Architectural technologist

What’s in a name?

Architect … architectural technologist … what’s the difference? Both of these professionals spend their working hours bringing building projects to life, and many aspects of their daily roles overlap. But there are also some differences.

Generally speaking, architects are more involved in creating the designs for a building, while architectural technologists take care of the more practical aspects of the project: Is the building functional? Does it meet all the legal and safety requirements? 

If you become an architectural technologist, you’ll probably spend much of your day preparing drawings, surveying building sites and supervising the crucial details of the building process. 

There’s another key difference, too: the study path to becoming an architectural technologist is a much shorter one – which makes this a great career option if you can’t (or don’t want to) embark on the extra years of study and training needed to become a professional architect.

Let’s talk basics

In South Africa, you can obtain an architectural qualification through a university or university of technology, and your course of study and career outcomes may differ depending on the tertiary institution you choose.

The study path to becoming an architectural technologist will start with an undergraduate degree or diploma. Depending on your chosen tertiary institution, there are different qualification options available. Once you’ve got your degree or diploma, you’ll enter a period of in-service training. For more information click here.

Licence and registration please…

Just like a practising architects, architectural technologists in South Africa are registered professionals.

That means you’ll need to become registered with the country’s official regulator, the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), before you can officially start working.

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