Build career on job you love
Published: 18 Nov 2015
Name: Kate Morrison
From: Helmsdale, Sutherland
Job title: Architectural Technician
Works at: CH Architecture, Bonar Bridge
• BSc Hons Architectural Technology (First class) through Inverness College UHI
• Accredited On Construction Domestic Energy Assessor
• BSc Hons Zoology
WHAT DOES YOUR JOB INVOLVE?
As the practice is small, I get to do a wide range of tasks, from creating digital 3D models and visualisations to filling in forms.
I work closely with the architect on a variety of projects which involves speaking to clients, working on planning and building warrant applications and assisting with site surveys.
I do the fabric energy assessments for our projects where required, and I have just gained accreditation to enable me to do SAP calculations and issue EPCs (energy performance certificates) for new-build houses.
YOUR JOB’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
When I was studying and doing projects for coursework, it was OK to spend as many hours as were available working on drawings and models, and going back to correct mistakes on test prints and re-drafts.
It just isn’t possible to do that when you are working in a business environment. Making sure that you do the best-quality work with as few mistakes as possible within a time that is economically viable is probably the biggest challenge.
BEST THING ABOUT YOUR ROLE?
I love that I get to do a wide variety of tasks. I think if I was sat doing
2D CAD drawings all day every day I would get bored with it, no matter
how exciting the project was.
I love that one day I’ll be doing an energy assessment for a house extension in the next village, and the next I might be creating models and running renders of an office refurbishment in London, or tramping around a field surveying a site.
BEST CAREER ADVICE?
The best I have been given was to get some work experience in the field. Not only did it help while I studied, it showed me aspects of working within a practice that would be difficult for an academic course to teach.
It also makes it possible for you to decide whether you actually do want to work in that kind of job or not, before being tied into a contract. I would advise anyone to do the same.
WHAT’S YOUR DREAM?
To get the work/life balance right. I think I have pretty much achieved that, I have a job that I love, which is challenging and keeps me interested, I can just manage to afford to work part time, which means I am home most days in time to pick the children up from school and spend quality time with them.
I would love to continue being a part of CH Architecture, and to help it grow; if I can do that whilst maintaining my family life, it would be pretty perfect.