An architect is a licensed individual who leads a design team in the planning and design of buildings and participates in oversight of building construction. The word "architect" comes from Latin architectus, which in turn derives from Greek arkhitekton (arkhi, chief + tekton, builder"). In its broadest sense, an architect is a person who translates a user's requirements into a built environment.
Architects must frequently make professional decisions that affect the safety and well being of the general public. Architects are required to obtain specialized education and experience to obtain a license to practice architecture, similar to the requirements for other professionals. The requirements for practice vary from place to place (see below).
The words "architect" and "architecture" are also used by professionals in other engineering-like disciplines, notably by Software architects. However, see below for the protected status of these words under some jurisdictions.