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What is the Twin City job market like? The short answer is it is a very good time to consider a new position! Here’s why…

The U.S. economy added 134,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate improved to 3.7% from August’s 3.9%.

Employment in the professional and business services subsector, which includes architecture and engineering firms, increased by 70,000 jobs, a 100 percent increase from last month. This subsector accounted for 38 percent of all service-providing sector jobs added in September.

The construction industry added 23,000 jobs in September. Construction’s September jobs gains came in all but one industry segment, residential buildings.

The AIA's monthly Architecture Billings Index (ABI) came in at a score of 54.2 in August, marking the 11th consecutive month of gains. The ABI is a leading economic indicator of construction activity in the U.S., and reflects a nine- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending nationally, regionally, and by project type. A score above 50, as seen in August, represents an increase in billings from the previous month, while a score below 50 represents a contraction.

 August's score is 3.5 points higher than July's reading of 50.7, indicating that business continues to trend upward despite labor shortages and cost inflation of building materials.

 Economic indicators illustrate It is a great time to consider new opportunities in the architecture industry! AEC Resources has a variety of new positions available for you to check out on our jobs page.

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Alternate Path to Licensure for Architects

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) announced at the 2017 AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando, Fla., that design professionals with more than five years experience can satisfy the Architectural Experience Program's (AXP) requirements by completing an online portfolio of work.

“The AXP Portfolio ensures that the profession of architecture continues to move in a more inclusive direction, while still maintaining the rigor needed to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare,” said NCARB President Kristine Harding, AIA, in a press release. “We’re excited to open new doors for accomplished designers who want to continue to advance their careers.”

This alternate path—which calls for the documentation of work that is older than five years in an AXP Portolfio—was designed for professionals who put off licensure for personal or financial reasons. Work examples that satisfy key tasks outlined in the AXP must also be included.

To qualify for the AXP Portolio option, professionals must have, according to the release, "a current supervisor who is an architect licensed in the U.S. or Canada, and willing to attest to their knowledge and experience [and] at least two years of experience from more than five years ago, including at least one year of experience earned while employed by a firm engaged in the lawful practice of architecture under the supervision of an architect licensed in the United States or Canada."

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Architecture Job Hunting Tips

The new year brings new opportunities, and for many of you that means job hunting. Rather than just applying online with thousands of others, here are some tips to get your application to the top of the pile and noticed by the right person.

Research First, Apply Second

It may seem like an obvious first step but we can’t stress enough how valuable it is to research the company you’re interested in. Learning as much as possible before you apply or interview will show you did your homework and have a vested interest in their work. Mention what specifically caught your attention and how your skills can relate to a current project or initiative. Showing this kind of effort may even land you a job before it’s posted, according to Forbes.

Another option is to reach out to someone who currently works at the company to get insights on the company culture and ask advice on getting your resume to the right person. Be sure to thank anyone who takes the time to talk to you or pass along your application, and if you don’t get in the door right away, remember to stay in touch. They may think of you first when another opening becomes available.

Network and Build Relationships

You’ve heard it many times before, but it’s worth repeating: networking is one of the most powerful job-hunting tools. Organizations like to hire employees through someone they know, so networking is a great way to get on the short list or find out about an opening before it’s posted online. That being said, networking doesn’t just mean using people for their contacts—it’s about building relationships, asking for advice, and making an effort.

Don’t just network, socialize. Attend a lecture or event hosted by a firm you’d like to work for, or accompany a mentor to a meeting or site visit. Join a professional organization like the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS), American Institute of Architects (AIA), or National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). These are all great opportunities to meet people face-to-face.

Although meeting people in person is preferred, we can’t deny that we live in a digital world. Online networking has become just as common as face-to-face, and one of the most invaluable tools for networking is leveraging LinkedIn. You can use it to research the companies you’re interested, find connections to these organizations, and even reach out to hiring managers personally.

Finally, remember to ask for help. This is the time to ask your colleagues, mentors, and professors for help creating a stand-out portfolio, connecting you to people and organizations, and revising your resume. The university you attended can also be a valuable resource, as most have a career center that may be able to aid your job hunt.

Outsmart the Search

Finding job openings online can be a huge time commitment, so make sure you’re looking in the right places. A great place to start is Architecture Crossing, which curates job postings across the web.

You can also check out architecture staffing firms like AEC Resources, which place everyone from recent grads to senior architects in firms across the country. When we spoke with Sam Teut, a recruiter from AEC Resources, who has over 15 years of experience in the architecture industry, he told us some common mistakes to watch out for when applying for an architecture job. The most common is not emphasizing your technical proficiency. For example, many architecture roles require you to be well versed in production skills, so highlighting which architecture programs you’re a wiz at can make a big difference.

Another oversight is not including a variety of work samples in your portfolio. Teut advises to include everything from construction documents, drawings, photos, and plans, elevations and details, or as many as you’ve been exposed to. Including a wider variety of work will help employers see your professional diversity.

Whether you’re applying to your first role in the industry or a senior position, remember to focus on finding the next step in your career. You may need more experience to land that dream job, so look at each role for its potential to help you grow.


When you are looking for a staffing agency in Minneapolis that focuses on architectural staffing, engineering staffing and construction staffing, look no further than AEC Resources. Our professional job recruiters can connect you with architects looking for work. We provide contract staffing and temp staffing or recruitment for interior design jobs and architectural designer jobs.   


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