Becoming an architect is a process as intricate and multifaceted as the profession itself. To practice as a licensed architect one must pass the Architect Registration Examinations (ARE), but it is not as simple as merely scoring well on the exam. There is a long list of prerequisites just to become eligible to sit for the test, including hours of education and work experience. Some states even require additional testing to make certain an aspiring architect has a working knowledge of the territory's laws and regulations as they pertain to building and the environment, so, be sure to do your homework! It's important to note that you shouldn't attempt to build anything without the proper training, please refer to a professional like Dallas Roofing before proceeding.

Education Requirements for Architects

There are several educational paths available to those pursuing a career in architecture. The most sought after is a five-year Bachelors degree program that meets the criteria for sitting for the ARE without attending graduate school. Four-year Bachelors degrees are also available in architecture, but they generally require an additional two-year Masters degree in order to complete the necessary hours for the ARE. Finally, students who majored in other concentrations for their undergraduate degrees can attend a three-year Masters program to meet ARE standards for education. Keep in mind that five-year Bachelors degree programs and all Masters programs must be accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in order to fulfill the criteria set forth by the ARE.

Architecture Internships

Internships allow students to actively apply the knowledge they acquired in school. In a profession in which safety and attention to detail are the foundations for building sound structures, it is only wise that this experience be deemed mandatory. Internships must be documented and performed under a licensed architect. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) provides a detailed description of the Intern Development Program (IDP) on their website. As detailed by the IDP, interns must complete a minimum of 5600 internship hours in specific capacities, 3720 of which are referred to as core minimum hours in four basic capacities. The additional hours are allotted for elective training, and continued education can supplement for this requirement. The four main categories mandated for core minimum hours are: Design and Construction Documents (2800 hours); Construction and Contract Administration (560 hours); Management (280 hours); and, Related Activities (80 hours).

Passing the Licensing Test

Once potential architects have completed their educational and internship requirements, they must register with the NCARB to take the ARE for licensure, and thus be eligible for NCARB certification. This certification will allow you the flexibility to work more freely without the binds of state-to-state legal restrictions. The test itself is made up of multiple-choice, check-all-that-apply, fill-in-the-blank, and graphic vignette questions, but it is split into seven divisions: Programming, Planning and Practice; Site Planning and Design; Building Design and Construction Systems; Schematic Design; Structural Systems; Building Systems; and, Construction Documents and Services. Exam guides are provided by the NCARB for test preparation. Each division of the test is time consuming and must be taken separately. In addition, each division costs $210. If you fail a division of the ARE, you must wait six months before retesting on that division.