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Design & planning

Technical architect

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

Annual Salary

£40,000 to £80,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; away from home

3%
Future employment

There will be 3% more Technical architect jobs in 2025.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • finding out the client’s needs
  • breaking down large system requirements into manageable parts
  • researching 'off-the-shelf' products to see whether they'll be more suitable than building a new system
  • presenting plans to clients and agreeing how to carry them out
  • explaining the structure to designers and developers, and helping them build it
  • developing and carrying out tests to make sure everything works properly
  • making sure systems meet quality and security standards
  • keeping accurate records of steps and decisions taken
  • keeping project managers informed of progress
  • advising senior managers about how to plan their future IT needs

Working environment

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

You can get into this job through:

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

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
Apprenticeship

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, which is at postgraduate level.

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
Work

You could start with a company in a job like programming and work your way up through internal 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 the available technologies and what they can do for the client. Many 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 demands on time and resources.

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 from The Chartered Institute for IT.

With experience, you could progress to senior architect, or specialise in a particular field, like finance or security.

You could also move into broader IT project management roles, strategy planning or consultancy.

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
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • 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
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
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