The First Step to Becoming an Architect

As a member of NCARB’s Outreach team, I travel the country to help aspiring architects understand the path to licensure. Among all of the questions I get asked, there’s one that always seems to pop up: “How do I start an NCARB Record?”

What is an NCARB Record?
Your NCARB Record keeps track of your education, IDP experience, and exam progress, and is eventually used in support of initial licensure Now that interns can begin earning IDP credit right out of high school, the sooner you start your Record, the better. Having one also helps ensure that you receive full credit for internships and qualifying volunteer work.

How much does a Record cost?
The short answer is $350. But if you’re a student or a recent graduate (within six months), you can start your Record for just $100. Plus, you won’t have to pay any renewal fees for the first three years. Once you’re ready to start testing, the remaining balance of $250 will be due. Keep in mind, a number of firms (and even a few state boards or schools) reimburse interns for the initial charge, so it’s always a good idea to ask!

How Do I Start My Record?
You can apply for an NCARB Record in eight easy steps:

  1. Head to My NCARB, the online portal for Record holders.
  2. Click "Establish Record" on the right.
  3. Create an NCARB account, and then add the "NCARB Record" service.
  4. Follow the step-by-step instructions to fill out all of the required information.
  5. Review your information for accuracy—errors will delay your processing time.
  6. Select and enter your payment method.
  7. Click submit and check your e-mail. You will receive two e-mails: one confirming your payment and one with instructions for your next steps and your Record number.
  8. Once you have graduated, fill out and send the Transcript Request Form [PDF] to your school.

Now you’re ready to start reporting IDP hours!

If you’re interested in having NCARB Outreach speakers come to your school or event in the future, contact us. You can also find me on Twitter at @kimberlyrtuttle.

About the Author

Kimberly Tuttle is the Outreach Manager, Internship + Education at NCARB. In this position she helps support and guide the education and internship continuum as it evolves with the architecture profession. Tuttle holds a Master of Architecture degree from Norwich University in Northfield, VT. She is licensed to practice architecture in the state of Maine, where she has worked for the past eight years. She is a member of the American Institute of Architects, serving as an associate director of the AIA Maine Board of Directors from 2011-2014, and now as the Emerging Architects Mentoring Workshops Chair for AIA|DC. She holds the NCARB Certificate for national reciprocity. You can find Kimberly on Twitter at @kimberlyrtuttle.