What Does It Take To Become A Licensed Architect Today?

What Does It Take To Become A Licensed Architect Today?

What Does It Take To Become A Licensed Architect Today?

Are you interested in becoming a licensed architect? It's an exciting and rewarding career path, but it takes dedication and hard work to achieve this goal. With so many different requirements to meet, it can be daunting trying to figure out where to start. That's why we've put together this comprehensive guide on what it takes to become a licensed architect today! From education and internships to exams and licensure applications, we'll cover everything you need to know.


Education is an essential step toward becoming a licensed architect. To become a qualified architect, you will need to obtain a professional degree in architecture from an accredited school or university. The program typically takes five years to complete and includes coursework in design, engineering, construction methods, and building codes. 

During your education, you'll also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through studio projects and internships. These experiences provide valuable skills that are necessary for success as an architect. It's important to note that each state has specific requirements for education that must be met before applying for licensure. 

Be sure to research the requirements in your jurisdiction carefully. In addition to traditional classroom instruction, many schools now offer online courses and programs that make it easier than ever to pursue a career in architecture while still balancing other responsibilities. With so many options available today, there's no reason not to start pursuing your dream of becoming a licensed architect!


An internship provides aspiring architects with the opportunity to gain practical experience in the field and apply what they learned in school to real-life situations. During an internship, aspiring architects work under the supervision of experienced professionals and participate in various tasks such as drafting plans, creating designs, and collaborating with clients. This hands-on experience allows interns to develop their skills, enhance their knowledge about building codes and regulations, and learn how to effectively communicate with others involved in a project. 

Most states require interns to complete at least 3 years of internship before being eligible for licensure. However, some jurisdictions have specific requirements regarding the type of work that can be counted towards an intern's experience. Aspiring architects should research their state or jurisdictional requirements carefully before starting an internship.


The examination for architects assesses the knowledge, skills, and ability to apply architectural principles in solving complex problems, ensuring competency in the field. To get started now, you should understand that the examination consists of multiple divisions covering various architecture-related topics, such as building systems, structures, materials, project management, contracts, and sustainability. Each division has its own format and number of questions. 

To prepare, it's crucial to have a strong foundation in math and familiarity with software like AutoCAD or Revit. Many aspiring architects join review courses or study groups for exam readiness. Once you pass all divisions, you can apply for licensure. Remember, each state board may have additional requirements, so researching specific criteria for your practice location is important.


Licensure Application

This process involves submitting an application to your state licensing board along with any necessary documentation, such as transcripts and experience logs. It's important to note that each state has its own specific application requirements, so make sure you carefully review your jurisdiction's guidelines before submitting your application. 

Some states may require additional exams or a certain number of hours in continuing education courses. Additionally, most states also require applicants to complete a background check and disclose any past criminal convictions or disciplinary actions taken against them by other professional organizations. Once your application has been reviewed and approved by the state licensing board, you will be granted a license to practice architecture within that jurisdiction. It's important to keep in mind that licenses are typically only valid within the issuing state - if you plan on practicing elsewhere, you will need to obtain licensure from those jurisdictions as well.

Jurisdictional Requirements

Each state or territory has its own set of rules and regulations that govern the practice of architecture within its borders. These include specific education and experience requirements, as well as additional exams or certifications. Before applying for licensure in any given jurisdiction, aspiring architects should research the requirements thoroughly to ensure they meet all necessary criteria. This may involve reviewing state statutes or contacting local licensing boards for guidance. 

In addition to meeting basic education and experience standards, applicants may also need to pass background checks or demonstrate proficiency in specific areas such as building codes or sustainability practices. It's important for architects seeking licensure to stay up-to-date on changes in jurisdictional requirements over time. As new laws are passed or industry trends evolve, these standards can shift, requiring professionals to adapt accordingly.

Becoming a licensed architect is no easy feat. It requires years of education, dedication, and hard work. From completing an accredited degree program to passing the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), each step in the process is essential for ensuring public safety and upholding professional standards. However, despite the rigorous requirements that must be met, becoming a licensed architect today can also be incredibly rewarding. Architects have the ability to design innovative buildings and spaces that shape our communities and impact people's lives in meaningful ways. So if you're considering pursuing a career as an architect, know that it won't be easy, but it will absolutely be worth it. Take advantage of all available resources such as mentorship programs or study groups to support you along your journey towards licensure.