architecture programs. There is also information about the application programs and academic enrichment.

Chapter three talks about how to gain experience as a student, how to get noticed, what hiring companies look for, and moving towards licensure. Chapter four helps the student design her career and what the options are. Chapter five lets the participants in this book speak about their wide range of views of the future of architecture. Appendix A provides a resource list for architects - professional organizations, institutions, community service, recommended reading, and websites.

All great stuff, very readable, and with lots of interesting illustrations and photographs.

Very good!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Singleton on September 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Being a graduate student in my second and final year of Architecture School, you'd think that I would have a clear understanding of what architecture is, what it means to become an architect and why I chose this profession in the first place. I however, had not really taken the time to think about any of these topics until rather recently. Not until I read this book and was given an opportunity to discuss it with high school students in a summer program did I realize that I had an infinite number of questions about the profession I have chosen and will enter in a year.

Reading this book (especially the interviews with both students and professionals) helped me to answer some of these questions and offered resources for obtaining even more information on the topic of Architecture and the profession. Piggybacking on what another reviewer mentioned, I couldn't agree more, that this book is extremely appropriate for people of all ages and levels - from kids who have just begun to play with legos and Lincoln logs, to high school students who have taken an active interest in architecture or design, to professionals who may still have some questions about the path they have chosen and the future of the profession.

I applaud Dr. Waldrep for all the work he has done to make this book possible and make the information available to people like myself, who are seeking answers. I cannot thank Lee enough for his efforts in ensuring that students and architects alike stay informed about what architecture as a profession is, how other people view the profession and where the profession is headed. His dedication to students and passion about the profession is completely clear in this book through the research and the interviews and therefore, I would highly recommend it to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the field.
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