Optimistically speaking. demand for architects seems understandably uncertain through the year 2011. While filling positions within the architectural field will depend on geographic location of employment, and specialty in the field, among many influences.
Since architect employment is affected more so by the overall trend of commercial building construction and re-development efforts than many construction-related positions, it will no doubt be subject to the downturn of the commercial real estate market that had hit the United States (spring of 2009 onward). But, in the event of a shifting emphasis toward rehabilitating and transforming existing structures, if new construction costs continue to rise across many parts of the country, architects may look more toward employment with firms that are well established.
Overall, a large number of commercial architects may find opportunities slim, depending on their specialty. Although areas such as those involved with healthcare, security, defense and technology; positions may hold or even increase in the coming years depending on the effects and whereabouts of funding brought about by the Obama administration efforts. Architect jobs in the residential sector can probably expect to experience a downgrade given the state of new residential housing starts (early 2009) although this might turn if affected by favorable interest rates and banking procedures. Still, since the service of the residential sector is mainly comprised of the self-employed, trends of employment in this sector is debatable as many architects may transfer from private/contractor employer firms.
The entire architect job market will undergo rising competition. Demanding proven experience and track records and abilities for those well seated in the workplace and while becoming more specialized for those entering the workplace. Computer CAD has long since become a given requirement.
Competition for entry level positions on-up is likely to produce a wealth of labor and choices for employers of architects.
Hat tip to Referworks