How to Apply as an Architect in Singapore

Singapore‘s skyline is a testament to its vibrant architectural landscape. For architects seeking to contribute to this dynamic city environment, understanding the process of becoming licensed is crucial. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a recent graduate eager to make your mark, navigating the steps to practice architecture in Singapore is essential.

In this article, we delve into the steps outlined by a fellow Filipino architect, covering everything from educational requirements to the most in demand architectural skills. Let’s explore the roadmap to kickstart your architectural career in Singapore, guided by the firsthand experiences and wisdom of a Filipino professional.

how to work in singapore as an architect
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.

Navigating Singapore’s Skyline – Insights from a Filipino Architect

As mentioned above, this article is based on a YouTube video of a Filipino civil engineer working in Singapore interviewing his co-Filipino working as an architect. The interviewee shared valuable insights into her work experience and the technical skills that she believes are most crucial to successfully land a job as an architect in Singapore. If you want to watch the full video, then click on the link below:

The vlogger conducted an interview with an architect graduate currently employed in Singapore, who has accumulated experience across four different companies over six years. In these roles, she has held various positions ranging from design engineer, although the work was not directly related to architecture, focusing more on irrigation projects. Subsequently, she transitioned to drafting, primarily involved in producing technical drawings for upcoming projects.

Securing a job in Singapore largely hinges on one’s experience and the specific company. Remarkably, she initially arrived in Singapore as a tourist, and within just one month, she successfully found employment. Within a mere two weeks of searching, she landed a position in irrigation work, highlighting both the opportunities available and the rapid pace of job acquisition in the industry.


  • Proficiency in architectural software such as Revit and CAD
  • Experience with Building Information Modeling (BIM) features
  • Knowledge of construction processes and design principles
  • Ability to produce technical drawings and structural plans
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills
  • Adaptability to work in diverse teams and multicultural environments
  • Understanding of local building codes and regulations in Singapore
  • Capability to manage projects efficiently and meet deadlines
  • Willingness to continuously learn and update skills through training and certifications

Proficiency in software, particularly those with a technical focus, holds significant weight in the architectural industry. Employers place great emphasis on candidates’ software competencies, especially in programs like Revit and other software with Building Information Modeling (BIM) features, which are currently in high demand. Possessing expertise in these tools often correlates with higher salary offers. However, familiarity with CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software remains valuable and can still lead to job opportunities.

Additionally, acquiring certifications for relevant training courses further enhances one’s credentials. Whether it’s mastering Revit or honing CAD skills, having certificates attesting to your proficiency in these software programs can boost your chances of securing employment and advancing your career in the competitive architectural landscape of Singapore.

Prior Work Experience

The interviewee brings valuable prior work experience to the table, with three years of employment in the Philippines. Before undertaking the board exam, she completed a two-year apprenticeship program. Her experience primarily revolves around construction-related tasks, focusing on both practical construction work and design aspects during her tenure in the Philippines.

On Being a Board Passer in the Philippines

Becoming a board passer in the Philippines isn’t always a prerequisite, as it varies depending on the company’s requirements. Technically, certification in architecture in Singapore differs from that in the Philippines, so it’s not strictly necessary to be a board passer. As a foreign applicant, you may be considered for a different position, and thus, being a board passer isn’t mandatory.

Take Risks

It’s essential to have the courage to try and take risks. You’ll never know what you’re capable of unless you give it a shot. In the field of architecture, there are various roles you can explore, from being a drafter to overseeing site operations as an executive. Experience in construction-related tasks is highly valued, along with expertise in design and architecture firms.

Presently, the vlogger is primarily involved in making drawings, with her current project focusing on the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). Her work primarily revolves around structural drawings, similar to that of a civil engineer. However, collaboration with civil engineers for consultation is necessary and highly respected in this field.

Why Applying in Singapore is Better than Online Applications

  • Greater accessibility for interviews
  • Ability to demonstrate commitment and readiness to start work
  • Opportunity for face-to-face networking and building connections
  • Immediate availability for site visits or on-site assessments
  • Enhanced understanding of local culture and business practices
  • Potential for more timely response from employers
  • Increased likelihood of being considered for urgent or short-term projects

You can try applying online, although it’s not a guaranteed method. However, your chances of getting hired increase significantly if you’re already in Singapore. Being physically present makes you more accessible for interviews and demonstrates your commitment to potential employers. Additionally, there are agencies specifically catering to architecture-related roles, which can also be a helpful avenue to explore.

Architectural Career Paths in Singapore

  • Drafter: Responsible for creating technical drawings and plans based on architectural designs.
  • Site Executive/Supervisor: Oversees construction activities and ensures projects are completed according to specifications and schedules.
  • Project Manager: Manages all aspects of architectural projects, including budgeting, scheduling, and team coordination.
  • Architectural Designer: Designs and conceptualizes buildings, structures, and spaces, focusing on aesthetics and functionality.
  • Interior Designer: Designs interior spaces, including layout, furniture selection, and finishes, to create functional and aesthetically pleasing environments.
  • Urban Planner: Plans and designs the layout and development of urban areas, considering factors like land use, transportation, and sustainability.
  • BIM Coordinator: Manages and coordinates Building Information Modeling (BIM) processes and data for architectural projects.
  • Construction Manager: Oversees construction projects, ensuring they are completed safely, efficiently, and within budget.
  • Facade Engineer: Specializes in the design and engineering of building facades, including materials, structures, and performance.
  • Sustainability Consultant: Provides expertise on sustainable design practices, including energy efficiency, green building materials, and environmental impact assessments.

Indeed, if you are willing to take the risk, you can enjoy the benefits of working as an architect in Singapore. This neighboring Southeast Asian country is, after all, one of the best countries in the world in terms of architecture, making it a dream destination to apply your knowledge and acquire new skills.