Pathways to becoming an Architect & Developer in the UK


Pablo La Torre

New Member
My name is Pablo La Torre, and I have recently graduated from a BSc in Architecture. During my undergraduate studies I have always been interested in Real Estate development because it allows me as an architect to be more in control over a building project; its design, usage, and the profit I would earn, as opposed to a regular architect, however I am aware of the higher risks associated with development. Currently I am going through a transition phase, trying to understand which pathway to take in order to become a successful real estate developer, and taking on some freelancing architecture jobs to keep bread on the table.

To give you a bit of a background as a result of my interest in real estate, I did a couple architectural internships at two different real estate development companies. At the same time I took elective courses on Corporate Finance and Principles of Macro/micro economics in my University in order to understand more about financial, and economic factors that affect the real estate sector. Also I have been reading books on real estate such as "The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No Money Down", "ULI Real Estate Development: Principles and Progress" "The Book on Flipping Houses", "How Real Estate Developers Think", and "Architect&Developer". I plan to keep reading other books to keep broadening my basic understanding on real estate development. However, now that I have finished with architecture school, I am not sure which path to take. From my research and advice I have gotten from professors and contacts, I have a couple paths to choose from:

  1. -continuing my architecture education and work experience with developers until I get my architecture license (3-4 years) , and then enter the development game partnering with an investor to either do a residential flip, or a simple single-family house development.
  2. -Keep doing architecture freelancing jobs, plus broadening my real estate contacts through real estate clubs, events, meetups, etc. Once I find an investor willing to do a residential flip (I would be doing all the foot-work, managing the flipping process and my partner would only put in the finances) I would reduce my freelancing jobs to focus on the flip, and eventually after gathering some capital and experience I can then go on to make a simple residential development from ground-zero.
  3. -Start a Masters in Real Estate Development in order to solidify my knowledge and expand my network while at the same time finding possible investor to do a residential flip, and after gathering capital and experience go on for a residential development.
One factor that I still do not know how to deal with is my architecture license. I am not sure whether for option 2 and 3 I should aim to get my architecture license at some point since I will be acting as the architectural designer for the renovations and developments myself. I am not sure how much not having a license will hinder me as opposed to being licensed, because if paying a licensed architect to sign the drawings is not too much of an obstacle I would prefer to not get my license since the process is very tedious and takes time.

I highly appreciate anyone who would be kind enough to comment on my post, and I thank you very much in advance! :),

Pablo La Torre


Active Member
All very interesting - do you need to be a licensed architect to work on your own real estate projects?


New Member
All very interesting - do you need to be a licensed architect to work on your own real estate projects?
well, if this is not an illegal construction, then you definitely need to think about it

Dora Wi

Hi! I'm quite late to the party but I'm curious, which path did you end up choosing?
To me options 2 sounds best, it's good to get yourself out there and work and build relationships while you are working on your idea. I don't really know how much you need / how much advantage it gives you if you have a license.


I also agree with the 2nd option to start as a freelancer if you are a beginner.

Yoselin F

New Member
I am not sure about what the "architecture license" mean for you. Is this just a license to add your values, or a necessary license for your to work or start your own biz?
Gaining the working experience is quite important, and in addition to the freelancer, have you ever considered to take a graduate scheme in a housebuilding /construction company? This might another way for you to gain the experience.