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Design & planning

Technical architect

Technical architects help plan, design and build IT systems for clients.

Annual Salary

£40,000 to £90,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; away from home

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Technical architect jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this job, you will:

  • create a technical strategy to meet the client's requirements
  • break down requirements into manageable pieces of work
  • compare 'off-the-shelf' solutions with building a new IT system
  • assess the risks related to different approaches
  • act as a link between technical teams and project delivery managers
  • explain the structure to product or service designers and developers
  • make sure systems meet quality and security standards
  • work with technical teams to overcome problems at each stage of development
  • keep accurate records of the steps and decisions you've made
  • advise senior managers on how to plan for their future IT needs

Working environment

You could work in an office, at a client's business or remotely.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

You'll normally need a degree or postgraduate qualification. Relevant subjects include:

  • computer science or computer engineering
  • information management systems
  • business information systems
  • software development
  • mathematics

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

You could get into this job through a degree apprenticeship, training as a digital and technology solutions professional.

You could then move on to a digital and technology solution specialist degree apprenticeship. This is equal to a postgraduate degree.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship
For more information

You could start with a company in a job like programming and work your way up through training and promotion.

Direct application

You could apply to companies directly if you've got relevant skills and knowledge.

You'll need a broad understanding of available technologies and what they can do for the client. Employers will look for a background in systems development, analysis, programming or testing.

Employers will also want to see strengths in non-technical areas like client management, communication and leadership. This is because they place importance on the ability to communicate the client's requirements to technical teams and to manage resources and demands on time.

More information

Career tips

Experience of project management methods like PRINCE2 will be helpful along with a working knowledge of project development and information management practices like Agile and ITIL.

Further information

You can find more advice on careers in computing and IT from:The Chartered Institute for IT; Government Digital Service

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With experience, you could:become a senior technical architect; specialise in a particular field, like finance or IT security; move into broader IT project management roles; become a strategy business planner or consultant

The Tech Partnership and the Chartered Institute for IT have more information on becoming a technical architect.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • operations analysis skills
  • persistence and determination
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
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