How to Become an Application Architect


If you want to become an application architect, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as an application architect:


• You enjoy consulting with other IT professionals

• You enjoy work that is highly analytical and involves creativity

• You have applied knowledge and experience in Java and Oracle development tools

• You enjoy designing and outlining projects


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as an application architect. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education You Might Need

Although the educational requirements to become an application architect may vary from job to job, you typically need a bachelor’s degree or diploma in computer science, software engineering, or a related technical discipline.


An education in an area related to computer science will help you gain familiarity with the technical elements of a career in this field.


Supplementing the technical education of computer science core coursework by pursuing coursework in business, the humanities, English or communications is highly recommended, as it will help you develop ‘soft skills’, such as those involved in communicating with others.





Application Architect Job Description

Application architects are responsible for designing, developing and implementing applications for computer systems. They must direct the development process from conception to completion, and oversee the efforts of all associated technical staff. One of the most critical roles of an application architect is to understand the needs of the user, and translate them into flow charts for programmers to code.


Application architects are directly responsible for ensuring that the product does what it is designed to do. They are also responsible for ensuring the final product meets company standards and will be safe and easy for consumers to use. 



Typical Job Duties

• Liaise with business executives and end-users to conceptualize new applications projects

• Recommend technical resources and development strategies

• Design and outline project requirements

• Communicate business needs of the project to the technical team

• Assign programming and development tasks to the technical staff

• Assist technical staff and resolve any issues that arise during the development process

• Document development process in order to develop procedures for application use

• Direct the implementation, evaluation, testing and modification of the application

• Ensure application meets business goals

• Provide documentation, training and support to the organization to ensure the highest level of performance and security





Who Employs Application Architects?

Application architects may be hired on a part-time, full-time or contractual basis by organizations that develop software and internet applications, as well as large organizations that are looking to implement software and other applications, for such purposes as security, database management and others.


Types of organizations that employ Application Architects include:


• Information technology consulting firms

• Non-profit organizations

• Software development companies

• Insurance companies

• Financial institutions

• Oil, gas and mining companies

• Utility companies

• Municipal, provincial/state and federal governments

• Colleges and universities

• Hospitals and health care organizations

• Retailers

• Self-employed (as consultants or freelancers)



Skills and Traits Needed to Succeed

In order to be effective in this field, you need to posses a certain set of technical skills, communication skills and personality traits. These skills and traits will help you make the most of your career by allowing you to perform your job duties with competence, and by helping you to maintain a positive attitude towards your work.


Many of these skills and traits are also in high demand with companies that hire application architects; you will see many of these skills and characteristics, or variations of them, listed on application architect job postings, or asked about by employers during an interview.


Personal Characteristics


• Enjoy consulting with other information technology professionals

• Must be smart, creative, inventive, and proactive

• Enjoy learning new things and working to solve problems

• Enjoy work that involves concentrating for long periods of time


Soft Skills


• Mindful of performance when designing solutions

• Able to convey technical ideas to both technical and non-technical audience

• Exceptional planning, organizational, analytical, problem-solving and consultation skills


Hard Skills


• Proficiency in multi-tiered architecture, design and implementation

• Applied knowledge and experience in Java and Oracle development tools

• A strong PL/SQL background

• Experience in Object Oriented, Relational and UML methodologies



Job Openings - Current Opportunities

Our job board below has "Application Architect" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.



How Much Do They Earn?

The salary level of application architects can vary depending on their personal qualifications, the size and type of their employer, the specific responsibilities of their job and many other factors.


Salary - Canada (Alberta figures only): According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working as part of the Computer Programmers occupational group earn an average salary of $81,552 per year, or a mean wage for this group was $40.22 per hour. Unfortunately, no similar statistics were available for the rest of Canada at the time of writing (May 30, 2019).


Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of American workers in the Computer Programmers occupational group is $74,280 per year. 



Similar Careers in Our Database

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Application Architect, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities:


Computer Programmer


IT Analyst

Software Engineer

Video Game Developer




Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as an application architect.


Occupations in Alberta:Computer Engineer.” (March 31, 2018). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved October 22, 2019.

Occupational Outlook Handbook - Computer and Information Technology:Computer Programmers.” (September 4, 2019). United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved October 22, 2019.

Customer Service Jobs:How to Become a Software Architect.” Andra Picinc (January 29, 2019). Houston Chronicle website. Retrieved October 22, 2019.




Scholarships for Becoming an Application Architect

The 'Relevant Fields of Study' section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as an application architect. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on the following pages:


Computer Engineering Scholarships

Computer Science Scholarships

Software Engineering Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming an application architect. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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