How to make money in architecture

How to make money in architecture with Skwerl

A consistent pain point within the architecture profession, like many other creative industries, revolves around individual compensation levels. While it’s been well-documented and often lamented, far too little progress has been made to solve for pervasive income limitations in the architecture industry. Compounding this systemic failure are the burdensome debts most industry professionals carry from years of expensive education, professional association fees, and continued training — all of which are incurred to provide credentials for architecture jobs with inadequate salaries. There has to be an alternative.

What is Skwerl?

Skwerl, Inc. is an architectural services company that provides architecture firms with a single point of responsibility through which the firm can have a broad range of architecture efforts completed under the client firm’s direction and responsible control.

Skwerl enables architecture firms easy access to top architecture experts from a curated pool of professionals. This customized approach allows Skwerl to tailor our services to the unique needs, working styles, and standards of a specific firm. Skwerl’s consistent commitment is to deliver exceptional quality with unmatched ease.

You have amazing design skills, we have awesome opportunities!

As an independent contractor working with Skwerl, you have the ability to use this marketplace to jumpstart your career and provide a continual flow of paid projects for your freelancing business.

Once qualified, you will have access to a wide variety of work projects to be completed with contract values ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the scope of work, deadline, and required skill level. Each task involves unique deliverables and abilities, so you can quickly apply to the tasks that interest you, and pass on the rest.

Unlike a job-posting sites that often undermine industries by outsourcing work overseas, Skwerl is committed to providing competitive compensation for our domestic network of high-quality freelance professionals. This stated, money isn’t the only benefit of working with Skwerl:

  1. Work when you want.
    Skwerl’s on-demand, contract-based work means you have the flexibility to set your own work schedule based on your availability and academic / professional calendar.
  2. Access to paid work.
    Finding quality work on your own is a full-time job itself with no guarantee of success. With Skwerl you will have access to large volumes of work without the need to network or market yourself.
  3. Gain Exposure. Instead of working for one firm, sample working on a variety of different project typologies and tasks. Build your experience faster than ever previously possible.
  4. Experience for Licensure. Gain requisite experience towards licensure, ie. AXP (NCARB) and NCIDQ Certification.
  5. Eased Professional Transitions. Working with Skwerl helps bridge existing gap between academic and professional practice. Even industry veterans can benefit by working on assignment types not typically offered through their full-time employment.
  6. Work from Anywhere. Skwerl gives you the freedom to work where it makes sense for you. Choose when, where, and what you work on. Perfect for those who travel or might not typically have access to consistent work. Never go to an office again.
  7. Expand and Reinforce Knowledge. The best way to learn is through experience. With Skwerl, you can improve knowledge retention through implementation, all the while being paid.
  8. Merit-Based Contracts. Skwerl proprietary selection methodology is based solely on freelancer’s qualifications, previous work ratings, and availability. This is highly advantageous to many industry professionals who unfortunately find that gender, race, and religion often bias work opportunities.

Is Skwerl Right for you?

We set out to offer an alternative model for how architecture firms can operate. Skwerl was built for an evolving future; to enable firms to efficiently operate in an increasingly dynamic marketplace through instant team augmentation.

Who should be using Skwerl:

  • Employed industry professionals who are looking to supplement existing income.
  • Skilled students and recent graduates who are early in their professional career and struggling to gain experience.
  • Retired professionals who are looking to supplement income with no long-term commitment.
  • Industry professionals that wish to earn income but require a more flexible schedule (e.g., individuals on maternity leave, disability, etc.).
  • Individuals who are reluctant or have limited time or desire to network & market themselves or deal with contract negotiations.
  • Industry professionals who want to work remotely (e.g.,extended travelers).
  • Qualified Individuals who are currently between full-time jobs.

Who should not be using Skwerl:

  • Actual Squirrels

Step One — Apply

Getting started with Skwerl couldn’t be easier. Due high-demand and rigorous screening to ensure quality candidates, the first step towards working with Skwerl is completing the the Skwerl Application.

The Skwerl Application is a (4) step process which helps better inform the Skwerl team about your experience and background. Remember to provide an honest representation of yourself, as you will need to demonstrate a sample your abilities through a practical exam called a “Skwerl Challenge”. You will need to pass one of these challenges as part of your application, but the more challenges you pass, the more types of contract work will be qualified to work on.

Step Two — Welcome to the Skwerl Team

Congratulations, the Skwerl team has selected you to join the team! Depending on market demand, this may take anywhere from a couple days to several weeks. When you have been selected, you will receive an email from the Skwerl team providing your login credentials to access the Skwerl Platform.

The Skwerl Platform

The Skwerl Platform

This the base of operations where freelancers interact with the Skwerl team. Each freelancer has their own dashboard which helps streamline all the required information for task assignments and your current status.

The platform provides an important focal point of internal communication and collaboration, providing a single starting point to access everything you need to start earning money. It is here that you will apply for available tasks, communicate with Skwerl representatives, and view important community news. Additionally, you’ll be able to “level-up” to access new types of work assignments by passing additional “Skwerl Challenges”.

Step Three — Leveling Up through Skwerl Challenges

The Skwerl team is obsessed with working with only quality freelancers who are qualified to perform tasks with the highest level of execution. Skwerl achieves this, in part, by offering a series of practical exams (Skwerl Challenges) that test a freelancer’s industry and technical knowledge. Upon passing these required challenges, the freelancers can then apply for tasks that they have demonstrated competence with. Your current standing and all available challenges can be found on your personal dashboard within the Skwerl Platform.

How to Apply for Tasks

Time to start making money! Skwerl categorizes available tasks based on scope of work associated with the task making it easy for you to determine if the work that is right for you. Additionally, each tasks lists the required Skwerl Challenges — meaning if you have not successfully completed a Skwerl Challenge for the work type, you are unlikely to be awarded the contract.

Reviewing the Task

Every task posted will include key information related to the scope of work. This information will include the following:

  • Task Name
  • Budget
  • Deadline
  • Required Software
  • Scope Summary
  • Submission Milestones
  • List of Deliverables

Requesting a Task

Awesome, you found the perfect task… now what? At the bottom of each task posting is a “Request this Task” button. Simply click this button and the Skwerl team will be notified that you are interested in this contract. Since there are many independent contractors often applying for the same task, there are a few things that you can do to improve your odds of being selected.

Simple “One-Click” requests makes apply for tasks quick and easy!

Tips for being awarded tasks

  • Be qualified for the task: All available tasks list the required Skwerl Challenge to qualify for the contract. Freelancers who have been pre-qualified by successfully completing the associated challenge will be selected over those who have not.
  • Build your reputation: The Skwerl team keeps detailed records of each freelancer’s past performance. Successfully completing past tasks and delivering on schedule will increase your likelihood of being awarded future tasks.
  • Be Active: The early skwerl gets the nut. While being the first to request a task does not guarantee you will be awarded the contract, it does positively factor into the selection process. Stay active as tasks are quickly claimed.

Working on Tasks

Congratulations — you’ve been awarded a contract! At this point you will have been notified by email from a Skwerl representative informing you that you’ve been selected. When you view your dashboard on the Skwerl Platform, you will see the task assignment under “Active Tasks”. Under this task assignment you can collaborate with your assigned Skwerl Rep through comments and track any updates regarding the work.

Skwerl as a continual source of work

Don’t underestimate Skwerl. If you follow these instructions and are able to successfully complete your contracts, you likely can generate significant additional cash on the side within just a few months, and should you obtain or if you already have a business license of your own, can even fully support yourself through Skwerl as a full-time independent contractor. Skwerl was built by architects, for architects because we know the struggles of the industry and believe we can provide an alternative to the antiquated status quo.