The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released the 2016 edition of its NCARB by the Numbers, an annual publication that provides insights into the number of U.S. architects, the pools of professionals working towards licensure, and diversity within the profession.
With recent streamlining and increased flexibility of architectural licensing programs, the time it takes to earn a license has decreased for the seventh year in a row, and the average age of licensure has concurrently dropped. On average, it takes just over 13 years to become an architect, from the time a student enrolls in school to the date they receive a license.
From 2014 to 2015, there was a two percent increase in the number of architects in the United States, which reached 110,168. The number of professionals working towards licensure also increased and reached 41,500 in 2015—an all-time high.
Nearly 4,900 of these licensure candidates completed the experience requirement in 2015, a 27 percent increase from 2014. Furthermore, 62 percent of candidates overlapped their experience and exams, the largest percentage to date.
By overlapping experience, education, and examination, graduates of accredited programs were able to shave two years off the average time to licensure.
Additionally, the pool of professionals working towards licensure is more diverse than ever before, with women representing one in three newly licensed architects.
Read the full report, including interactive data charts and program updates, here.