An architect is someone who plans, designs, and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design and construction of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings, that have as their principal purpose human occupancy or use. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek (arkhi-, chief + tekton, builder), i.e., chief builder.
Professionally, an architect’s decisions affect public safety, and thus an architect must undergo specialized training consisting of advanced education and a practicum (or internship) for practical experience to earn a license to practice architecture. Practical, technical, and academic requirements for becoming an architect vary by jurisdiction (see below).
The terms architect and architecture are also used in the disciplines of landscape architecture, naval architecture and often information technology (for example a network architect or software architect). In most jurisdictions, the professional and commercial uses of the terms “architect” and “landscape architect” are legally protected.