Architect Or Construction Manager: What Should Be Your Next Step?

One of the most debatable subjects for a lot of people trying to build a successful career in construction and real estate business is choosing between ‘Architecture and Construction Management’.

Although both construction managers and architects play an important role in executing a successful construction project, there are many differences between each discipline right from education, training to formal licensure.

So, here are some of the key points that’ll help you in deciding what’s best for you –

1. Job Description

  • Architects are responsible for designing buildings that are safe, energy efficient and functional.
  • Construction managers are responsible to coordinate, design and execute the construction processes while foreseeing efficient budget and time management.

2. Education

  • Architects are usually architectural degree holders through Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) programs. This is usually a 5 years course that will be carried out after 10+2.
  • Construction management, unlike Architecture, is different. Hereupon completing the degree, one can choose to take up a professional certification that helps in gaining the exposure and experience needed for the job.

3. Expertise & Area Of Operation

  • Architects have a deep understanding, experience, and exposure in dealing with designs to bring out new concepts, improve efficiency in designs and lay a theoretical structure for execution.
  • Construction managers, on the other hand, are executors who are experienced in the process of construction and plan end-to-end operations in successfully completing the laid out structures.

construction management


  • Architects usually work in teams or as independent entities where they are more focused on only executing the designs as per the client requirements or come up with best suited conceptual designs based on client demands.
  • Construction managers are usually experienced entities who drive the daily operations, planning, management and foresee that the planned operations are completed as per the expectation.

5.Project Involvement

  • Although architects are initial stakeholders responsible for defining bottom-line for any given project, their involvement is limited comparatively. Architect’s job is completed as they progress towards completion of the designs and blueprints.
  • On the other hand, the construction manager’s involvement is required from Day 1 until the project is completed. They act as liaisons between the owners, contractors, and vendors and play an important, decision making role in the whole project.

The construction industry is very broad and encompassing, offering many diverse and satisfying career options where students can explore and discover their fitting involvement.

So, if you are a person who likes to spend most of the time in executing innovative, creative designs and don’t mind spending 5 plus years training – Architecture can be a good option for you.

On the other hand, if you are a person with good managerial and communication skills looking for opportunities in the construction industry, construction management is a great career option considering the demand in the past few years, especially in developing countries like India.

Check out our post on Building a career in construction management – What to expect?

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