How to become an architect in Kenya

Over 50 % of us had at one time in life dreamt of becoming architects. All we knew was that the profession is so lucrative, the job market is thriving, and salaries are huge. However, we didn’t know how long it takes to qualify as an architect in Kenya. Within no time, our enthusiasms became diverse, and we found ourselves gambling into areas less known to many…that’s life anyway, we can’t predict it. If your ambitions drive you to Architecture, here is how to become one in Kenya easily.

KCSE grade

Architecture is a difficult course-it need a creative mind. To become an architecture in Kenya, you have to be incredibly gifted in drawing, analytic abilities and have a mindset that can think beyond apparent scenarios. Universities know that average people won’t flourish in the profession. Consequently, they have raised the bar students striving to join the career. For one to have a direct entrance into university, they must obtain at least a B+ grade in KCSE with a minimum of grade B+ in Mathematics and over B plain in science courses. For one to qualify for a parallel course model, they have to score at least a C+ in KCSE.

Universities offering architecture in Kenya

One can proceed to do architecture at undergraduate or postgraduate level. The list of best universities offering the course include:

  • University of Nairobi
  • Kenyatta University
  • JKUAT

At the diploma study level, you can pursue Architecture in the following universities:

  • Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology
  • Kenya Institute of Highway and Building Technology
  • Technical University of Kenya

For a diploma in Architecture course, you need to score at least a grade C- in KCSE

Out of the universities as mentioned above and colleges, I would recommend the Technical University of Kenya, JKUAT and the University of Nairobi-these stand out of them all.

How to become an architect in Kenya

For you to become an architect in Kenya, you have to complete a degree/diploma in architecture from a recognised local or foreign university. Upon graduation, you require to practice for at least 18 months under a registered architect. After that, you’ll be expected to sit for a professional exam offered by the Board of Registration for Architects and Quantity Surveyors.

After passing this exam, you’re free to start your own architectural firm.

The architecture job market in Kenya

Architecture is one job opportunity field that you should not overlook when seeking marketable courses in Kenya. The job market is quite profitable and salaries impressive. As a student, you aim to score a KCSE mean grade that would put you at an excellent position to enrol at a top university. Once you’re admitted there, your eyes will now focus on employment and your salaries.

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Research reveals that 90% of architects obtain employment three months into their graduation. This number, as fresh graduates, earn between Ks70,000 to Ks150,000. The salary regularly rises as one gains more experience. Architecture is among the few professions in the country without salary caps-the pay can be in the north of Ks2 million.

Where you can work as an architect in Kenya after completing education

There are over200 companies you can explore employment as an architect. Some top firms include:

  • National Construction Authority
  • Cytonn Investment
  • Own venture
  • Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development
  • Lands Commission
  • And many more

From my personal experience, most architects choose to go it alone. In fact, none amongst the over 20 architects I have associated with works for someone else. The beauty of this is that managing your individual firm will give you direct contact with a client, which provides you with the opportunity to negotiate for better pay. On average, an architect in Kenya earns 10% of the total building cost. Assuming that a construction costs Ks100 million, an architect will pocket a cool Ks10 million from the Ks100 million.

What I personally like most about Architecture in Kenya is that at no point in time would one cry that places of work are not available…building is ongoing in almost every town today and jobs are plenty.

The Bottom line: Never sacrifice your time and energy on other good for nothing courses, join architecture, and your destiny will be bright.

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