What’s it really like to work as an architect? How long does it take to qualify, and what does that journey look like? One person who knows all about this path is Tyler Scott, one of our architectural assistants now four years into his architectural career.

Tyler began his journey as an apprentice at CMS Architects and most recently gained his Part II qualification. We caught up with him to find out more about his journey and gain some valuable insights to share with you. Read on for Tyler’s perspective! 

What has your architectural journey looked like so far?

It’s been a long journey! It was around Year 8 or 9 when I decided that architecture was what I wanted to do. Since then, it’s been a journey of putting everything in place – going through school and sixth form, and then applying to universities.

For me, doing the undergraduate degree was the easier part of the journey. It became harder when I left university and started looking for jobs, and this was made even more challenging by Covid-19, as there were less people offering opportunities and taking on recruits at the time. I was fortunate to get a job at CMS, and from there, it was a question of how to progress to the last phase. That was where the apprenticeship kicked off for me, offering an opportunity to progress towards becoming a chartered architect.

Tyler’s journey to qualifying as a Part II Architect

What inspired you to choose the career path of an architect?

Good question! I was always creative when I was younger and loved building things with Lego. A lot of my family were in the building trade too, but I hated getting dirty! So the question for me was, what jobs could I do that are in the building trade but allow me to work indoors and keep warm?!

With family members knowing a lot of people in the industry, I was introduced to architects at a young age and fell in love with it. Especially in my early teens, I had a passion for buildings and architecture, and this interest grew more and more over the years.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I spend most of my time doing initial stage drawings, background research into sites, properties and buildings, and then creating the constraints and opportunities. This is where you look at a site, understand what could be a potential advantage or disadvantage to your proposals, and bring these together to create a set of proposals for your client. I’m mostly office-based at the moment, but as I am now working towards my Part III qualification, I’ll start to be exposed to and visit project sites more often.

What is your favourite part of your job?

For me, it’s the variety of work we get at CMS. As a small firm, we’re lucky that our job load is so wide ranging. We can be working on residential and listed buildings, right through to hospitals and high rise blocks, and everything in between.

Tyler’s journey to qualifying as a Part II Architect

How would you describe the company culture?

It’s like a dysfunctional little family! But that’s what’s so nice about it – everyone has everyone’s backs. You know you can have a laugh, enjoy your time at work, and you can trust everyone.

What opportunities have you had to learn and grow your knowledge and abilities?

I was lucky in that I was the first in the architectural team to do a Level 7 apprenticeship with CMS. After progressing to achieve my Part I and Part II qualifications, I’m now starting Part III and working towards becoming a fully chartered architect, which I hope to achieve at the end of next year. Following the apprenticeship route has allowed me to develop my career in a slightly different way to how you might usually, and it’s been a great journey.

What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on so far, and why?

That would have to be Weston-super-Mare Football Club. Although it’s held up at planning at the moment and has been for a while, as a big football fan it’s been nice to work on a local club at the height that they are. I hope it gets through planning and I’m able to put my name alongside quite a big job and a development of high interest.

It’s also been a challenging project because of the constraints around it, such as the pitch being located close to the main road. We also have to be considerate because the design has a residential element to it, and we have to take into account sound and lighting factors from the club in relation to the surrounding residential area.

Weston-super-Mare Football Club

What key skills would you say are needed to be an architect?

Interesting question… At school, teachers would say the main ones were maths, physics and something arty, but I didn’t do those. I think the main skills you need are creativity and the ability to have a vision in mind for the sites you work on. You’ve also got to be good at collaborating with others, as we work in such a varied sector and there’s a lot of individuals involved with a project all the way through.

What subjects did you do at school, and how helpful were they?

I did Art at GCSE and Product Design at A level, and I would say something along those lines is helpful. I also studied Geography and found this really relevant because of the way everything is going with environment, sustainability and global warming today. Geography teaches you about environmental factors, and these are things you take into account when designing a building.

Can you share a challenge you’ve found in your role?

I used to suffer a lot from stage fright, so coming into a very collaborative job like architecture, I had to find a way around this! For me, the easiest way to overcome this was to just dump myself in the deep end and do the things that challenge me most. I would get in front of people and talk, lead meetings and do what I could to get over this fear. I’m now much more confident than I ever was, even recently running a seminar for the rest of our team, which I would not have said yes to years back!

Tyler’s journey to qualifying as a Part II Architect

What advice would you give to someone interested in a career as an architect?

Remember it’s a long time in education! It’s worth every minute that you spend there though. Definitely take this into account, but don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it! If you put your head down and work hard, you will get there.

What software, tools or resources are most integral to your work?

Anything that can draw any part of a building. The software we use, Vectorworks, produces 2D and 3D drawings in one swift process and is integral to the work we do.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

I’d like to be a fully qualified architect at that point, working on my own jobs and progressing my career as part of the CMS team.

What interests you about the future of the construction industry?

The way technology is going, we have an opportunity to push the boundaries of what’s possible in design and build form, not only in design but also in sustainability. We should be looking at producing buildings that are so eco-friendly that they’re almost giving back to us. I hope we go in this direction whilst still being able to protect our heritage assets that are the backbone of the country.

If you have any questions about a potential career in architecture or architectural technology, please get in touch with us and our team will be happy to help.

CMS Group - Architects, Project Managers & Surveyors