Number of U.S. Architects Continues to Rise

Las Vegas, NV—The number of architects licensed in the United States rose to 115,316 in 2018, according to the annual Survey of Architectural Registration Boards. This is a 2 percent increase from 2017 and represents a 13 percent increase compared to the number of U.S. architects seen a decade ago.

Conducted annually by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the survey provides exclusive insight into data from the architectural licensing boards of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the Northern Mariana Islands, which rejoined NCARB in 2018.

The increase in the number of architects is even more apparent when compared to the U.S. population: While the number of architects licensed in the U.S. has risen over 13 percent in the last decade, the total U.S. population has risen just 7 percent, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“This year’s data suggests that the profession is healthy and growing—and that NCARB’s services are just as important now as they were when our organization was founded 100 years ago,” said NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong.

Additional data from the upcoming 2019 NCARB by the Numbers regarding NCARB’s 100 years of history reflects the increased demand for the organization’s services. There are now over 115,000 individuals who hold an active NCARB Record, including nearly 41,000 candidates pursuing architectural licensure—a 1 percent increase in both Record holders and candidates compared to 2017.

The 2018 Survey of Architectural Registration Boards also reveals that there continue to be more reciprocal (out-of-state) licenses than resident licenses issued in the U.S. There were 125,475 reciprocal licenses reported in 2018, which is largely unchanged from the amount seen in 2017. The steady number of reciprocal licenses indicates the effectiveness of the mobility pathway established by NCARB and the architectural licensing boards.

The survey reflects registration data from January to December 2018. Additional data on the path to licensure will be available in July’s 2019 edition of NCARB by the Numbers.

Learn more about NCARB’s data and the Survey of Architectural Registration Boards.

Jurisdiction Resident Reciprocal Total 
Alabama 849 2,047 2,896
Alaska 237 333 570
Arizona 2,250 3,749 5,999
Arkansas* 557 1,070 1,627
California 17,591 4,237 21,828
Colorado 3,648 4,156 7,804
Connecticut 1,422 2,873 4,295
Delaware 135 1,477 1,612
District of Columbia 1,650 1,931 3,581
Florida 5,503 5,666 11,169
Georgia* 2,488 3,184 5,672
Guam 32 72 104
Hawaii 1,068 1,567 2,635
Idaho 524 1,358 1,882
Illinois 6,066 4,244 10,310
Indiana 1,048 2,442 3,490
Iowa 631 1,535 2,166
Kansas 833 1,970 2,803
Kentucky 994 1,650 2,644
Louisiana 1,451 2,140 3,591
Maine 482 1,205 1,687
Maryland 2,798 3,666 6,464
Massachusetts 4,186 3,321 7,507
Michigan 2,270 3,036 5,306
Minnesota 2,004 1,611 3,615
Mississippi 370 1,418 1,788
Missouri 2,023 3,141 5,164
Montana 455 1,026 1,481
Nebraska 569 1,293 1,862
Nevada 545 2,190 2,735
New Hampshire 301 1,498 1,799
New Jersey 3,157 487 3,644
New Mexico 730 1,389 2,119
New York 11,429 8,153 19,582
North Carolina 2,626 3,609 6,235
North Dakota 192 1,022 1,214
Northern Mariana Islands 6 32 38
Ohio* 3,196 2,933 6,129
Oklahoma 840 1,639 2,479
Oregon 1,469 2,119 3,588
Pennsylvania 4,130 4,684 8,814
Puerto Rico 813 74 887
Rhode Island 316 1,435 1,751
South Carolina 1,181 3,166 4,347
South Dakota 129 800 929
Tennessee 1,392 1,971 3,363
Texas 8,501 4,728 13,229
Utah 914 1,732 2,646
Vermont 283 793 1,076
U. S. Virgin Islands** 163 948 1,111
Virginia 2,960 4,452 7,412
Washington 4,035 2,725 6,760
West Virginia 116 1,138 1,254
Wisconsin* 1,626 3,247 4,873
Wyoming 132 1,093 1,225

*Counts from 2017 Survey.
**Counts from 2015 Survey.

About NCARB

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural licensing boards of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB, in collaboration with these boards, facilitates the licensure and credentialing of architects to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

To achieve these goals, NCARB works with its Member Boards and volunteers to develop and facilitate standards for licensure, including the national examination and experience program. NCARB also recommends regulatory guidelines for licensing boards and helps architects expand their professional reach through the NCARB Certificate.

Connect with NCARB on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.