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What qualifications it takes to become an architect?

To influence my decision into going in a career in architecture by providing me more knowledge of what an architect do. Thanks for reading my question.
#architecture #architecture-and-planning #information-architecture #interior-architecture #server-architecture #architect

Thank you comment icon Google NCARB. National Council of Architectural Registration Boards for the requirements of becoming an Architect. Thomas Leigh
Thank you comment icon Keira, there are many disciplines that now use the term "architect". You're getting great answers respecting the the design and construction of buildings and other physical structures of that scale. I came to your question because the field of software development has appropriated the term "architect" and you used the tags information-architecture and server-architecture which relate to my field. Perhaps you'd clarify your field of interest; for example, deleting these two tags if they're not where your heart lies? All the best, whatever courses you choose! Lee Marshall

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Subject: Career question for you

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Lara’s Answer

The long answer is to become an Architect requires a 5 year Bachelor's Degree or a Master's Degree in Architecture. Once you have obtained your degree, you will need to complete the Intern Development Program (takes about 3 years) and then pass 6 licensing exams. Check out ncarb.org to get more information regarding what it takes to become an Architect in regards to the intern hours and tests.

The short answer is a passion for the field, design, and constantly learning in an ever changing career with endless possibilities. An architect starts out in the field as a drafter learning about how construction documents and details are created. As you learn more and gain experience you start to manage projects, attend construction meetings, and lead teams. Further along in your career, you may have more of a marketing focus to bring new clients/projects into your firm and head the design aesthetic of your firm.

Thank you comment icon You should have a great imagination and an artistic touch Ali El-Afi
Thank you comment icon Good and comprehensive answer Adel Iskandar
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Bill’s Answer

Good Morning Keira,
Jackie's answer above looks very scary and hard to do. It is a process that seems long and arduous, but it moves along very quickly.

There are other colleges you may look into other than the conventional paths that Jackie explained. I graduated with BArch from Boston Architectural College where you work in the field of architecture while attending school, work is part of the curriculum because believe it or not you learn every day in an architectural office.

What do architects do? That is one loaded question. I believe that we are problem solvers. Every day I need to design or redesign a piece of a building or maybe the whole project. There are large firms of 50 or more employees that typically take on large jobs. These firms will have every level of experienced architectural staff and possibly other disciplines such as structural, electrical, and mechanical engineers. The smaller firms typically take on smaller jobs and may not have any engineers on board.

Like with many professions there is no one job description for an architect. There are owners of firms who mainly deal with the business of running the firm and don't stay involved with building design they leave it up to their staff. Some architects, like myself, wear many hats. I meet with clients and building officials, visit job sites, do conceptual designs, coordinate with engineers, complete construction drawings, run an office, and sweep up in the evenings.

It is an exciting profession. I hope this has helped. If you have more questions please feel free to ask.
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Yohannes’s Answer

To be a graduated Architect you are Expected to have a Five Year Education at the recognized Governmental or NOn-governmental university and an Internship Experience in Recognized privet or public firm, the Firm can be Construction company, Consulting office, or Mixed/construction and consulting office, and finaly you have to have a certification from the University where you are Educated at.
Thank you comment icon A degree in architecture in order to be recognized for licensure should be from an NCARB accredited university. The NCARB's accreditation is independent of the school's overall accreditation. Most of the 55 U.S. licensing boards require that architects hold a professional degree from a NCARB-accredited program, which include Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture, and Doctor of Architecture programs. Noreen Rochford
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Nour’s Answer

Architects are responsible for designing structures whether they are private or public, indoors or out, rooms, buildings, or complexes. Architects are licensed professionals trained in the art and science of building design, who develop the concepts for structures and turn those ideas into images, plans and models. Like medicine, Architecture branches out into many fields and sub-fields. For example, there are architects who design homes, some who model offices, some work on landscape, others who focus on an interior space (kind of like interior designers but with a little more structural focus), etc..... Sub-fields may include entry-level positions at firms where the designer may be responsible for modeling details and modifying certain documents to make them legible for other parties involved in the construction process.

Architects used to draft construction documents by hand, which required individuals to have some skill in sketching and drawing. However, in the modern age of design, it is required for the aspiring architect to simply know how to turn on a computer and save files, as drafting has become more digital and efficient. Other qualifications you need to get into the field of Architecture, is to have the ability to learn new things, be open-minded to perspectives outside of your own, and have an eye for art and a vision being the possible. Curiosity is the most useful tool you can have when it comes to any field in education; but when an aspiring architect is enthusiastic about new possibilities, he/she opens new doors for even more possibilities. When you're open to new perspectives, you'll be able to expand your mind to think of creative solutions to solve problems that can and may arise in the field or on a worksite.
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Johnny’s Answer

Hello Kira! Architecture is a wonderful career it makes you fly and crate things that are only in your mind, of course with other professionals help such as engineers, contractors, together we solve a problem and give shape to function. In a big or small scale, we have the responsibility to change people's life for good, we define the way they are going to live, work, etc.

The qualifications I think someone needs in order to become a architect are:

A lot of imagination

Make a difference

Have the sensitivity and respect for your ideas and others

Always respect the environment

You don't need to be an artist but is important to have the hability to express your ideas by hand

Always use the ethics well that is in any career

Passion and compromise (I personally loved to sleep) but when I started studying architecture I had to sacrifice that, but, you know? 100% worth it because I loved what I was doing and I'm still in love with what I do and that is priceless


Every professional is different and maybe some others can give you some other advice... I hope you enjoy the career and feel as passionate about it as many of us who love to define our world with our pencil!


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Janhavi’s Answer

To be an architect you first need to have a passion to make change into the world with your just a little contribution.

It is a passion full and very interesting career which allows you to use all of your cretive thoughts. Architect thinks about community’s welfare. A responsible architect can help city to grow in such a way to achieve healthier life style and happy communities.

According to my understading toward architecture field, I think architect needs to be a person with thoughtful and creative mind. However, those creative ideas should have a practical approach because a design without pratical approach can not be worked out.

Moreover, Architecture needs little bit of understanding towards structural things. So having little bit interest towards calculations and mathematics will definitely be helpful.

I hope this will be helpful. All the best..!!!

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Janhavi’s Answer

To be an architect you first need to have a passion to make change into the world with your just a little contribution.

It is a passion full and very interesting career which allows you to use all of your cretive thoughts. Architect thinks about community’s welfare. A responsible architect can help city to grow in such a way to achieve healthier life style and happy communities.

According to my understading toward architecture field, I think architect needs to be a person with thoughtful and creative mind. However, those creative ideas should have a practical approach because a design without pratical approach can not be worked out.

Moreover, Architecture needs little bit of understanding towards structural things. So having little bit interest towards calculations and mathematics will definitely be helpful.

I hope this will be helpful. All the best..!!!

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Louis’s Answer

To be exact for on what qualifies a person to become an Architect is the qualifications on the state laws, for example California state law says in order to become certified architect by having a license you have to take two exams which explains on the ca gov website however we mostly go to school or join a apprenticeship program to be involved in an architecture program to gain education and experience
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Dario’s Answer

An architect is, first of all, a facilitator. He contributes in bridging community interests (clients) with institutional ones.
I think being an architect is an amazing adventure that never ends.
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Ahmed’s Answer

As the definition of Architecture is a functional art depends on the creation of a useful space with an elegant and unique form.
A secret desire to be an architect is the most significant matter whether you have an imagination or not.
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Mikael’s Answer

As previously stated, the best starting point is the organization that all of the State licensing boards belong to; National Council of Architectural Boards; www.ncarb.org
As someone that has been in the architecture game for quite some time, I advise that you come to the realization that architecture, and all of its related field, is something that you want to do more than anything else. It's work, but only if you don't enjoy doing it.
You will obviously need college but more importantly a college with an accredited program, and typically it will be a 5-Yr program culminating in a "Bachelors of Architecture" degree.
Then a period of time working under a registered architect who supervises your work and education leading to being qualified to sit for the Architectural Licensing Exam. Once you pass that you are a licensed Architect in the state you took the exam in.
From there the sky's the limit, as they say.
I am license in all of the States but Alaska, and I've done various projects in all of them. So you are ambition is your only limitation.
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Josh’s Answer

Great question. The answer is a bit more nuanced (like most things in our field). Here are some things to consider:

-Within our field there are different professional roles. Some people choose to be licensed Architects while others choose to be "designers."

-Education can consist of a 5-year Bachelors program, or a 3-year Masters program. You can also obtain a Bachelors of science degree or an associates degree in drafting. There are paths to becoming a licensed architect for each of these education choices.

- Think of a licensed Architect like a doctor, and a drafter or designer as a Nurse.

-If you are in high school now its the best time to start! Draw every day, make models, use Lego (I still use them) and start learning programs like Sketchup, Revit, InDesign, Photoshop. Read as much as you can, not just about architecture and design, but all subjects. Communication is very important in our field, so the more you are able to read and write effectively, the better!

-Architecture is a really amazing profession with a wide range of possibilities. It requires you to balance creativity with applied science which is challenging, but immensely rewarding.
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Aleksandra’s Answer

5 years experience of work in UAE.

was working on a contract base in Management of H.H. Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan;

Did the projects for Mubadala, H.H. SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN ALI BIN RASHED AL NUAIMI, win design tender (interior design renovation) for the Qasr al Hosn

13 years in architecture, interior design, graphic design.

I am good in such computer programs as: SketchUp, Lumion, Revit, AutoCAD, 3dsMax, ArchiCAD, Indesign, PhotoShop, CorelDraw.

I do have strong experience in marketing of companies and campains, rebranding, promotion.

I hold a membership in Union of Architects in Russia.

Experienced working in government of Russia in the field of Architecture management.

Self-motivated, had open and operated ,y own business.

I am very much interested in joining your prestigious company since I find that I could be an asset by providing my knowledge and skills. You will find attached my resume and samples of work.

You can check samples of work at instagram:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1WWUIrvWzGQCoZSfd0JdgoRoWMVW2YZYa?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ufk9ydJHDP1OwPS5FBwXYM6l0ReLHF_g
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Sierra’s Answer

Hi Keira,

Creating space in our world is a beautiful career path that combines may different skills. You get to mix problem solving, creativity, science and engineering, relationship building, business and fun!

To become a professional Architect you will need to complete an Architecture degree at a University. Most practicing Architects have both a Bachelor and a Master degree. This is because in the United States you will have become legally licensed to call yourself an Architect, and sign off on construction drawings.

It could be possible for you to begin working with just your Bachelor, and/or work part-time / intern while you complete your Master's degree.

To find your perfect program you may want to get clear on what you like about Architecture, as you can specialize in different ways. Some Architects are more focused on the visual design or concept and others are more focused on the technical side.

You may also want to begin looking around and seeing what types of buildings you like and why.

What do you dream about designing? Single family homes? Sky scrapers? Museums? Etc.?
Do you like modern buildings, old buildings with modern renovation, or historical preservation?
What about a building feels good to you when you see it from outside, and when you're inside?

Sierra recommends the following next steps:

Subscribe to free online architecture news and watch videos on youtube.
Check out architectural programs at various universities - request information about their graduates to see what type of work they're doing now. You can also inquire on their annual earnings to help you make the decision on how much to invest in the program.
Reach out to architecture offices in your area. See if they offer any kind of mentorship programs or if you can take a tour.
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Martha’s Answer

Hi! I’m an architect in Texas (also licensed in Virginia). It differs a little by state but generally becoming an architect requires:
- 5-year B. Arch from an accredited school OR
- M.Arch (2-3 years, depending on undergraduate degree - usually 3)
- 3 years documented work experience in various related areas under the supervision of a licensed architect (this is usually a paid job) - documented through NCARB
- completion/passing of the architectural licensing exam(s) in your state (this is many sections which can be taken individually - it can take up to a year) - NCARB file is submitted
- after passing exam, application for licensure in your state, fees, recommendations, etc. - NCARB file is submitted
- you may be able to get reciprocal licensing in other states with a supplementary exam.
- continuing education - 8-12 hours per year
- the AIA is a professional organization that may have resources, however, being a member of the AIA is not a requirement for licensure.

Many people work in the architectural field without becoming licensed, but you can’t seal drawings, which is required for certain types of projects. In many states, a license is not required to design single-family homes, for example.
To become an architect you should have:
- a strong interest in design and architecture
- good math skills
- good computer skills (almost all work is done with computer drafting
- good drawing skills is a plus
- good spatial skills - ability to think in 3D and picture solutions
- good problem- solving skills
- self-direction and ability to complete projects
- good communication skills to work with clients and within teams
- ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines

All of that said, while architecture can be enjoyable, it is not the most lucrative career. If you have interest in engineering, construction management, or computer programming, and can use those in the architectural field, those have higher salaries and generally more upward mobility with less regulation (in my experience). But if you love architecture, like art or music, you can make it work.
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Eric’s Answer

Kiera,

First, let me say you can do anything you put your mind too and don't ever let anyone say or try to hold you back.

Secondly, you don't have to have a 5 year degree, I didn't and most of my Architect friends didn't either and nor do you have to intern for 3 years. Now, depending on what state you want to practice in there will be a minimum of 5 exams to receive your license. A master's degree will only help if you want to teach college some day. It doesn't necessarily mean you will earn more money or that you gain more adept ability in Architecture.

Thirdly, if you are seriously about a career as an Architect - (Design of structures) there is a must first step in the evolution of this career. I speak of this from my own experience and the way I went about it. The fact is that 9 out of 10 Architects cannot build what they design. Now I know I am not going to be liked for that statement, but it's fact! In my 30 years plus Construction / Architecture experience I have met only a hand full of Architects, like myself, who can actually take their design to a vacant lot and have the hands-on physically knowledge of how to build that structure-even to the point of operating all the equipment to do so. Think about this, if a Carpentry Superintendent ask you a question on how to build that detail would it not make better sense to actually know how to build that detail because you have built one your self instead of having book theory knowledge-the simple answer is YES! Just meditate on this.

Finally, since the dawn of time there has been such a great gulf separating Contractors and Architects because they don't see eye-to-eye and criticize each other too intensely. We need more Architects who, first know of how to build thus making their designs actually make sense in the field then use their design knowledge when developing designs. I would suggest that you look into a building trades course prior to a School for Architecture and use your creative mind in that first then take that hands-on building practices into Architecture and you will be 10 steps ahead of everyone else in your class.

Hope this helps and good luck. YOU GO THIS!
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Victor’s Answer

Well, I'm going to highlight some roles of an Architect, so as to inspire you a little.
As an Architect you are a creator, which is what inspires people the most to get into the profession. Being given the will power to imagine, and visualize in your mind's eye, bringing such imagination to reality is just awesome!
As an Architect, your creation could be in the form a building, an object, a landscape etc. This depends on the branch of Architecture you're willing to specialise in.
As an Architect, you have the ability to also ensure that your creation is effectively brought into reality through adequate supervision.
In order to bring your creation to reality, an Architect has to coordinate, and align with other professionals (allied), such as: structural engineer, mechanical engineer etc.
As an Architect you also have to ensure that your creation stands the test of time by carrying out adequate maintenance through your creations lifecycle.
I hope this write up inspires every reader, thanks.
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Dinesh’s Answer

Information technology architects help manage the technological aspects of a business, particularly its security architecture and business plans. These professionals ensure compliance with set rules and regulations. They also create and implement new and updated security systems and architecture. Information technology architects must hold at least a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field and five years of professional experience; some employers require candidates to hold a master's degree.

These professionals should know how to explain their work to those outside of their field and communicate effectively with other information technology specialists in their company.

KEY HARD SKILLS
Information technology architects develop essential hard skills through education, training, and experience. Technical skills in systems architecture, virtualization, and cloud computing accompany security and infrastructure knowledge. Security, one of these professionals' key duties, requires an understanding of computer systems, structures, and applications. Information technology architects also need managerial skills to prioritize and allocate needs and resources.


Architect Responsibilities:
Meeting with clients and determining their needs and requirements.
Managing design projects from concept development through to completion.
Developing and presenting project proposals.
Adjusting designs and plans to meet the client's needs.
Preparing drawings, blueprints, specifications and construction documents.
Conducting research and compiling reports on feasibility and environmental impact.
Complying with safety standards and local planning regulations.
Determining and adhering to budgets and timelines.
Managing project teams and collaborating with other construction professionals.
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Mitchell’s Answer

"Education
The first step to following your dream is finding a school that will support your career goals. In most jurisdictions, candidates pursuing an architecture license must earn a degree from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Learn more about studying architecture.

Experience
No matter where you intend to practice, you’ll have to document real-world experience through the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®). The AXP provides a framework to guide you through earning and reporting your professional experience and will ensure you’re ready to practice architecture safely. Explore the AXP.

Examination
Another key part of becoming an architect is completing the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®). With exam divisions designed to reflect the current profession, the ARE will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary in areas of health, safety, and welfare. Prepare for the ARE.

Licensure and Certification
Once you’ve earned a degree, gained experience, and passed the exam, you’ll need to meet additional requirements in your jurisdiction. When you’ve met all requirements for your jurisdiction, you can apply for a license to practice architecture in that jurisdiction, and soon be able to advance you career and streamline your ability to practice across borders by earning an NCARB Certificate." Source: https://www.ncarb.org/become-architect/basics

For more information visit: https://www.ncarb.org/become-architect
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Bernard’s Answer

You will need a certain degree to start your path to become an architect. Either a bachelor of architecture or master of architecture degree
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Pete’s Answer

An architect is a person who designs buildings with other consultants and in many cases also assists in the construction of them. There are also landscape architects that design the outdoor/indoor green areas for buildings, parks and roadways.

In Texas, to become a registered professional architect, and individual is required to obtain an architectural degree from a National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited university, complete the Internship Development Program (IDP) and pass the state Architect Registration Exam (ARE).

Someone who is interested in maybe becoming an architect should start by speaking to a school counselor. If being an architect is the individual's desire, then a suggestion is to call an architectural office and ask if they may visit it for a day to shadow and see what architects do. If it is a career interest, a high school student may try to get a summer job at an architect's office. This further exposure will help an individual know more of the workings in an architectural office and if they want to pursue an educational program at a university. Continued summer work at an architect's office will help the student learn further about the practice. After graduation, the student's resume will be better read if it shows some part-time work at architectural offices.
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Frank’s Answer

To be an architect you need to have passion to build, draw, and be creative. whether you have artistically talented or not there is a place for you in the field of architecture. Anybody can learn to be an architect, there is no prerequisite for this profession except it requirs a lot of your time and effort to finish projects..

Frank recommends the following next steps:

take courses in high school to get a taste for it
read architectural magazine to see if that intrest you.
architects use computer aided design CAD softwear. Try to use them
download and play with 3D free version of Sketchup. To creat 3D objects or buildings
visit an architectural office in your town.
Thank you comment icon You are absolutely right Ahmed Almaweri
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Jackie’s Answer

Becoming an architect is a long and diligent process. It can take anywhere from 3 - 10+ years after you graduate from school. It all depends how motivated you are to pursue licensure and what kind of education and experience you get along the way to prepare you for your exams. It all starts with an inkling for art and math in high school or exposure to construction/building things (at least for me) or sometimes just a desire to make the world a better place through design.

Then there's two options either a four year Bachelor's in architecture plus a two-year accredited Master's or a 5 year accredited Bachelor's. It's important to pick a school that is accredited... but also one that has the extra curricular you're interested in, like a study abroad or sports if you're an athlete or even interdisciplinary options like urban design, landscape or interiors. Each school can have a 'reputation' for the types of classes they offer, no two schools are the same. Some are more design focused, others more structures focused, and everything in between. Some Master's programs even have certificates or specialties that you can get, like urban design or housing. You also will have to consider the cost of tuition, both in-state and out-of-state, and scholarships available. It's wise to minimize the debt you come out of school with, as it's a long journey to pay off loans after school. However, don't rule out the idea of going out of state for school. Sometimes you'll get a better experience at a school farther away that has a better or more diverse curriculum/student body. The decision of where to go to school is an important one, so take your time to explore all your options and visit as many campuses as possible to get a feel for what life would be like there.

Architecture school is a very interesting experience. You will study a broad range of subjects from History, Theory, Design, Structures and Systems (depending on the school). Some schools focus more globally, others focus more locally in terms of which architects they tend to highlight/teach on. You will have to participate in design studios, where you will labor long hours on creating your very own buildings in 3D and physical building models based on the program requirements of the projects set by your professors. You will likely have to write papers and take exams. But if you made a good choice in the school you pick, you will love learning and enjoy the process.

Then, once you've graduated, you have to get a job and sign up with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). There's a process called the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) where you will have to complete 3,740 hours in certain experience areas designated by this governing body. That's about 24 months if you can get each kind within one job. You can find more info on the whole process here: (https://www.ncarb.org/sites/default/files/AXP-Guidelines.pdf). Remember, there are a million different kinds of firms, small, medium and large; some specialize, while others do all types of projects. Do your research early while you're in school to figure out what types of projects and firms you're interested in working in/for and begin reaching out to people on Linked In and see what it's like to work at those places. If your school offers firm tours, always go and see what it's like to be in an office environment. No two firms are the same and there's a lot to learn at each kind. Some people stay at one firm their whole career, while other people bounce around to get different experiences before they settle on the best fit for them and their career goals.

Then, depending on what state you live in you can begin your Architecture Licensing testing. (Some states allow testing while in school; something else to research if you want to get licenses fast! https://www.ncarb.org/become-architect/ipal). Each state has it's own licensing requirements. You can check out your state here: (https://www.ncarb.org/get-licensed/licensing-requirements-tool). There's also data on the pass rates by school (https://www.ncarb.org/pass-the-are/pass-rates/are5-pass-rates-school) in case you're curious on which school can best prepare you for licensing, as that is the end goal. There are currently 6 architecture registration exams (AREs) that you have to pass. We are on ARE Version 5.0. The testing process has changed significantly over the years, and it is now more user friendly and easy to navigate. It might take you several tries to pass each of the exams, some are harder than others, and some longer than others. But there are books, blogs and videos to help you through that process. Whatever happens, don't give up! You will get there eventually! You have 5 years from the time you pass the first exam to complete all 6, so pace yourself and keep a schedule and the end goal in mind. Reach out to the other interns and other people above for help when you don't get something or need a tutor or study partner. It helps to encourage one another. There's a great resource that my colleague made called Young Architect (https://youngarchitect.com/) Check out their videos and blog posts for more insight into the process.

Then once you've completed both your AXP and your AREs you can submit your qualifications to your state's licensing board and sometime sign a form saying you've read the state laws on architectural practice rules in that state, (or places like California have an additional earthquake exam!) Then they will issue your license and you will be allowed to sign off on building drawings in your state. Often if you work in big firms you will not need to stamp the drawings yourself, as that will be up to the owners/principals of the firm. But if you decide to have your own firm and be the Architect of Record, you will have to get liability insurance to cover the risk associated with stamping drawings. But either way, having your license makes you more credible and qualified and valuable to the firm, saying that you have a greater understanding of how to be a GOOD architect and thorough understanding of business, contracts, programming, design and systems.

I hope that you have found this helpful and if you have any questions, please let me know! These links are all VERY informative, though maybe overwhelming... so keep reaching out and asking questions. Everyone you talk to will have had very different experiences based on what school they went to or what job they had. But it's all relative, no two designers are the same. We are all gifted uniquely with different motivations, passions and skills. So try not to compare yourself to others. Try to get to know yourself through self assessments and make decisions that will be best for you (not other people). Follow your dreams and never give up!

Jackie recommends the following next steps:

Talk to your high school guidance counselor and see if there are good schools your high school is connected to.
https://www.ncarb.org/become-architect/basics
https://www.ncarb.org/become-architect/study-architecture
https://www.ncarb.org/sites/default/files/AXP-Guidelines.pdf
https://www.ncarb.org/get-licensed/licensing-requirements-tool
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Mudit Kumar’s Answer

An architect knows his/her expertise area very well including limitation and use/requirement of specific technical knowledge to full full some requirements. This requires technical knowledge, foundational knowledge of subjects, technical knowledge of interconnected technologies, major challenges, security risk and environment. Hard work, continues learning and visualization of problems/risks/trends makes you prefect architect.
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Lisa’s Answer

It looks like a lot of really great advice has been stated here!! There's just a couple of things I wanted to add to Keira's two questions.

1. What qualifications does it take to become an architect?

Like others have mentioned, passion and commitment are really important, once you decide this is the route you want to take. The process and endurance required to get an architecture degree and your architecture license are comparable to becoming a doctor or lawyer, yet the architecture profession is not as understood or valued in society (and the media, if I'm completely honest). It's a kind of field where you really WANT to be an architect for the job, not for the money. You will go through many sleepless nights in college and then years in firms and studying for exams before you can call yourself an "Architect."

When I think about the things that brought me and my colleagues to architecture, I have found it varies per individual. It could have started with a strong interest in art or math, or joy in using your hands to build/sculpt/shape 3-D objects (the most common one architects cite are legos! for me it was origami), or had a famous architect as a role model. It turns out you don't need a lot of math nowadays as architects increasingly rely on (structural) engineers. Your college/university should help to shape your design sensibilities and conceptualize 3D space creatively. I found very quickly that being able to visualize things in 3D and quickly sketch ideas and concepts on paper was very helpful. In the professional world, things are moving more and more onto the computer, but the 3D visualization for me is still important, no matter what tools I am using.

Here is my personal story: I loved art at a young age but as I got older I did not want to produce pure "art" that someone just looks and admires, but something people can use to improve their daily life. This led me to initially research product design, industrial design, and architecture. Between my junior and senior year of high school, I took an Intro to Architecture course one summer at a college nearby and just loved it. I would highly recommend finding out if your local high school or college provides this type of program before you dive straight into architecture in your first year of college. I am sure there are online courses nowadays, with covid going on right now.

2. What does an architect do?

To me, architecture is the intersection of art, building science, and society - as we design spaces that people inhabit in their daily life and the work we do contribute to the good of society as a whole. I think most people immediately think of "buildings" when you hear "architect", although it can go much beyond enclosed spaces. I've seen architects design from the simplest of shelters (ie bus stops) to the tallest, most complex structures and cities known to man. As others have mentioned, you can also specialize in landscape architecture, urban design, etc.

I also want to mention Brandon Hubbard's blog is a great resource if you are just starting your architecture journey.
- Why it rocks to be an architect: https://www.thearchitectsguide.com/blog/7-reasons-why-it-rocks-to-be-an-architect
- How to become an architect: https://www.thearchitectsguide.com/blog/how-to-become-an-architect?rq=how%20to%20architect
- having a mid-life crisis and want to be an architect? -> https://www.thearchitectsguide.com/blog/how-to-make-a-career-switch-into-architecture

He's also an incredible resource if you're halfway through your career and looking for a job (like many of us are right now...).
Disclaimer: I am not getting paid to promote his website in any way.

If Keira or others have additional questions about this, I am happy to answer them personally. Thanks I wish you all much luck with the road ahead.
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