The annual report of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has been published, revealing by numbers, the latest and most reliable statistics regarding licensed architects. The report showcases annual updates on the number of U.S. architects, the time it takes to earn a license, diversity in the profession, and many more topics regarding the practice.
“In May 2019, NCARB celebrated its 100th anniversary as an organization, founded by state licensing boards desiring consistent rigor and mobility across state boundaries […] As we embark on our second century, we will continue using the information gathered in NCARB by the Numbers, as well as insight from our members, customers, volunteers, and the public, to respond to the opportunities and challenges facing the future of licensure.” -- Michael Armstrong, NCARB CEO.
The NCARB, made up of the architectural licensing boards of the U.S states and territories, facilitates the licensure and credentialing of architects. Their findings pulled from the Council’s database, showcased for the year 2018, many record-breaking statistics. The information gathered revolve around topics like the state of licensure, centennial, education, experience, examination, demographics, etc. The 2019 edition, the exclusive data collected in partnership with Benenson Strategy Group, explores also the public perception around licensure and regulation, from nearly 1,000 registered voters.
The key findings of the 2019 NCARB by the numbers:
In 2018, there were 115,316 architects in the United States—a 2 percent increase from 2017.
Over a 10-year period, three out of every five candidates stay on the path to licensure
In 2018, nearly 5,000 candidates completed their core licensure requirements—slightly fewer than in 2017, but still higher than almost any other year on record.
For the first time, over half of newly licensed architects started their NCARB Record while in school.
Nearly 5,000 candidates completed the Architect Registration Examination or ARE in 2018, the second-highest number on record.
Over 6,000 licensure candidates completed the Architectural Experience Program or AXP in 2018—a drop, but still well above the decade’s average of 5,290.
Gender equity improved along most career stages. Women now make up 50 percent of candidates beginning the AXP, the first time equity has been seen at any career stage.
Diversity continues to improve along early career stages—46 percent of new AXP candidates and 35 percent of new ARE candidates now identify as non-white.
Historic differences in attrition between men and women have disappeared since 2012; men and women now remain on the path to licensure at equal rates.
Non-white candidates are at least 25 percent more likely to stop pursuing licensure than white candidates.
63 percent of candidates overlap their experience and exams—a factor that can shave several years off the time to licensure.
On average, it takes 12.8 years to complete the core licensure requirements, which include earning a degree, completing the experience program, and passing the ARE.