Did you know that gaining and reporting your professional experience is an essential part of earning your architecture license? The Architectural Experience Program (AXP) guides and equips candidates with the skills and competencies in the wide range of areas necessary to practice architecture independently.  

If you’re completing an internship or volunteer experience in architecture or a related area this summer, follow these tips to make the most of your time and streamline your path to becoming an architect—and create an NCARB Record to start reporting your experience today! 


Start Your NCARB Record

Your NCARB Record is a detailed, verified account of your education, experience, and examination history. You’ll need a Record to report AXP experience, start the ARE, and earn your initial license.

Report Experience as Soon as Possible  

To earn full credit toward the AXP, all experience must follow NCARB’s reporting requirement and be reported within eight months of earning it—the largest block of time you can submit in one experience report is six months. So be sure to report your experience as soon as you earn it—this ensures both you and your supervisor are familiar with the work performed in that time period. Plus, NCARB’s data shows that candidates who report their experience early and often typically complete the licensure process sooner! 

If you don’t report your experience within the eight-month window, don’t worry! Experience reported after the eight-month window can count toward your AXP requirements for up to five years at the reduced rate of 50 percent credit. Unlike regular experience reports, these reports can be submitted in time blocks of up to five years. 

Communicate with Your Supervisor  

Your supervisor will review and approve all experience reports. To ensure all experience reports are reviewed in a timely manner, talk with your supervisor to determine a schedule for check-ins to review experience reports, gain feedback, and identify the next steps for your professional development. Our AXP Candidate and Supervisor Expectations document can be used as a resource to help establish expectations for your check-in meetings.  

If you’re only going to work with your supervisor for the summer, keep in mind that it’s usually easier to get your supervisor to review your reports before your internship ends.  

Check Out Other Experience Opportunities  

While half of your AXP experience will need to be earned while working for an architect licensed in the U.S. or Canada under the employment of a firm lawfully practicing architecture, there are a number of other opportunities for AXP experience! Performing design and construction work, working for other licensed professionals (like engineers or landscape architects), volunteering for a nonprofit, and more! Be sure to read the AXP Guidelines for details on each setting O opportunity.  

Find more tips and resources for completing the experience program.