Becoming an Architect

Architects are licensed professionals trained in the art and science of the design and construction of buildings and structures that primarily provide shelter. Additionally, architects may be involved with designing the total built environment—from how a building integrates with its surrounding landscape to architectural or construction details that involve the interior of the building to designing and creating furniture to be used in a specific space.

An architect will create the overall aesthetic and look of buildings and structures, but the design of a building involves far more than its appearance. Buildings also must be functional, safe, and economical and must suit the specific needs of the people who use them. Most importantly, they must be built with the public’s health, safety and welfare in mind.

Thinking about becoming an architect? It’s important to remember that there are many aspects involved with this job. Their responsibilities require specific skills—designing, engineering, managing, supervising, and communicating with clients and builders. Architects spend a great deal of time explaining their ideas to clients, construction contractors, and others. Successful architects must have a thorough knowledge of the construct of a building, and be able to design and communicate their unique vision effectively.

Architecture Basics

The Basics
Architects must be licensed before they can practice as an architect or call themselves an architect. There are three main steps in becoming an architect: education, experience, and examination.

Overview of the Profession

The Profession
All states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands require individuals to be licensed (registered) before they may call themselves architects or contract to provide architectural services.

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Destination: Architect
Destination: Architect is a fast-paced video series that maps out key licensure requirements and highlights what you need to know before getting started. Learn the “rules of the road,” so you can chart a course that will get you to your destination of becoming an architect.

Change the World Your Way

Licensure Matters
Being licensed matters—especially for the people who live, work, and play in the buildings that architects create. Architects have a unique and influential role in our communities—with a license, you can play a part in shaping the future of our built world.

Careers in Architecture

Careers in Architecture
Resources for finding a career in architecture.

What Its Like

What It's Like to Work in Architecture
The road to becoming an licensed architect can be a long and winding one. Read stories from architects about their path to licensure.

Related Organizations

Related Organizations
NCARB is one of five collateral organizations that play an important role in the profession. Each organization represents different groups responsible for the education, training, registration, and practice of architects.

Destination Architect: Getting it Done!
NCARB by the Numbers: NCARB Record Applications by Women on the Rise
The percentage of NCARB applications by women has increased since the 2013 edition of NCARB by the Numbers. [more]

NCARB Record holders by gender
Want to become an architect?

The road to becoming an architect is less complicated than you think. Here are the basics to help you jumpstart your career.

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