Washington DC—The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) just launched its annual data report, NCARB by the Numbers. The 2017 edition provides exclusive insight into the number of U.S. architects, the value of graduating from an accredited program, the time it takes to earn a license, and diversity in the profession.

Key findings from the latest edition, which is based on data from the 2016 calendar year, include:

  • Over 8,100 licensure candidates completed the Architectural Experience Program™ (AXP™) in 2016—an all-time high.
  • On average, candidates take 4.2 years to complete the AXP.
  • Around 4,300 candidates completed the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) in 2016.
  • Graduates from accredited architecture programs finish the ARE about five months sooner than their peers from non-accredited programs.
  • Sixty-seven percent of candidates overlap their experience and exams—the largest percentage to date.
  • On average, becoming an architect takes 12.5 years—from the time a student enrolls in school to the moment they receive a license. This marks the eighth year in a row the timeline to licensure has decreased.
  • The pool of candidates working toward licensure is more diverse than ever before, and 36 percent of newly licensed architects are women.
  • In 2016, there were 109,748 architects in the United States—a minimal drop from the previous year.

“Every year, the profession turns to NCARB by the Numbers for comprehensive and insightful data on the path to licensure,” said NCARB President Gregory L. Erny, FAIA, NCARB. “As our data analytic capabilities expand, we are now able to shine a light on intriguing, and sometimes controversial, topics—including improving diversity among practitioners and shortening the timeline to licensure.”

The findings are pulled from the nonprofit’s database of over 111,000 NCARB-certified architects and licensure candidates, making NCARB by the Numbers the most comprehensive source for licensure statistics.

To read the full report, explore interactive data charts, and download infographics, visit www.ncarb.org/NBTN2017.



The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.

NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in foreign countries.

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