5 answers

What qualifications it takes to become an architect?

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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

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5 answers

Lara’s Answer

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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.

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Janhavi’s Answer

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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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Johnny’s Answer

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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

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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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Jackie’s Answer

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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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