Last night, Archinect published a story about the Future Title Task Force, and we’d like to take this opportunity to clear up some misconceptions.
The task force is charged with exploring possible titles for everyone along the path to licensure and beyond. Currently, 28 jurisdictions have laws and/or rules that specifically address intern titles. So even if the task force comes to a consensus (and individual state boards buy in), any change could take considerable time to work its way through the many state legislatures.
A word of caution: even if your state doesn’t address intern titles in its laws and/or rules, you can only call yourself an “architect” once you’re licensed. In fact, many jurisdictions prohibit any derivative of the term architect for unlicensed professionals.
For example, California doesn't specifically address the use of intern titles. However, according to the board's Architect's Practice Act: "It shall be unlawful for any person to use a business name that includes as part of its title or description of services the term 'architect,' 'architecture,' or 'architectural,' or any abbreviations or confusingly similar variations thereof..."
Because of this, the IDP Guidelines uses the term “intern” to describe any individual in the process of satisfying a registration board’s experience requirements. (See page two for the full definition.) And while unpaid internships are the norm in some professions, architecture is a different ballgame. Unpaid internships are not eligible for IDP credit.
Editor's Note: This blog post was updated in April 2017.