Architectural technician

Construction and building

Career outlook for architectural technician

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would research and put together the technical details that construction companies need for a new development.

You'd support architects, surveyors and other people in the construction industry. 

You would:

  • bring together technical information for planning projects, such as what the client wants, surveys of the site and building regulations
  • prepare plans using computer-aided design (CAD) software, as well as traditional drawing methods
  • prepare applications for approval by regulatory bodies
  • monitor the health and safety aspect of the design
  • prepare specifications for construction work
  • advise the project team on technical matters
  • visit sites to check on progress and inspect work

Your work would help to ensure that the new building meets the client’s requirements, whether it is a small home extension or a huge new sports stadium.

Working conditions


You would usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, although you may sometimes have to work extra hours to meet deadlines.


You would be mainly office-based, but would visit clients and construction sites, which could involve working outdoors in all weathers.


Travelling to sites and meetings may mean spending time away from home.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Creative
  • Designing
  • Innovative
  • Working with numbers
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Taking responsibility

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


To become a professionally qualified Architectural Technician, you can study an HNC or HND such as a Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) in Architectural Technology or a degree (SCQF level 9/10) in Architectural Technology, Construction or the Built Environment.

A list of HNC and HND courses approved by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) is available on the CIAT website. A list of CIAT-accredited honours degrees is also available. 

Entry to an Architectural Technologies HNC or HND requires Nationals (SCQF level 4/5) and one to two Highers (SCQF level 6), or a National Certificate in the Built Environment for some courses.

Entry to a degree course usually requires four Highers and National 5s.

With a Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) in Architectural Technologies you may be able to gain entry to the second or third year of some degrees (SCQF level 9/10).

Edinburgh Napier University and Robert Gordon University offer Architectural Technologies degrees in Scotland.

It is possible to enter this role without a degree, or with qualifications that are not recognised by the CIAT, via the CIAT’s profile candidate route. However this requires substantial experience and possibly further qualifications, this can take some time to achieve. 

It is possible to progress towards chartered membership of the CIAT or a career as a Chartered Architectural Technologist (MCIAT).

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses)
  • Maths (required by most courses)
  • A science subject, in particular, Physics (required by most courses)
  • Design and Technology

You will also need

You can register for student membership of the CIAT while studying an approved higher education qualification, you are then eligible to upgrade your membership to associate level on graduation (ACIAT). 

To undertake the Architectural Professional and Occupation Performance (POP) record, either while studying, using evidence from work completed during the programme and the year out placement, or once you are in employment. If you have completed a relevant approved or accredited qualification you may be exempt from some elements of the POP.