Welcome to the 2020 NCARB by the Numbers!

When NCARB by the Numbers was first published in 2012, the architecture profession was recovering from the impact of the Great Recession. Over the years, the trends highlighted in NCARB by the Numbers have helped demonstrate the health, resilience, and future of the architecture profession.

As we release the ninth edition of our annual data publication this year, the architecture profession faces another period of dramatic change. Changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic—as well as pre-existing shifts in technology, firm structure, employment, mobility, work process, and beyond—may quickly alter the practice of architecture and recent trends seen on the path to licensure.

The data reported in this publication was captured at the end of the 2019 calendar year, and much of the information gathered demonstrates growth and positive evolution: continued increases in the number of U.S.-licensed architects, higher demand for additional out-of-state licenses, increased diversity and gender parity at many career stages, and a slight decrease in the time it takes to earn an architecture license. While some of these trends may change in the year ahead, there is reassurance in knowing the profession was in excellent health going into this challenging time, and we hope it emerges stronger and more dynamic than ever before. With this publication as a baseline for the state of licensure, we can monitor the impact and identify opportunities to provide support in the years to come.

We are excited to report on several new areas this year, including breakdowns of race and gender representation at various career stages, a detailed exploration of exam pass rates and retakes, and further insight into when candidates stop pursuing a license. 

In addition to data gathered from NCARB Record and Certificate holders, this year’s NCARB by the Numbers also features a sneak peek of results from a survey on equity, diversity, and inclusion in licensure conducted in partnership with the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). Insights from the survey, combined with NCARB’s own data, will help shape ongoing improvements to the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®) and the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®), as we work to ensure the licensure process is fair and equitable for all individuals.

The 2020 NCARB by the Numbers offers a great deal of insight into the evolution of architectural licensure, and I hope you enjoy reading it as we anticipate the changes the future will bring.  

Michael J. Armstrong
Chief Executive Officer
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards