An architect is a licensed professional that designs structures, and in many cases, they also supervise their construction, as well. Architecture involves more than a talent for basic carpentry or drawing, according to Couvaras, a professional architect in Sutherland Shire.
From design to installation, architects are involved in every aspect of the development of a building.
As an architect, you will need to be inventive, organized, and logical. You will also need to have excellent technological, communication, and visualization skills.
Education, experience, and examination are three standard requirements for architectural registration.
To qualify for state licensure, you must earn a professional bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in architecture. You can enter a five-year combined bachelor’s and master’s program.
You must also earn certification from the National Architectural Accrediting Board by completing a three-year paid internship. Once that is complete, you can take the Architect Registration Exam to obtain your license.
It takes just over twelve and a half years, according to NCARB, for an architectural perspective to complete the three core requirements for licensure, which include education, experience, and examination.
Nearly six years is spent just earning the degree.
What are the Educational Requirements?
For students that aspire to be an architect, you can earn a Bachelor of Architecture degree, which averages about five years to achieve. Bachelor’s degree programs in construction management or architectural studies take approximately four years to complete.
Undergraduate courses include subjects in architectural theory and history, construction and building, as well as CADD (computer-aided design and drafting).
As an architecture student participating in design studios, you will get to draw and create 3D models.
As an aspiring architect with a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree in either construction management or architectural history, you can apply to a Master of Architecture program.
These advanced programs are open to those that want to specialize in solar design, historic preservation, design theory, or another related field.
Architects can earn a Master of Architecture degree in one to five years, depending on prior experience and education.
You can earn your Master of Architecture degrees in two years if you have a pre-professional undergraduate degree in architecture.
Similarly, you can earn it in three years if you have a bachelor’s degree in another field of study. If you have already completed a Bachelor of Architecture program, it will only take one year to complete the Master of Architecture program.
Students that have an undergraduate education in art or humanities, as well as design experience, have an advantage if they want to gain admission to a professional Master of Architecture program.
As an architecture student, you should build up your portfolio and feature your best models and sketches.
Once enrolled in the Master of Architecture program, you will need to complete specific prerequisites, such as architectural theory before you can proceed with professional coursework.
What does the Internship Involve?
To be licensed, you must complete the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), a three-year paid internship administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
Under the supervision of a licensed architect, you will learn how to competently and safely manage any scenario you may be faced with as an architect. As an intern, you may also assist with designing projects, preparing CADD drawings, writing specs, and building models.
The Architectural Experience Program recognizes 96 essential tasks that you will need to perform across six experience areas. A total of 3,740 hours across the six practice areas is required:
360 Required Hours – Project Management
160 Required Hours – Practice Management
260 Required Hours – Programming & Analysis
1,080 Required Hours – Project Planning & Design
360 Required Hours – Construction & Evaluation
1,520 Required Hours – Project Development & Documentation
3,740 Total Required Hours
You must gain a total of 1,860 of the required hours while working for an architecture firm and while under the direction of a licensed architect.
How do I Become Licensed?
After the internship, you must then pass the Architect Registration Exam (ARE). This exam is a multiple division exam that the NCARB uses to evaluate your knowledge and skills for practicing architecture. Accepted by all U.S. jurisdictions, the ARE is an essential step on the path to becoming a licensed architect.
According to the NCARB, the ARE is designed to evaluate aspects of the architectural process that affects the integrity, soundness, and healthful impact of a building.
The exam also evaluates an architect’s responsibilities within firms, such as managing projects and coordinating the work of other professionals.
Because of the nature of the architectural profession and the way it affects the safety of the general public, the road to becoming a licensed architect is not easy or quick.
Instead, it takes years of dedication and determination to become a professional architect. However, as many architects will tell you, the rewards and job satisfaction that come with this career are completely worth all the years of hard work it takes to get there.