What It's Like to Work in Architecture

What It's Like to Work as an Architect

The road to becoming a licensed architect can be a long and winding one. You can navigate the process with ease by understanding each step and what to expect along the way. Below are several stories from those who work in different aspects of the profession.


Michael Cross   

R. Michael Cross, LEED AP
Cross earned his license to practice architecture in May 2007 and his NCARB Certificate in September 2007. Today he is the principal architect at rmichaelcross Design Group in Richmond, VA, and is license to practice in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC.

Read about his experience in each stage of the process:
[education], [internship], [examination], [initial licensure], and [certification]

Dan Bailey - NCARB Award  

Dan Bailey, AIA 
Dan Bailey, AIA, is the president of Penza Bailey Architects, Inc. a Baltimore Business Journal Top-25 Area Architecture Firm. He has been working with students at Morgan State University as part of the course that was developed as a result of NCARB Grant funding the program received in 2008.

Read about his experience.  

Darlene Rutkowski-Hanks, NCARB, AIA, DBIA, LEED AP BD+C   

Darlene Rutkowski-Hanks, NCARB, AIA, DBIA, LEED APBD+C
Darlene Rutkowski-Hanks completed the Broadly Experienced Architect (BEA) Program in early 2012 in order to get NCARB certified and advance her career. 

Read about her experience.

Emerging Professionals

Benjamin Dockter   

Benjamin Dockter, LEED AP 
Benjamin Dockter, LEED AP, plans to make his future in architecture count. Nearly finished with licensure requirements, Dockter reflects upon his journey to become an architect and considers the role of architects in improving the greater good.

Read about his internship experience.


Aaron Locke - NCARB Award 


Aaron Locke 
Aaron Locke was a California State Polytechnic University, Pomona student who received the opportunity to participate in a project established after it won funding from a 2010 NCARB Grant. The course paired teams of students with architects and city officials to replaced dwellings destroyed by raging wildfires on public land in San Diego County.

Read about his education experience.

Would you like to share your experience through the licensure process? Contact Amanda Pica at apica@ncarb.org.

Related Publications


NCARB by the Numbers (2015)
This year’s NCARB by the Numbers explores the behavior of aspiring architects on the path to licensure in an entirely new format.

Download (PDF, 3,299K)

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