The Public Supports Professional Licensing

In 2019, NCARB partnered with Benenson Strategy Group to launch a survey regarding public perceptions of regulation, licensing, and the architecture profession. Responses gathered from nearly 1,000 voters revealed that licensure standards for architects are an important factor in protecting the public health, safety, and welfare.

The survey revealed that 76 percent of voters agree that professional licensing makes consumers feel safe. Seventy-four percent agree that professional licensing ensures competent, qualified professionals are serving the public. And 73 percent agree that professional licensing creates consistent standards of competency.

In addition, 89 percent of voters agree that it is important for architects, specifically, to be licensed. Recognizing that a key part of an architect’s job is ensuring buildings are safe and structurally sound, voters clearly distinguished architecture as a profession—which should be regulated—rather than an occupation.

Similarly, 82 percent of voters classified architecture as a profession, along with similar industries like doctors, lawyers, and engineers.

Survey participants also received an overview of the licensure process for architects, learning that individuals working to become architects complete both experience and examination requirements before earning a license.

Learning about this rigorous process made voters even more likely to support licensure for the architecture profession and elevated their perception of architects.

As discussions regarding appropriate levels of licensing standards increase in the regulatory world, these key findings will help educate policymakers and demonstrate how the architecture profession continues to move in the right direction when it comes to protecting the public health, safety, and welfare.