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High school architecture internships: Things you need to know about

Architecture is all about visual art mixed with physics and engineering, and students trying to get high school architecture internships are probably dreaming of being future architects. High school architecture internships help students pursue that dream.

Internships give students a chance to gain real-life experience. They let students have a look into the daily life of professional architects. The students gain hands-on experience that comes in handy. Even better, internships improve the chance of college acceptance. High school students having an interest in architecture should do high school architecture internships. They are a terrific way to have architecture as a profession.

The numbers

There are over 29,000 architectural interns in the United States. Architecture is paying profession. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of architects in 2021 was $80,180 per year and $38.55 per hour.

What are high school architecture internships? 

High school summer architecture internship programs are students who are interested in pursuing careers in architecture and allied disciplines. The programs have unique structures so that students can have the right exposure to the building environment. They also prepare students for the growing market demands. High school architecture internship programs cover many things including AutoCAD (computer-aided design) and usually have a duration of six weeks. During this period, students gain a combined knowledge of the fundamentals of the subject and working architectural principles. The students also have to do many jobs like maintaining project files, client presentations, preparing drawings, site plans, floor plans, and models. The students also gain knowledge of project costs and construction.  Besides these skills, the students also learn teamwork and interpersonal skills.

How do high school architecture internships impact college applications?

Career development through high school internships is getting increasingly vital for going into better colleges and ensuring future employment. In the present situation, students must start building careers in high school to compete in college admissions and get a college internship that ultimately leads to full-time jobs.

Many high school students do not get access to internships. When you have experience in high school architecture internships, it helps the application stand out, especially if you are passionate about architecture and you want to major in it. If you are an ambitious high schooler, make sure that you spend the summer doing something meaningful, and make sure you are not doing an internship program just for the sake of doing it. That is a waste of time and you should never exaggerate your experience. Admission officers can easily spot that. It is better to do an actual job than to pretend to be an intern.

High school internships are treated as extracurricular activities. No matter where you apply, they help influence the decision-making process. When you complete a high school architecture internship, that demonstrates your interest and commitment to the profession.

Reasons to Get a High School Internship

An internship is almost a catchword for high school students for preparing for the workforce or college. High school internships are on the rise for several reasons:

  • Internships prepare students to try an industry or career. They can decide if the career fits them.
  • They help students gain related experience and also help to improve life skills.
  • Build connections and network. They help to secure future career options.
  • They help to improve a resume as most employers tend to employ one with internship experience.
  • Load up opportunities as one have the chance to grab notices of a large company.
  • They help with getting accepted to elite colleges and colleges in general.

How to get high school architecture internships

Students can complete an internship through the following steps:

  • Apply for summer internships/programs that you find online: High school students having an interest in architecture must apply for a relevant architecture internship for high school students. These allow students to check how deep the water is. Students can also earn college credit by completing summer programs. It is also the ideal path for students to compare their imagination about architecture with what it entails in reality. These programs generally focus on design, construction, fabrication, and also cover problem-solving.  The majority of the architecture internship programs are held in the summer, and they have a short duration from one to six weeks. Aim for a paid high school architecture internship.

1) ACE architecture program

The most prominent high school architecture internship program is the ACE architecture program. There are programs offered where each pin is on the map below.

According to their website, ACE is a federation of more than 75 affiliates (chapters), operating in 38 states and Canada, and largely based in metropolitan areas. A national office supports the affiliate programs.” Usually how the program works is there is architectural training during the school year after school for students, and then when they complete their training, they are offered paid high school architecture internships.

2) New York City Department of Design and Construction High School Summer Internship Program

This is a paid summer internship for New York high school students. Each year 30 New York high schoolers get a paid full-time summer internships at the New York City Department of Design and Construction in 2022.

3) The Chicago Architecture Center’s (CAC) Teen Fellows program 

If you are a Chicago high school student there is this program where architecture, construction, and engineering and design. In the 15 month program students must complete all the college coursework from Harold Washington College and they will get a stipend for doing so. Students will also get to go to building site visits, develop a design project, earn a stipend in partnership with After School Matters, and students are also offered an internship at an architectural firm. This program is open to students who are a sophomore or junior in high school and attend a high school in Chicago.

  • Attend supervised site visits: Students can understand all minute details of a building and their importance through supervised site visits. A building represents plans that have come to life. By visiting the physical structure and interacting with contractors, students can gain in-depth knowledge of architecture, and even ask people there for a high school architecture internship. 
  • Research: Students can find a large volume of information about architecture on the internet. If you are serious about architecture, you must have an idea about how long it takes to study architecture, the prospect of the profession, and how much you can earn. One can also attend classes on art, technical drawing, math, etc. to achieve success in an architecture career.

To get high school architecture internships without any experience, a high school student has to 

  • Be Specific: Students must give direct answers to all interview and application questions and they should be sure of their passion for architecture and why they are passionate about architecture. That makes one appear more confident. 
  • Be prepared: Practice answering likely interview questions from the internet. Also, record what you speak and listen to that, and conduct mock interviews with a friend. It will make you more prepared for the interview.
  • Get recommendations if needed: Recommendations can showcase your skills and capabilities. It also goes a long way for behavioral skills. Reach out to past employers, coaches, or teachers and get those recommendations!
  • Create a strong resume: A strong resume and portfolio help to sail through the interview. Research the company to get a clear idea about them and tailor the resume to fit the application.
  • Be confident: Never fret because that never pays. Companies hire those who have potential. So, you must be confident about your skill & capabilities and have faith in yourself. 

In conclusion

High school architecture internships provide a better understanding of the architectural process for students. They further bridge the gap between academic learning and workplace demands. Additionally, architectural internships are also critical to higher education. On a final note, it is better to seek a local in-person internship during the summer rather than working remotely to ensure a great internship experience.

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