Perhaps the most arduous part of every aspiring architect’s career is the built-up doom and gloom that surrounds the process of mentally preparing, and actually taking, the Architect Registration Exam- also known as the ARE. What ideally should be more of a process that tests real-world application and knowledge about the practice itself, has slowly evolved into a mentally exhausting challenge of sourcing highly specific information just to survive each exam. The only thing harder than studying for the exams themselves, is navigating the increasingly saturated array of online practice tests, advice forums, one-off study guides, and rogue tips that seem to shroud the six-part quest for licensure in more mystery than provide any sort of clarity or guidance.
Licensure: The Latest Architecture and News
The ninth edition of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ (NCARB) annual report has been released, in the midst of new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting major information about the architecture profession in 2019. Focusing on different parameters, such as licensing, education, experience, and demographics, the study explores the evolution and transformation of the field, encompassing also findings on equity, diversity, and inclusion.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released its annual Survey of Architectural Registration Boards, which provides exclusive insight into data collected from the architectural licensing boards throughout the United States. Based on the new data, the number of architects licensed in the United States has increased over the last two years.
The Midnight Charette is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by architectural designers David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features a variety of creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions. A wide array of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes provide useful tips for designers, while others are project reviews, interviews, or explorations of everyday life and design. The Midnight Charette is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.
This week David and Marina answer a call in from a listener asking if they should enroll in IPAL (NCARB’s Integrated Path To Architectural Licensure) in undergraduate school to become a licensed architect in the United States and if IPAL should be a factor when choosing their school. The two also discuss the pros and cons of becoming a licensed architect during school.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has recently released new data surveying the number of licensed architects in the United States. Conducted annually by NCARB, the 2017 Survey of Architectural Registration Boards 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. At first glance, the numbers reflect promising growth for the architecture profession. The number of architects licensed in the U.S. rose to 113,554, according to the survey, which is a 3% increase from 2016 and a 10% increase from the numbers reported a decade ago.
Even more impressive, when you compare the increase in registered architects to the U.S. population, the number of architects licensed has risen over 10% since 2008; while the total U.S. population has risen 8%, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That equates to roughly 1 architect for every 2,900 people in the country. To put this into perspective, a medium-sized architecture firm of 50 people would theoretically have the potential to directly impact 145,000 people in the U.S.
Based on these statistics, one might assume that more architects naturally means more architecture, thus more influence from the profession in general. But that might not be the case. Read on for more data from NCARB's report and what it could mean for the profession as a whole.
After countless late nights designing in studio, facing the critics, laying out (and re-laying out) your portfolio, finally convincing someone to hire you, and working 50+ hour weeks... you’re still not an architect. Welcome to the examination portion of your professional journey, folks.
Beginning a multi-division examination with pass rates in the 50-60% range is a seriously daunting task. That’s without even mentioning the overwhelming amount of study materials and opinions floating around in cyberspace. Never fear, ArchDaily is here to help you navigate the tools and techniques available to you when cracking open the books and (hopefully) passing your first exam.
With a growing number of states choosing to rollback professional architectural licensure requirements, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has issued a “Where We Stand” statement calling for the reinforcement of the practice, which they believe stand to “protect the health, safety and welfare of the public and shield consumers from unqualified practitioners.”
According to the AIA, over the past 5 years, legislative or executive actions have been taken in at least 25 states to impose the “least restrictive regulations” for professional licensure, with several states recommending the elimination of all licenses in the state.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has named the first 13 accredited architectural schools to implement the "Integrated Path Initiative." Each selected school has proposed a pre-graduation curriculum that would provide students with the necessary mix of education, work experience, and opportunities to complete the Architect Registration Examinations (ARE) to achieve licensure before graduation. The initiative was spearheaded by NCARB to shorten the time it takes for US architects to get licensed.
The 13 accepted schools represent "a wide range B.Arch and M.Arch programs in nine jurisdictions, including both public and private institutions," says NCARB. These schools are:
In an ongoing effort to ease the path to licensure, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has accepted proposals from 12 accredited US architecture schools to implement an "Integrated Path" to licensure. The initiative would give students the opportunity to complete the Intern Development Program (IDP) requirements and take the Architect Registration Exams (ARE) prior to graduation. Students would not be required to pass all ARE divisions in order to graduate.
“The programs in this inaugural class exhibited a high degree of creativity, and are focused on strengthening the relationship between schools, the practice community, and licensing boards,” said Licensure Task Force (LTF) Chair Ron Blitch, a Louisiana architect who is a former NCARB President and current member of the NAAB Board of Directors and the Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners.
The AIAS has launched a new campaign, the Professional Advancement Support Scholarship, or PASS. The program, available for AIAS alumni pursuing licensure, provides incentive for recent graduates to take a portion of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) by reimbursing them for successfully undertaking this task. Through a proactive approach, coupled with an informative blog series, the AIAS encourages aspiring architects to actively seek licensure to kick-start their professional careers.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has formed an agreement with the Conselho de Arquitetura e Urbanismo do Brasil (CAU/BR) to “exchange information and share best practices” regarding the regulation of architectural licensure and professional standards.
“NCARB is pleased to be in a position to help Brazil strengthen and solidify its regulatory approach governing architects,” said NCARB President Dale McKinney, FAIA, NCARB. “We are also excited to learn from Brazil’s activities, including its effective national system of monitoring various aspects of architectural practice.”
Becoming licensed is no easy feat for the recently graduated architecture student. The combination of required internship hours and exam scores proves a daunting obstacle for most, often taking years of work after college to surpass. Now, however, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is testing the waters for an alternative system that could grant licensure to students immediately upon graduation.
A tri-national agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico will now allow architects to work across borders in North America. As reported by the US National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), in conjunction with the Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA) and the Federacion de Colegios de Arquitectos de la Republica Mexicana (FCARM), representatives from the architectural regulatory authorities in all three countries have agreed to mutually recognize architect credentials.
The U.S. National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released a statement endorsing licensure upon graduation from accredited programs. Though the release did not specify a definite plan of action, the announcement acknowledges the benefits of restructuring U.S. licensure so that “rigorous internships and examination requirements” are all fulfilled during the education process.
Envisioned by NCARB’s “Licensure Task Force,” the “new path” concept overhaul will move forward by identifying schools interested in participating in the program. A Request for Information will be sent out later this year, followed by a Request for Proposal process in 2015.
Though many U.S. architects have seemingly longed for news such as this, others argue that there are drawbacks to licensure upon graduation. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section after the break.