Architectural Designer | What I do & how much I make | Part 1 | Khan Academy


I’m Sophia Hastings. I’m 24, and I am a designer at an architecture firm. We design mostly homes, but also some office space, hotels, things like that. At the firm, Robert is the boss and owner. He’s the only licensed architect here, and then you have the architectural designers who are four people including myself. Then, we have one intern. An architectural designer is someone who carries out a project from beginning ideas, initial sketches all the way through a built, inhabitable project. Robert as the only licensed architect is the only one who can stamp these as an architect, approve of them, be held legally accountable for them, but our role as architectural designers is to help him through the process, manage the project, and do a lot of the work required to finish and complete them. My key responsibilities in the design realm are attending client meetings, taking notes, making 3D models on the computer of our projects, taking a lot of sketches that Robert makes and translating them into construction drawings on the computer, and also a lot of site visits and measuring. In the permitting process, my responsibilities are meeting with officials, getting all the paperwork together to make sure that a building can be permitted, and finally obtaining the permit. Then, in the construction administration side of it, I focus on coordinating with construction teams making sure that if there’s a change I issue a drawing to communicate that to all the proper people, and also overseeing construction sites. My annual salary is about $40,000.00 right now. I make $20.00 an hour. I work eight hour days. That come to about $3200.00 that I’m taking home per month. I am an independent contractor right now because initially I was only going to be here temporarily which made sense. What that means is that I don’t get taxes taken out of my paycheck, so I get the full amount, and I’m responsible for my own taxes at the end of the year. Right now, I’m in transition of becoming a full time employee where I will get taxes taken out and get full benefits. My worst day on this job was I had just started working here, and I had made some drawings to send to the contractor on site for something we were doing, and we got a call in the office. There were walls where there weren’t supposed to be walls like built in the physical world. That had never happened to me before. It was because of my drawings, so I freaked out. That was a big day for me. I redrew it. Robert got the contractor to take out the drywall that they had already put in and stuff. He said, you know, that’s part of the job. It happens all the time, but because it was my first time ever experiencing that, it was really scary.

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