How realistic is this?

<p>I really want to design home renovations and restorations/additions of old homes and commercial buildings. Like the show This Old House is my favorite show and I love what they do. I really like architecture and drawing and I want to be able to design and build my projects (with a crew obviously). My plan was to major in Anthropology and minor in business for my undergraduate degree (while simultaneously pursuing a general contracting certificate at community college). Then I would get a masters in architecture. How realistic is the idea of having a job designing and renovating houses etc? How realistic is that plan of attack? Would it be effective? Is some of it not necessary? Any thoughts about it? I hear so much bad about the field of architecture and finding jobs and making any amount of money. I figured that being able to be the general contractor as well as the architect might make me more marketable. Is this true?</p>

<p>Why are you planning to major in Anthropology?
You should consider majoring in Architecture, with a minor or double major in Construction Management.</p>

<p>For what you want to do, I think an MArch with a dual major in construction management is overkill. I would get a Barch somewhere and work during the summers for a home builder. The things you need to learn to be an architect/general contractor are much more hands-on, and are best learned through experience. </p>

<p>It seems like a good plan if you really want to work on old houses. As an architect you will not make much of a living doing small additions and renovations, however if you also control the construction you can make a pretty good profit and also have much better control over the quality of the work. There is a fairly serious lack of professionalism among the firms builidng these little additions and renovations, so having a professional degree should help to really set you apart.</p>

<p>Rick</p>

<p>I am already almost a junior in college credits wise, and been in college 3 years. None of my credits other than gen eds are really applicable to architecture so I'd have to go back and take forever. Whereas if I just finished my undergraduate degree then did a MArch, I'd come out with 2 degrees. I chose Anthropology because I really like it, and I figured that having a good understanding of history and human relations to their environment might give me good insight into designs I make. I go to University of Arizona in case it matters. But I am pretty sure they don't have a construction management program or else I'd do that. I do have a minor in business administration almost complete though.</p>

<p>So Rick12, Do you think I'd be able to really make a living doing that though (being an architect and general contractor for such projects that is)? I always hear that the economy is so horrible for architects and the housing market etc etc and my family keeps telling me that I probably shouldn't do it for that reason. I just don't want to undertake something that is extremely risky. I understand that there is never a guarantee of jobs in any major, but I also don't want to find that I can't do anything and just spent like 3453 years in school only to have to return and get a more marketable degree or something.</p>

<p>Drew, you didn't mentioned you were already a junior. So as a junior I think your plan makes sense. I still think it is important to get a job in the industry as soon as possible so you will see what you will be facing. I spent a summer doing this for a custom home builder. Did anything that needed to be done for a minimum wage; cleaning, painting, hauling, grouting tile, etc. It gave me a pretty good picture of what the business was like and made me decide that commercial work was where I wanted to go.</p>

<p>Can you make a good living at this? Yes I think you can make very good money at it. For a custom home an good architect might get a 10% fee and struggle to make much of a profit, but the contractor will typically get a 20% fee. Control both of them and you can make a good living. Even in this economy I still see quite a few additions and custom homes being built in the nicer neighborhoods. You will need really good people skills and a lot of patience to deal with all kinds of disfunctional couples. </p>

<p>If your parents are in Phoenix I can understand why they are concerned, the building economy is horrible there. We closed our construction office there four years ago and feel lucky we got out. So get a job, see what the industry is like and make your decision. This is the worst economy we have seen in 70 years, so I would not consider it typical. Just understand that you are entering a very cyclical industry and put money away for the rainy days.</p>

<p>Rick</p>