Experience Requirements

The AXP includes 96 tasks that are typically performed in six experience areas. These tasks are the key items you should be capable of performing in order to practice architecture independently. You should use the AXP as a tool to help you gain the necessary experience to prepare you for the profession and beyond.

Completing the AXP

Most licensure candidates will complete the AXP by reporting hours. You will need to document a minimum of 3,740 required hours under the six experience areas to complete the program. Some tasks may be easier to complete early in your career, while others may take more time and experience to complete. You and your supervisor should work together to create a plan that best fits your goals and abilities.

At least half of your experience must be completed under the supervision of a qualified architect; however, there are many ways to complete the remainder of your AXP hours outside the employment of an architect. These opportunities will be covered in the experience settings section.

Note: Each jurisdiction sets its own requirements, and some require additional experience. Check here to see an overview of your jurisdiction’s requirements. Visit the architectural registration board website to verify its requirement.

AXP Portfolio

Some experienced design professionals are eligible to complete the AXP by demonstrating competent performance through an AXP Portfolio. This new method is intended for individuals who put their licensure on hold and allows you to demonstrate your experience through the preparation of an online portfolio.

Experience Areas

The six AXP experience areas are:

Experience Settings

Your experience reports will fall under one of two experience settings: setting A or setting O. These settings serve to define the type of organization, the experience performed, and who verifies the experience:

  • Setting A: Work performed for an architecture firm. You are required to complete a minimum of 1,860 hours in this setting.
  • Setting O: Experiences that can be performed outside an architecture firm.

Related Publications


AXP Guidelines
Updated June 2016! The AXP Guidelines is essential reading for licensure candidates, supervisors, and mentors participating in the AXP. The document includes steps to completing the program, reporting procedures, experience requirements, and more!

Download (PDF, 727K)

Related Content

Stay Active
Learn how to document your experience for the AXP.

Related FAQs

I submitted my experience report online, but my supervisor didn't receive an email notice. Can it be resent? First, please have your supervisor check his or her junk or spam filter. If the email is still missing, please contact NCARB Customer Service.

What happened to the Intern Development Program (IDP)?

On June 29, 2016, the IDP was updated to reflect the six broad areas of current architectural practice—and renamed the Architectural Experience Program (AXP). The AXP is the same program as the IDP, but with a few updates and a new name.

What is the difference between “Construction Work” and “Design or Construction Related Employment?"

Construction Work is typically “hands-on” and is reserved primarily for activities directly involving the building trades (e.g., framing, roofing, masonry, etc.). Design or Construction Related Employment focuses on the management of building construction activities (e.g., planning, programming, designing interior space, etc.).