Number of U.S. Architects Holds Steady, While Professional Mobility Increases

Editor's note: This page was updated on May 4, 2017.

New data from NCARB reveals that while the number of architects remains consistent, practitioners are looking to get licensed in multiple states.

Orlando, FL—There are 109,748 architects in the United States, according to the 2016 Survey of Architectural Registration Boards. While this represents a minimal drop from the previous year (roughly .4 percent), the survey also reveals that architects increasingly hold licenses in multiple states. In fact, U.S. architects now have 126,554 reciprocal (out-of-state) licenses, a 3 percent increase from 2015.

Conducted annually by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the survey provides exclusive insight into the number of U.S. architects and reciprocal licenses.

The pool of emerging professionals working toward licensure also held steady in 2016, with more than 41,400 candidates taking the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) and/or reporting Architectural Experience Program™ (AXP™) hours.

“Our data confirms that the economy is generating strong demand for initial and reciprocal licensees,” said NCARB CEO Michael J. Armstrong. “We’re also seeing continued growth in the number of architects who hold an NCARB Certificate, which facilitates reciprocal licensure across the U.S. and several countries.”

Additional data on the path to licensure will be available in July’s 2017 edition of NCARB by the Numbers.

NCARB collects data on resident and reciprocal licenses from its 54 Member Boards, which include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The survey reflects registration data from January to December 2016.

To learn more about NCARB’s data and the Survey of Architectural Registration Boards, visit www.ncarb.org.

Jurisdiction Resident Reciprocal Total
Alabama 833 1,945 2,778
Alaska 250 354 604
Arizona 2,366 4,336 6,702
Arkansas 555 1,079 1,634
California 17,241 4,106 21,347
Colorado 3,406 3,902 7,308
Connecticut 1,250 2,918 4,168
Delaware 111 1,477 1,588
District of Columbia 739 2,603 3,342
Florida 5,010 4,696 9,706
Georgia 2,514 3,268 5,782
Guam 33 77 110
Hawaii 1,012 1,374 2,386
Idaho 499 1,254 1,753
Illinois 5,618 3,621 9,239
Indiana 1,014 2,381 3,395
Iowa 573 1,510 2,083
Kansas 850 1,983 2,833
Kentucky 724 1,906 2,630
Louisiana 1,298 2,060 3,358
Maine 442 1,168 1,610
Maryland 2,133 3,996 6,129
Massachusetts 4,668 2,395 7,063
Michigan 2,381 2,993 5,374
Minnesota 1,974 1,599 3,573
Mississippi 362 1,456 1,818
Missouri 2,092 3,069 5,161
Montana 415 989 1,404
Nebraska 565 1,317 1,882
Nevada 527 2,167 2,694
New Hampshire 322 1,616 1,938
New Jersey 3,129 4,826 7,955
New Mexico 690 1,470 2,160
New York 10,734 7,601 18,335
North Carolina 2,478 3,397 5,875
North Dakota 189 1,047 1,236
Ohio 2,673 3,762 6,435
Oklahoma 821 1,599 2,420
Oregon 1,729 1,397 3,126
Pennsylvania 4,127 4,614 8,741
Puerto Rico 597 102 699
Rhode Island 311 1,419 1,730
South Carolina 1,110 3,081 4,191
South Dakota 116 756 872
Tennessee 1,525 2,309 3,834
Texas 7,941 4,177 12,118
U.S. Virgin Islands* 163 948 1,111
Utah 843 1,606 2,449
Vermont 201 903 1,104
Virginia 2,921 4,409 7,330
Washington 3,910 2,501 6,411
West Virginia 111 1,022 1,133
Wisconsin 1,515 2,952 4,467
Wyoming 137 1,041 1,178
TOTAL 109,748 126,554 236,302

*Counts from 2015 Survey.

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About NCARB

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 the United States and Canada.

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