2 answers

How Long Does it Takes To Become a Architect/General Contractor ?

Updated Lakeland, Florida

2 answers

Kira’s Answer

Updated Seattle, Washington

Hey Chris,


Most of the architectural degrees take five years (3 for a bachelor + additional 2 for a master).

To be able to name yourself “architect” you have to get licensed.

This is a common procedure in many western countries (e.g. USA, Canada, Germany, England, ect.).

The licensing process though may vary from country to country and state to state (e.g. in California the requirements to get licensed are a bit higher then lets say in Ohio due to required seismic knowledge).

Usually after you graduate (with the Master) you have to work something between 2 and 5 years under the supervision of a licensed architect in your state of residency. After that you will have to take a test/exam as the finishing point of the licensing process. Also this may vary in different countries/different states.

I highly recommend to check on the website of the local chapter of the architects chamber (in Germany) or the chapter of the AIA (American Institute of Architects) or the Department of Licensing in your state (in USA) for further information.

Note: You can already join some of the associations as a student!


But lets say that in general it takes you about 5 years of academic education + additional 3 years as a professional to become a licensed architect.


Another important note, a license is not a requirement to work in the field of architecture and construction.

You can be employed at an architectural firm, a general contractor or in any other kind of real estate or corporate environment without having a license. In my experience, depending on where you work, it also doesn’t affect the amount of money that you can make.


If you want to work on a self-employed basis it is crucial though to have a license to be able to stamp plans. Although the reality is that many solo practitioners collaborate with licensed architects/engineers to get their plans stamped.


Hope that helps!




Basil’s Answer

Updated Palatine, Illinois

Architectural degree in the states requires a college degree with the emphasis in architecture or structural or civil or combination of all three. Then you need to take the licensing exam and get certified in the states where you wish to be licensed as an architect. Length of time is four years of college but typically nowadays it seems that it takes five years to complete most programs. You want to be sure that the classes you take will prepare you for the licensing exam. There are organizations and businesses that offer preparation study courses to prepare you for the exam. The exam is quite extensive and that you have both the book knowledge and the practical application of that knowledge.