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

When can I start the AXP?

You can begin earning and reporting AXP experience after graduating from high school or an established equivalent. 

Am I required to submit experience online or can I submit a paper version for employment verification?

Paper forms are no longer accepted. All experience reports must be submitted online.

What happens when I have documented all of the hours required to satisfy my jurisdiction’s experience requirement?

Once your Record indicates that you have completed your jurisdiction’s experience requirement, your Record will automatically be placed in the queue for a final evaluation. After this evaluation, you will be updated by NCARB staff regarding your status and the next steps you'll need to take.