NCARB Delivers Licensure Presentation to Packed House in Miami


26 July 2013

Miami, FL—More than 100 students, interns, and architects turned out for a standing-room only outreach and networking event hosted by AIA Miami and featuring presenters from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Held last night at Miami-Dade College, guests heard from NCARB Assistant Director, Intern Development Program (IDP) Nick Serfass, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, PMP and Manager, IDP Martin Smith, AIA, NCARB, LEED GA, who provided an overview on the path to licensure, offering key tips and sharing stories about their own architectural career paths.

“Plan for the unknown—get your license, and get it as soon as you can, so you can set yourself up for whatever opportunity comes down the road,” Serfass told the packed room. He encouraged attendees to “be proactive, and ask for what you need,” in order to progress toward licensure. He pointed out that the IDP offers a significant opportunity to establish a broad range of experience early in an architectural career, noting that it “helps interns figure out what they like and what they’re good at—it’s not just about logging hours.” Serfass also highlighted the many ways interns can earn experience, including a variety of supplemental opportunities that can be completed whether or not employed.

Smith outlined examination requirements, urging attendees to “always have a plan” and to approach the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) with a strategy. He highlighted ways to prepare for the exam, such as using the free study guides and the practice programs provided by NCARB, and taking advantage of resources available through local AIA chapters and in firms.

In response to one of several questions from the audience, Serfass noted that the majority of candidates pass the ARE in less than two years. “One consistent element in every person that passes the ARE is that they take an exam,” he said, advising attendees to “just start, you have to jump in—you can’t finish if you don’t start.” He reiterated that early eligibility is an option in most jurisdictions, meaning candidates can take the exam while still completing the IDP—a big opportunity to streamline the path to licensure.

If you are interested in having NCARB Outreach speakers come to your school, or event, contact Martin Smith at

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