Are There Different Types of Architects?

Becoming an architect is one of the most inspiring, creative, and challenging jobs in the modern world today. Part of the reason why is the amount of different architects that exist in the world today. As technology continues to carry us to new heights, the jobs an architect can perform are continuing to evolve as well.

Are There Different Types of Architects?

A day in the life of an architect can take many different forms, depending on the field in which they work and how big or small the project they’re working on turns out to be. You may be surprised at the vast amount of opportunities for modern architects, and the ways they can specialize depending on the types of projects they wish to work on more prominently. 

In this blog, we’ll take a look at five different types of architects seen in the industry today. But the reality is there is much more than that. We’ll try to cover some of the extremes on the architectural spectrum, as well as tackle some of the more traditional and common architectural jobs around. 

If you browse Indeed, you’ll find they list 19 different types of architects. The field is expanding, and some specialties are fading out while others are rising to prominence. But architects are always in demand as the world continues to grow and evolve. Let’s get started. 

1. Building Architects

This is the traditional architect that you’re imagining in your mind. They literally design certain elements of different types of buildings, whether they are government buildings or public or private spaces. They use prints and other modern technology to design a structure and are privy to the specific needs and demands for the building to be safe, convenient, and easy to navigate for those that dwell within it. They can design both indoor and outdoor spaces and can work with clients to help bring their specific vision to life using their expertise. 

Often, these architects specialize in a particular type of building, and become experts in it, sticking to their unique style and knowledge of a certain structure identity. 

2. Commercial Architects

As their name suggests, commercial architects work with different businesses and organizations to create buildings for commercial use. This can be any small business, large shopping center, restaurant, factory, expansion to an existing structure, and more. They work with business leaders to design a specific space that serves their product or service offerings in a convenient, cost-effective, and money-making way. 

For example, the way a restaurant is constructed is often influenced by the menu or cuisine of the business. A place that serves hot pots per table will have a different layout than a buffet. Commercial architects can adapt and collaborate with business leaders and owners to create a variety of different styles and structures depending on their needs. The architect will create a design presentation and reveal it to businesses, then collaboratively make necessary changes or address concerns. 

3. Landscape Architects

These architects are experts at designing outdoor spaces that serve a unique purpose, such as a city park or garden. These architects are generally behind the design of college campuses or city green spaces and have to have a specific knowledge of the landscape to design around it. They need to know how to work with or around existing outdoor structures like trees, bushes, fields, and other untouchable areas to work around. 

This is a great field for those that don’t want to be trapped inside all day. You can work with natural elements to create a harmony of architecture and nature to create a place people want to reside in or enjoy during a nice day. This is a sustainable, environmentally friendly field many architects find fulfillment in.

4. Extreme Architects 

To put it simply, extreme architects are not normal, everyday architects. They work in areas with extreme conditions, such as weather, temperature, moisture, extreme heat, and more. For example, they may design structures that are built to last in the Arctic areas or along the equator used for study or research in the field. These architects require specific knowledge of extreme circumstances and materials that can stand them. 

These architects also work to battle issues like rising sea levels by designing architectural structures that can accommodate flooding or other natural disasters. Global warming is rising and causing more unusual activity in more places, boosting the demand for more extreme architects in more situations. 

5. Interior Architects 

Certain architects don’t actually design the buildings themselves, but only the interior places that are inside them. For example, an interior architect might serve as an interior designer for a hotel lobby, art museum, performance hall, or other similar spaces. These architects work with organization leaders to bring the inside of a space alive in a way that fits their brand, is aesthetically pleasing, and makes sense logistically for patrons or customers. 

These architects also might work with apartment buildings or condo buildings to design the units inside the larger space. So while they might not design the initial shape of the building that will occupy a lot, they work with the space inside that remains empty when the shell is built. 


Architecture is a much broader and more complex field than it used to be. When you picture an architect, you may picture Leonardo da Vinci and prints designing a new invention or mathematical layout of a space to be built. While this still happens, most modern architects used innovative computer technology to design a space, run simulations, and make tweaks in a streamlined way. 

Because of these new inventions and the natural growth of the modern world, several fields have emerged within architecture that have broadened the field. Other types of architects we didn't’ mention include: 

  • Historical preservation architects 
  • Sustainable and conservation architects 
  • Audiovisual architects 
  • Data warehouse architects 
  • Restoration architects 
  • Urban design architects
  • Industrial architects 
  • And more 

So if you’re thinking about entering the world of architecture, there are several different specializations to study and decide on. There are increasingly more options for aspiring architects, and as the world continues to grow and adapt to modern trends, those options will continue to expand.