Architects design and oversee the construction of structures. The architecture process begins with a consultative meeting with a client to learn about building and construction goals. After the meeting, the architect begins to design plans that fit the client's parameters and budget, and align with local, state and federal building codes. They then use computer-aided design programs to develop the plans for a new residential or commercial building for clients.
After the consultation, the architect makes a projection on the total costs of labor and materials. The architect presents a proposal to the client that includes a visual demonstration of the proposed project as well as the estimated cost.
When a client agrees to the proposal, the architect creates building specifications and leads the development of drawings. Some architects prepare their own building drawings, while others delegate drawing responsibilities to other workers who render designs in line with the architect's specifications.
Architects also draft and coordinate building contracts with construction companies that execute the designs created by the architect. After production begins, the architect shifts into oversight mode and spends time on the job site. As issues arise, the architect may have to modify drawings to work around the problems.
Along with the functional tasks, architects are business people who must market their company to attract new clients.