- Why study architecture in Australia?
- What architectural engineering courses are available in Australia?
- What are entry requirements to study architecture in Australia?
- How to become an architect in Australia?
- How to pass a skill assessment for an architect in Australia?
- What is the PR pathway for an architect?
If you are looking for a career where your eye for beautiful design can be used to shape, perhaps even transform the environment in which we live, then architecture is the perfect fit. In Australia, the unemployment rate of architect occupation currently is lower than the average, and it is predicted that architect occupation would still grow at 17% in the next 5 years. If you are thinking about migration pathway to Australia as an architect, it is time to prepare yourselves for this journey.
Why study architecture in Australia?
- According to QS World University Ranking, Australia has been ranked as one of the top places to study architecture with almost 10 educational Australian institutes being ranked in the top 100 world-wide.
- Graduation with an architecture degree does not mean you only have one option to be an architect. The career outcomes for you are endless, including architectural assistant, lighting consultant, architectural engineer, construction manager, to name a few.
- High pay is also another advantage of architect occupation with the average salary for graduates between 70,000 to 130,000 per year.
Want to explore more about the architecture course and architect occupation? Fill in the enquiry form and our Education Counselor will get back to you within 24 hours.
What architectural engineering courses are available in Australia?
Australian universities provide both Bachelor and Master of Architecture programs, but to become an architect in Australia, you need to complete a Master of Architecture and then apply for accreditation. Only people who have been accredited through this process may call themselves an architect.
Below are courses accredited by Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) (2003)
Adapted from AACA (2023)
What are entry requirements to study architecture in Australia?
English Entry Requirement
- IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. However, some universities can accept IELTS 6.0 for Bachelor program, such as University of South Australia.
Academic Entry Requirement
- Bachelor Level: Normally applicants are required to have completed Year 12 or a relevant Diploma. The specific requirements of Year 12 scores differ from universities. Contact us today to ask for details.
- Master Level: Normally, applicants are required to have completed a related bachelor’s degree. Some universities may require work experience and portfolio.
Not sure if your expected university requires experience or/and portfolio? Get our free consultation to learn more.
How to become an architect in Australia?
Follow the four steps below to register as an Architect in Australia:
Step 1: Complete a Bachelor Program in Architecture
The first step is to get an accredited degree in architecture, which can be a Bachelor of Architecture, a Bachelor of Design in Architecture, or a Bachelor of Architectural Studies.
Step 2: Complete a Master of Architecture
In Australia, the accredited qualification for an Architect is normally the Master of Architecture degree. Most educational providers provide a pathway for students to dovetail their bachelor qualification with the master program, so that students will be progressively exposed to the necessary knowledge and skills, and can meet the required qualification for an architect. If you do not have background of Architecture from your previous study, you can consider taking Graduate Diploma in Architecture as a pathway to Master of Architecture.
Bear in mind that you should study the course accredited by Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) because the Architects Registration Board will rely on these courses to assess your architect application.
For the full list of accredited courses, please refer to the section “What architectural engineering courses are available in Australia?” or Contact our Education Counsellors for free counselling.
Step 3: Prepare for registration
Before being able to register as an architect, beside gaining the accredited qualification, you are required to:
- complete two years of practical work experience with an architectural firm in Australia
- Pass the Architectual Practice Examination set by AACA
Step 4: Register as an Architect with the Architect Registration Board
Each State has its own Architect Registration Board, and you are expected to register with the Board in the state where you will practise.
How to pass a skill assessment for an architect in Australia?
AACA is the assessing authority nominated by the Australian Government to provide expert advice to the Department of Home Affairs about qualifications and skilled employment experience with the skilled occupation ‘Architect’ (ANZSCO 232111). The skill assessment for architecture will be valid for 3 years from the date of issue.
Step 1: Check your degree accreditation
If one of your qualifications is on the list of accredited architecture qualifications, then you can obtain a Skills Assessment letter through a simple verification process.
Step 2: Complete and submit the Application Form with payment and all required certified documents to AACA. The application process is generally finalized within 4 weeks.
What is the PR pathway for an architect?
After completing Bachelor or Master course of Architect, you are eligible to apply for visa 485 (Post Graduate Work Stream). You are required to have at least IELTS 6.0 (no band less than 5) to apply for this visa.
Under visa 485, you will have more time to prepare yourself for permanent residence (PR) visa. There are several visa options under the Architect occupation that can lead to Permanent residency in Australia.
Below are the examples:
- 189 – Skilled Independent – is a points-tested visa, allowing you to live and work permanently in any state or territory in Australia. The minimum score that you are required to be considered for a visa invitation is 65.
- 190 – Skilled Nominated – is a permanent residence visa but you need a nomination from one of Australian states and you are required to work for the nominated state for at least 2 years. Each state may have its own occupation list and additional requirements, so you must investigate if you meet all the state’s eligibility criteria before asking for a nomination.
- 491 – Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa – is not permanent, but it can lead to a PR (visa 191). You must commit to stay and work in your nominating regional Australia for a minimal period of time and achieve at least 65 points to be apply for this visa.
- 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa – allows you to work and stay indefinitely in Australia. To be eligible for this visa, you must be nominated by an approved employer and have at least 3 years of work experience.
- 482 – Temporary Skilled Shortage, Medium Term Stream – allows you to stay and work in Australia for up to 4 years. To apply for this visa, you must have an employer who is willing to sponsor you. You will have a high chance of getting a PR after a 482 visa.
- 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) – is applicable for you if you have a regional employer who is willing to sponsor you. You must accumulate at least 3 years of work experience and obtain a relevant skills assessment.
For the 189, 190 and 491 visa subclasses, you will need to have a minimum of 65 points under the Skilled Migration Points Test. For the 186, 482 and 494 visa subclasses, these are not points test based but you need to have a sponsor and are usually required to have at least 2-3 years of experience in the nominated occupation you are wishing to apply.
What does an Architect do?
An architect works on every stage of a building project, from creating design ideas to construction and maintenance.
- In the design stage: The architect will discuss with clients about project expectations and budget range, then will work on models and sketches to create conceptual drawings.
- In the design development and building approval stage: The architect will work with the project team to finalise the structural details of the building, and then create elaborate drawings for builders. He will also be responsible for getting the building approval from Australian authority.
- In the construction stage: The architect needs to work closely with the builders and project team to ensure that the construction process is in line with the sketches.
- The maintenance stage: The architect will check the quality of the building (in terms of structure), and will discuss with the builder to deal with any existing and potential issues.
What are the career outcomes after having completed an architectural course?
As the architect’s training is very broad, graduates will have a wide range of career options after graduation. Many of them will wish to work in architecture practice, but they can also take up a career in one of the following fields:
- Urban design/planning
- Project management
- Construction management
- Property development
- Theatre Design
- Interior design
- Furniture design
- Industrial design
- Construction law
What are the requirements to become an architect in Australia?
If you wish to be an architect in Australia, you must meet three requirements below:
- Accredited qualification: You are required to have completed an accredited course in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong or Singapore.
- Work experience: You gain at least 2 years of work experience in architectural firm
- Architectural Practice Exam: You must pass the architectural Practice Exam set by AACA.
I didn’t have a Bachelor of Architecture degree; can I still apply for a Master of Architecture?
Most universities require you to obtain a bachelor’s degree in architecture before applying for the master level. However, if you don’t have background of architecture, you can follow the package: Graduate Diploma + Master of Architecture.
For example, Bond University offers a full pathway to the Master of Architecture for students with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than Architecture. You can complete the Graduate Diploma plus Master of Architecture within 2 years only.
How much do I need to spend to study architecture in Australia?
Tuition fees for architecture range from $32,500 to $45,000 per year, depending on the university. This fee is affordable compared to the income of $70,000 – $130,00 annually that an architect can earn.