NCARB Community Advice Roundup

Architecture is a profession built on communication and teamwork. With over 115,000 licensed practitioners across all jurisdictions (according to our latest data) and thousands more entering the profession each year, you just have to wonder, “How much good advice is out there?” In the spirit of community building, we asked licensed architects and industry experts to share any advice they had for emerging architecture professionals. Below, you’ll find some of our favorite responses.

“Find a mentor within the profession and learn from their mistakes. Also, know your value—if your skills and contributions aren't respected in the office, look for a new opportunity. Staying in an office simply for IDP hours isn't enough reason to stay.”


“Try to get exposure to lots of different building and construction types.  You can specialize later in your career. For now, gaining a variety of experience will be invaluable later on.”


“Positioning is key. You can do a lot of things with your profession. Think about the impact you want to make and work with firms and individuals that can help you get there. Make sure you and your firm have aligned values so you can grow the way you want."


“Take your first decade in practice to get to know yourself as an architect. We put up with so much self-induced anxiety as EPs trying to succeed AND figure out our purpose, we should take the time to learn what we hope to become, not simply what others want us to be."


 “If your goal is to become licensed and your firm does not encourage it do it for yourself, complete the goal you set out to accomplish and it will open doors for you in the future.”


“If you learn something new every day, then you’re doing it right. Never stop learning and exploring, both inside and outside the workplace.”

—Ashley Rybarczyk

“Get your license ASAP. It's okay to fail an exam (or a few). Stick with it and learn from your mistakes.”

—Jamie Alling

“Spend as much time as you can on your construction sites.”


“Start in a small firm. You have access to a wealth of direct experience and knowledge.”


“Keep making friends, sharing experience, collaborate don’t compete, and stay humble.”


“Log all of your AXP hours on time.”


Do you have any other tips for emerging architects? Join the conversation and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.