How to Become an Architect

What is an architect?
An architect is a professional who is trained and licensed in the science and construction of structures. They are well-versed in the science and designing aspects it takes to create a building or structure. Architects are involved with creating the overall aesthetic design of a building or environment. They must also determine if the buildings and structures are safe, functional, and will not go over budget. Architects must always keep in the mind the safety and welfare of those who will be in the building and also around it as well.
What educational requirements are needed to become an architect?
In order to begin your path as an architect, you will need to earn your bachelor’s degree. This is no ordinary bachelor’s degree however. For those interested in becoming an architect, you will need to take a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). When you take this specified program you will be taking certain courses that include technology, math, structural elements, and also environmental planning. It does need to be stated that some states do not require the completion of a NAAB accredited program. If you are unsure if you will need to enroll in an accredited program, research what your state requirements are.
Once you have completed your formal educational training, you will then need to have some field experience before you are licensed. Also known as an internship, all states will require future architects to complete their internship or training programs before they can proceed further. These programs typically last for three years and will allow you to witness firsthand, the work process under the supervision of other licensed architects. Typically you will accrue over 5600 hours through the three years of your internship.
What comes after education?
After successful completion of your internship, you will then be able to obtain your license. Depending on which state you live in or want to work for, the requirements can vary. Many if not most states will require you to have successfully completed your bachelor’s program and internship. You will then be required to take the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s (NCARB) Architect Registration Examination (ARE) which is a seven part examinations that will cover a range of topics you have learned during your formal and field training.
After obtaining your licensure, many architects will voluntarily earn a NCARB certification. This certification is a fantastic way to display that you have professional aptitude and can in the long run make it easier for you to obtain licensure from another state. In order to obtain this certification you will need to submit transcripts, ARE documentation, and also experience that the board deems acceptable. Some candidates may also be required to go in for an interview or some additional testing. Once you do have your certification, it’s also important that you maintain it. In order to maintain your certification, you will need to continue your education by taking certain courses on an annual or biennial basis.
Sources:
1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/architects.htm
2. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/17-1012.00
3. http://www.ncarb.org/becoming-an-architect.aspx

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