Architect designed open plan living room with a kitchen

What Is a Freelance Architect

Freelance architects are free contractors who work on a standalone basis and provide their services to a range of clients. They may often work on multiple projects simultaneously, depending on their workload. Occasionally, a freelance architect may also become involved in a single exclusive project over a longer period. However, this is constrained by legal requirements for freelance work.

What responsibilities does a freelance architect have?

The main difference between a freelance architect and a general architect is that a freelance architect works standalone, while a general architect is typically employed by an architectural or design firm on a permanent basis.

Thus, freelance architects are free to choose their own projects and clients. They must often take a proactive approach to finding work, seeking out clients on their own and making proposals based on the requirements of the project.

bright modern living room

How to become a freelance architect

The most common path toward becoming a freelance architect is to first work as a general architect at an established firm for some time until the person has attained sufficient knowledge to do the job independently. Freelance architects must know how to acquire clients and make attractive proposals aligned with the expectations of each project manager they approach.

Working as a freelance architect can be more challenging for those who prefer a structured approach to their work. On the contrary, those who enjoy a degree of freedom in choosing and executing their tasks usually thrive in this environment. Many experienced architects eventually start looking into freelance work due to the better earning prospects and scheduling freedom that the job provides.

Freelance Architect General Architect
Works standalone Works for an architectural firm
Finds projects on their own Works on their firm’s projects
Handles own accounting and legal issues Doesn’t need to do accounting or legal work

Clara Annesley

Clara Annesley is an interior design and construction content writer. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Architectural Design Technology from the University of West London. Clara specialises in residential construction for topics like health & safety, architectural design and writing cost guides for renovation and remodelling projects.