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BUILDING TECHNOLOGY

Even the biggest skyscrapers start as an idea in someone's head. What happens between the time that an idea is sketched by an architect or building designer and the time construction workers are pouring concrete requires a lot of input from a lot of people. The building technologist and technician are professionals who provide technical assistance to architects and engineers in building material and construction research, preparing drawings, specifications and architectural models, and in supervising construction projects.

Some of the areas in which you could specialize are:

  • Architecture, architectural building materials and systems
  • Contract administration
  • Building services (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing)
  • Construction management, construction estimating
  • Fire protection
  • Acoustical design

To be a good building technology professional, you need an interest in building, the ability to visualize three-dimensionally and to work under pressure to meet deadlines. You should enjoy working on your own and as part of a team.

Some of the activities you might do in this career are:

  • Assist in the development of architectural designs
  • Analyze contemplated projects to ensure conformance with building codes, by-laws, space requirements, site requirements and other technical documents and reports
  • Prepare drawings, specifications, cost estimates and quantity take offs from conceptual drawings and instructions
  • Construct architectural massing and display models
  • Prepare contract and bidding documents
  • Supervise drafters, technicians and technologists in the architectural team
  • Supervise construction projects and coordinate, monitor and inspect work done by the builder

Where Will You Work?

As a building technologist or technician, you might find yourself in an architectural firm, an oil or utility company, bank or large store chain, real estate development company, manufacturing company, material distribution company or property management firm. There are also opportunities at the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government.

Building technologists and technicians generally work in offices with most work being done indoors. Some outdoor work may be required for on-site job supervision.

You would likely work a 40-hour, Monday to Friday week, but this may vary considerably. The work often depends on the weather and seasons; the working day may extend into the evenings and weekends in order to meet deadlines.

Related careers include drafting and CADD operation, surveying, construction, building contracting, model making and specification writing, all of which might require additional training.

How Much Will You Earn?

Technologist: $68,000/yr
Technician: $77,000/yr
GradTech: $45,000/yr

How Does the Future Look?

Slow to moderate growth is expected in this field and opportunities will fluctuate with the economic outlook. You find most opportunities will be in large cities.

How Can You Get Started?

In high school, be sure to take courses in mathematics, design technology, art, physics and a CADD course.

What Will You Need?

To pursue this career you should gain a good foundation in mathematics, art, design and physics. You need sound drafting skills and knowledge of construction techniques. You need a thorough approach and a habit of questioning all data.

Post Secondary Possibilities

College
Program
Accredited Status
Discipline
BCIT
Building
Technologist
Building
College of New Caledonia Drafting Recognized Building
College of New Caledonia Engineering Design & Technology Technologist Building
Fraser Valley College Drafting Recognized Building/Civil
The University College of the Cariboo Engineering Design & Drafting Technologist Building

 

  • Programs listed are those accredited by the Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC); check www.asttbc.org for updates on accredited programs.
  • Check with your career facilitator or counsellor for other sources of information applicable to education options for this technology.
  • Salary figures indicated in the 'How Much Will You Earn?' section are extracted from ASTTBC's Member Compensation Survey or other Canadian sources applicable to the specific technology discipline. These figures are representative only; actual figures will vary depending on academic training, practical experience, job responsibilities and location of employment.
  • The TechWORKS! web site is an important online resource and provides links to career information that will be of interest to students pursuing a career in technology.

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