Resurgence in Employment Rates for Architects? AIA/NCARB Survey Indicates a Shift for the Better

We have already written about the dauntingly high rates of unemployment that are awaiting architecture-degree graduates in the profession these days. But a recent survey conducted by the AIA/NCARB Internship and Career Survey reveals an optimistic view of job growth and job placement in the two years since the "intense economic contraction" of 2010. The AIA writes, "emerging professionals have begun experiencing a rebound, with higher employment levels, more young designers getting licensed, and any remaining unemployment becoming, in most cases, mercifully short".

Take a look at the statistics after the break.

If you're reading this you probably already know that the path to a license in architecture in the U.S. is arduous and long and expensive.  After acquiring a B.Arch or M.Arch degree, graduates are required to fulfill 5600 hours of professional practice experience as an "intern" or "junior architect".  During or after this process, candidates must then take a seven-part exam.  A candidate for architectural licensure can only get the license after completing all three requirements.  

For such a demanding field, architecture has taken one of the biggest hits in the past few years of "economic contraction" with an employment rate reported as high as 13%. The results of the 2012 internet survey presented by the AIA and NCARB was derived from a sampling of 10,000 responses from qualified candidates and it indicates that there is a steady rise in reported employment among people in the field of architecture and optimism in the future of employment within the profession. The survey also looks at the path to licensure and the time it takes to complete the various requirements, as well as reasons for deferring the process.

Highlights from the report that indicate rising unemployment rates:

  • 78% of respondents reported that they were currently engaged in professional architecture work - an 8% increase from 2010.  
  • 6% reported that they were unemployed, compared to 17% in 2010.
  • 64% reported that after having been layed off, they found a new job within 12 months or less compared to a reported 52% in 2010.
  • 14% said that they still haven’t found another job, less than half of the rate from two years ago. 
  • 70% said they are likely to remain in the architecture profession after having been layed off from previous jobs.

For a more detailed look at the survey, check out the AIA's Report.

About this author
Cite: Irina Vinnitskaya. "Resurgence in Employment Rates for Architects? AIA/NCARB Survey Indicates a Shift for the Better" 15 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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