How to Become a Restoration Architect

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How to Become a Restoration Architect: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a restoration architect, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for your skills, interests and personality traits. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a restoration architect:


• You have an interest in history, architecture and conservation 

• You have an understanding of architectural theory and design

• You have an understanding of structural engineering

• You are excited by the idea of facing frequent unforeseen challenges

•  You are comfortable working in a lab, construction site or office setting


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a restoration 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 Needed to Become a Restoration Architect

In order to become a restoration architect, you typically need a master’s degree in conservation architecture, historic preservation, or a subject related to building renovation, restoration and rehabilitation, or historical preservation and conservation. Completing coursework in one of these areas will ensure that students have gained a sufficient understanding of the required background in architecture and design.


Graduate programs in these areas also typically give students the opportunity to pursue coursework in areas of interest or aspired specialization, such as history, project management, or preservation technologies.




Restoration Architect Job Description

Restoration architects are architectural professionals that specialize in the preservation and conservation of historic buildings and monuments; they must alter or restore these buildings and monuments in order to prevent their deterioration.


Restoration architects are an integral part of a restoration project from conception to completion, and they may work on projects of various size and scale.



Restoration Architect Job Duties

• Meet with clients or project managers to discuss the objectives and requirements of a project

• Prepare and present feasibility reports and design proposals to the client

• Provide client with advice concerning the practicality of the project

• Operate within budgetary and timeline restrictions

• Produce detailed drawings and specifications of the project

• Use computer aided design software to create renderings

• Specify the nature, cost and quality of materials needed

• Prepare tender documents for contract

• Negotiate with contractors and various other professionals



Experience Needed to Become a Restoration Architect

It can be difficult to become a restoration architect without previous relevant work experience. It is common for restoration architects to enter the field after completing an internship program or working as part of a historic preservation crew.



Skills Needed to Become a Restoration Architect

In order to become effective in a career as a restoration architect, you need to posses a certain set of skills. These attributes will allow you to perform your job duties with competence, and as a result they are often listed on Restoration Architect job postings.


• An understanding of architectural theory and design

• An understanding of structural engineering

• An understanding of the materials and methods used in North American cold climate construction

• An understanding of mechanical and electrical building systems 

• Proficient in computer-aided design and drafting

• Able to work independently as well as part of a restoration team

• Knowledge of local history, specifically as it relates to various project sites or buildings

• Able to effectively communicate with various team members and stakeholders

• People and project management skills



Personal Traits Needed to Become a Restoration Architect

In order to enjoy performing the duties of a restoration architect, you need to have certain personality traits. These personal attributes will help keep you interested in your job as a restoration architect, and will help you maintain a positive attitude towards your job duties.


• An interest in history and architecture

• An interest in renovations

• Willingness to keep up to date with new restoration techniques and technologies

• An interest in adopting old buildings for new uses

• An interest in working with building owners, city officials, and other stakeholders

• Comfortable working in a lab, construction site or office setting

• Excited by the idea of taking on frequent unforeseen challenges 

• The intellectual and emotional stamina needed to complete graduate-level coursework




Restoration Architect Salary

The salary level of restoration architects can vary depending on their personal qualifications, whether they are self-employed or an employee of an architecture firm, and many other factors.


Restoration Architect Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Architects occupational group earn an average of between $26.72 and $56.77 per hour.


Restoration Architect Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of Canadian workers in the Architects occupational group is $63,617 per year.


Restoration Architect Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of American workers in the Architects occupational group is $73,090 per year. The lowest 10% of salaries in this group are below $44,600, and the top 10% are above $118,230 per year.



Who Creates Jobs for Restoration Architects?

Restoration architects may be employed on a part-time, full-time or contractual basis by the following types of organizations:


• Private non-profit preservation and conservation groups

• Architectural and engineering consulting firms

• Provincial/state government historic preservation office

• Municipal preservation commissions

• Private building owners

• Federal government departments, such as The National Trust for Historic Preservation (U.S.)



Restoration Architect Job Opportunities

Restoration Architect Jobs - Canada


Restoration Architect Jobs - United States



Careers Similar to Restoration Architect

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


Historic Preservationist

Real Estate Developer

Structural Engineer

Sustainable Housing Policy Associate




References: Restoration Architect Career Information

Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a restoration architect.


Alberta Learning and Information Service website:

North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office website:

Ryerson University website:

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website:



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Scholarships for Becoming a Restoration Architect

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Restoration Architect can be found on our Architecture Scholarships and Classical Studies Scholarships pages.


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!



Becoming a Restoration Architect: Applicable Majors

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


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