Architectural Services on the Upswing

IBISWorld releases promising Industry Report

Students in the Architectural Technology program at Dakota County Technical College need to know what’s happening in their industry. The same goes for anyone looking toward architecture as a potential career. Luckily, they’ve got IBISWorld, the largest independent publisher of U.S. industry research on the planet. IBISWorld analysts take a long hard look into the future, researching as many as 700 market segments, including architecture. One of those expert analysts, Kevin Culbert, put together “IBISWorld Industry Report 54131: Architectural Services in the U.S.,” which was released in March 2011. That report shows an industry on the upswing thanks to a resurgent residential and nonresidential building market.

Since jobs are job one in any field, this is reassuring news. As Minnesota’s top career, education and job resource, iseek reports that architectural drafters, aka computer-aided design (CAD) technicians or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) operators, make good money. In the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, the average salary is $25.83/hour. Top earners bring home $35.56/hour.

The Architectural Technology program at DCTC trains students to use the latest computer-aided design (CAD) and building information modeling (BIM) software. Students develop drawings for residential and commercial buildings in a hands-on environment patterned after the most up-to-date architectural offices. Realistic architectural projects provide an excellent mix of technical training and creative problem solving, including effectively incorporating sustainability and green building principles.

Graphic courtesy of IBISWorld Industry Report 54131
Industry heating up in 2012

IBISWorld Industry Report 54131 has a positive take on the very near future:

“Demand for architectural services will improve in 2012, stemming from further growth in the residential and nonresidential building market. In 2012, revenue is expected to grow 5.5% to $42.4 billion, benefiting from an increase in demand for design and preconstruction work on new construction of offices, retail malls and other commercial building projects. During the year, the industry will benefit from improvements in residential construction.

“Furthermore, businesses that plan on building new offices in 2013 and beyond will increase their use of pre-construction services, including architectural services. The housing construction market will also improve considerably; new housing starts are expected to grow by about 25.3% in 2012. However, there will still be room for growth: the number of new housing starts is projected to grow to only 801,400 units in 2012, which is less than one-half of the record level achieved in 2005. This upswing in work on housing design will be particularly important for smaller scale regional practitioners that rely on residential buildings.”

Five-year outlook

IBISWorld Industry Report 54131 sees increasing profits through 2016:

“Over the next five years, the Architectural Services industry will return to growth, as the economy and real estate markets recover. In the five years to 2016, IBISWorld forecasts that industry revenue will grow at an average annualized rate of 4.4% to $49.9 billion. Firms will benefit from improvements in the industry’s largest market, nonresidential construction, the value of which is expected to increase by 3.7% annually over the next five years. Demand conditions will also trend upward in the housing construction market, climbing from a historical trough to provide some room to grow for smaller, residential-based architectural firms.

“Furthermore, the number of housing starts is expected to increase at an average annualized rate of 11.7% in the five years to 2016. Despite this growth,residential construction will still fall short of the level of activity in the mid-2000s. Profitability will improve over the next five years, driven by a rise in demand for new construction projects. However, in the short term, profit will be restrained as the industry continues to recover from the deterioration that occurred following the credit crisis.

“IBISWorld estimates that profit will increase from 6.6% in 2011 to 10.0% in 2016. Growth in profit will bring more players back into the industry, especially small players and sole proprietors that left as a result of poor operating conditions after the recession. The number of firms operating in this industry is expected to increase at an average annualized rate of 2.1% to 109,325 in the five years to 2016.”

At the speed of green

IBISWorld Industry Report 54131 knows its colors and one of the brightest in architectural services is all about protecting the environment:

“Demand for green products has increased over the past decade. Rising energy prices and environmental concerns have spurred interest in green buildings and architecture. While more costly to design, green buildings provide companies with future cost savings and goodwill. Architects use the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System for certification. Over the last five years, client demand for LEED-certified buildings has increased. Some major players, including HOK Group, generate more than a quarter of total revenue from such sustainable projects.”

DCTC Architectural Technology students just launched a U.S. Green Building Council Student Group at DCTC. A nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., USGBC boasts 16,000 member companies and organizations plus more than 160,000 LEED Accredited Professionals all dedicated to developing cost-wise and energy-efficient buildings in the quest for a sustainable future. Standing for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system.

Get ahead of the upswing: Enroll for Fall Semester 2011

Planning ahead is always a good plan. Earning a 72-credit A.A.S. degree in Architectural Technology takes about two years. If you start this fall, that would land you smack in the middle of the architectural services resurgence with CAD skills, hands-on project experience and a valuable degree.

Scholarships are available now. To apply, click the link below:

To learn more about Architectural Technology at DCTC, contact:

Shanghai World Financial Center | Third tallest building in the world at 1,614 feet with 101 floors | Pudong, Shanghai, People's Republic of China

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Right next door, the Jin Mao Tower | At 1,380 feet with 88 floors, this supertall skyscraper comes in 12th on the world's tallest building list

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