#BeAnAwesome: Architect

Professor Dr Zulkifli Hanafi, Dean, Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment at Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL) talks to coursesmalaysia.com about getting to work with your hands.
Professor Dr Zulkifli Hanafi
Dean, Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL)

The work of an architect is one of the most challenging yet interesting. It is a profession that one can mature in by exploring and experiencing a lot of things. You will acquire new knowledge from every new project you embark on, which will hone your problem-solving abilities.

Architecture is a combination of a lot of things and if you are talented in the creative side, then architecture is a course that is suited to you and one you might likely enjoy.

What will I do?

An architect plans and develops images to be constructed into an actual structure. He or she will be responsible for the whole process of each given project. From as early as the discussion stage to planning, designing and communicating with clients, contractors, suppliers, engineers, interior designers and other related professionals, it is all part of what architects do.

An architect will be dealing with different projects and each project will involve different situations. As such, an architect should be able to anticipate what they will face in each situation and be prepared to overcome any challenges. This is an ability that one should have as they will provide professional services to individuals and organisations.

Is it for me?

To know if this profession is for you, you need to first understand your interests. Those who take up architecture are usually those who use the right side of their brains the most. These are the creative people.

You must know that studying architecture is not about reading and writing all the time. You get to work with your hands. It is not only sketching and drawing but you get to also build what you have planned on paper, eg, building scale models. The satisfaction lies in seeing your drawings ‘come to life’. You must adopt the hands-on approach when working on most of your assignments.

The most enjoyable part of the job

The most satisfying part of the job is seeing your paper designs transform into real buildings. It’s like seeing your dreams being built right before your eyes. You not only contribute ideas, but you get to work on it until the end where you get the satisfaction of being able to give something to the community. Designing and building schools and hospitals is just one example.

Who will employ me?

  • Architectural firms
  • Private practices
  • Public works department
  • City council
  • Contractors
  • Developers
  • Landscape services
  • Academia

How much will I earn?

Your salary will depend on where you work as well as on your qualifications and experience. As for fresh graduate, the salary range is from RM 1,600 to RM 4,000.

The more experience you gain, the more you will earn. Architects deal with different projects every now and then. The challenges will be different and you will not be repeating the exact same process every time. With a diverse experience, you will be more knowledgeable and capable to take up all sorts of tasks


  • Building materials
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Interior design
  • Real estate development
  • Urban planning