You’ve decided to pursue a career in architecture but don’t know how to go about it. On the one hand, it seems simple enough, but you have a niggling feeling that you might forget something important in the process. You are right. Starting a career as an architect is more than education, experience, and examinations, although those are vital. Here we will look at how you can start your career as an architect on the right footing.
The three fundamental aspects to get started as an architect
The three essential steps to becoming an architect are:
- Get the right education
- Gain architectural experience
- Get the required architecture license
- What to study to get started in architecture
To become a recognized and qualified architect, you must have the proper qualifications. Here’s more information on the required qualifications and how to get them.
Can I pursue architecture after completing an undergraduate degree in any field?
If you are undecided about becoming an architect, you can complete an undergraduate degree in any field. After you complete your undergraduate degree, you can pursue a professional degree in architecture. That is a five-year degree that you can follow up with an M.Arch or master’s degree in architecture. An M.Arch can be completed anywhere between 1 and 5 years, depending on your education and experience.
How early can I start preparing to become an architect?
If you are sure that you want to pursue architecture immediately after high school, you can join a professional undergraduate degree – otherwise known as B.Arch. That is a five-year undergraduate degree. You can follow it up with an M.Arch.
There are over 100 architecture schools across the United States. Make sure you enroll yourself into a National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)-accredited school – this is very important.
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- How to gain relevant experience as a graduate architect
What is the purpose of an internship in architecture?
All state architectural registration boards within the United States require architecture graduates to complete an extensive and intensive paid internship before they can take up the licensing exams.
Where can I do my architect internship?
Talk to your college and professors about architecture firms for your internship.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) – the licensing organization for architects-helps firms hone new architect graduates. Most architecture graduates complete their internship through the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), requiring them to complete 3,740 hours of training. Some jurisdictions might call for different experiences.
When choosing an architecture firm for your internship, ensure the firm is licensed and has relevant architects professional insurance (visit this website for more information on architects and engineers insurance).
What are the rules for an architecture internship?
Your job experience counts only if your internship is supervised and signed off by a licensed architect. The NCARB will receive reports on your progress at regular intervals.
If you complete your internship while you are still studying, you can count some of this time toward your training period.
What tasks must I perform as an intern?
During your internship, you will gain the required knowledge and skills needed to practice as an architect. As an intern, you must complete several varied tasks like preparing construction drawings, design some parts of a project, research building codes, write specifications for installation criteria or building materials, and the quality of various types of finishes.
- How to complete the Architect Registration Exam (ARE)
What is the Architect Registration Exam?
The Architect Registration Exam (ARE) is a multi-faceted exam to test your knowledge and skills as an architect. The exam is currently conducted in six parts. Each part or division reflects the various health, safety, and welfare areas, designed in the AXP. Consider familiarizing yourself with the different exam policies before you get started.
How long does it take to complete the ARE?
Because of the extensive and thorough nature of this examination, you could take anywhere from a year to three years to complete it. You can take the division exams in any order.
What is the ARE format?
Each division exam combines case studies, multiple-choice questions, check-all-that-apply questions, fill-in-the-blank questions, hot spots, and drag-and-drop questions.
What are the state’s requirements for passing ARE?
Every state requires you to complete and pass the ARE before you apply for your license. Every state withing the United States has its own eligibility criteria for ARE. Check your jurisdiction’s eligibility criteria before applying for the ARE. Please check if you are eligible to take up the ARE on your NCARB board.
It might seem like a long journey of studies, experience, and examinations before you are eligible to become a licensed architect, but every bit of knowledge and experience you gain on the way will be worth it. Finally, continue to update your knowledge and your skills even after you receive your licensure. While this is a mandatory requirement by some states, this will help you stay updated and make you a better architect.