NCARB Report Reveals Record Number of Architect Candidates

May 14, 2015

Washington, D.C.—A record-high number of candidates actively working toward an architect license provides more evidence of a thriving talent pool for the architect profession, according to new 2014 data released today by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

More than 37,000 aspiring architects were testing and/or reporting experience hours last year, a substantial part of the path to architectural licensure required by the 54 U.S. state and jurisdiction licensing boards. This and other insights are a first glimpse at the Council’s 2015 NCARB by the Numbers report to be released in July.

“The architect profession is healthy and growing,” said NCARB CEO Michael Armstrong, who released a preview of the findings during a press conference at the AIA Convention 2015 Expo in Atlanta. “The report’s findings also help validate NCARB and its work with licensing boards to open doors of opportunity for qualified people in the architecture profession without sacrificing the rigor needed to ensure public health, safety, and welfare.”

Key 2015 NCARB by the Numbers findings released today:

  • 37,178 aspiring architects were actively reporting experience hours through the Intern Development Program (IDP) and/or actively testing for the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) in 2014—the most ever recorded by NCARB.
  • Nearly 10,000 new candidates started the path to licensure in 2014, up 4 percent from 2013.
  • 3,719 candidates completed the ARE in 2014, up 17 percent.
  • 107,581 licensed architects were reported by U.S. licensing boards—the third-consecutive year of increased growth in the profession.
  • 39,225 architects are active Certificate holders, second only to the 39,325 Certificate holders in 2013.

The full 2015 NCARB by the Numbers report, to be released in July, will also provide results on the demographics of those entering the profession, including how women and other minorities are performing, a look at graduates from NAAB-accredited programs versus non-accredited programs on the path to licensure, and year-over-year completion times for the IDP, the ARE, and much more.


The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.

NCARB protects 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. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States and Canada.