New Media Resource on Architecture Profession

For your coverage of architecture, education and professional career topics, please consider our client NCARB and its dynamic CEO, Mike Armstrong, as valuable resources.

NCARB ( is the Washington, D.C.-based group recognized as the global leader in regulation of the architectural profession. The group has a deep well of regularly updated statistics, research and reports that identify architect licensing trends nationally and by state, a bellwether economic indicator. NCARB can also refer architects and interns in every state as interview sources.

From a snapshot of who becomes an architect today to decades-long studies of the profession's trajectory, NCARB can provide valuable background and data on architecture practice and intern employment. Journalists can also count on Armstrong to speak to:
-- Recent changes in how architects get licensed
-- How NCARB helps protect public safety and health
-- A new mobile app for interns
-- Demographics, such as the increasing number of women pursuing careers in architecture
-- Planned changes to internships and the Architect Registration Exam (ARE®).

Below my sign-off is a brief backgrounder detailing recent work by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) under Mr. Armstrong to improve the process of becoming an architect.

This is a fast-moving and developing story; please contact me or Julia Ginocchio at C.C. Sullivan for more details.

The New NCARB: A Fast Track to Sucess
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is driven to engage and uplift the architectural profession, with the goal of enabling and empowering a new generation of accomplished practitioners. With a dynamic new CEO, Michael J. Armstrong, and a raft of improvements both big-picture and micro, NCARB is focused on the aspirations of interns, architects, and the profession’s many beneficiaries.

The ongoing results have been clear and of immediate, practical value to today’s students, interns, and architecture firms. Several new initiatives promise more changes and beneficial outcomes over coming years, says CEO Armstrong. While NCARB is just getting started on this re-engineering process, the group has good news to report to the world of architecture:

  • Many firms report a lack of qualified practitioners and reticence among interns to achieve licensure. NCARB is expanding and promoting the paths to licensure, seeding new growth in applicants.
  • Architecture is a rapidly changing profession, says Armstrong.
    • For example, the number of women becoming architects has doubled over the last two decades.
  • Interns and firms alike have tolerated unduly complex NCARB programs in the past. Today’s NCARB is simplifying and streamlining every facet of the process.
    • Time to complete the internship program, known as IDP, has dropped almost 16 percent since 2010.
  • Costs matter for aspiring professionals, and NCARB has capped fees and reduced associated outlays on five separate programs, with more to come.
  • IDP and the licensing exam, A.R.E., take less time than ever before, and NCARB has proposed new ways to further trim the process—while still tirelessly promoting public safety and health.
    • Now, 50 percent of candidates finish their exam in less than two years and 75 percent finish in about three years.
  • NCARB has announced the 2016 debut of a new exam—ARE® 5.0—that better reflects how architects truly work.

The statistics above are just the leading edge of a wave of innovation. They also signal a more positive perception of NCARB, says the group’s press liaison, Sandy Vasan.

Architects are driven by lofty social and environmental goals, and the benefits to all of a better built environment. NCARB shares those aspirations, and sees a faster track to success. If every change made by NCARB serves to better supports students, interns, and architecture firms, the profession will benefit—as will the public at large.

NCARB works to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. Its primary function is to design tools and model procedures for jurisdictions to apply to their regulation of the path to licensure, ranging from internship guidelines to licensing examination to certification for reciprocal licensing. NCARB maintains records for its jurisdictional boards, providing services to architects and interns as key stakeholders. NCARB members are the architectural registration boards of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each of these 54 registration board has state-appointed public and professional members as well as an administrator. More details at