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Be a Licensed Architect: Licensure and Credentialing Information

Architect licensing is a required credential for architect professionals. Get some quick facts about the education and experience requirements necessary to qualify for architect jobs.

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Architects are required to obtain state licenses. Educational requirements for licensing usually include completing an accredited bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree program. Candidates must then complete an internship and pass an examination.

Essential Information

To become a fully licensed architect, the student must earn a college degree, complete an internship, and then pass the Architect Registration Exam (ARE). The architectural student needs to earn a Bachelor, Master, or Doctorate of Architecture degree from a school accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Next, all states in the U.S. require a three-year internship at an architectural firm as established through the Intern Development Program (IDP). Finally, the architect must pass all sections of the ARE in order to be fully licensed in this field.

Required Education Professional Bachelor, Master, or Doctorate of Architecture
Required Experience Three-year internship
Exam Requirements Architect Registration Exam
Other Requirements Continuing education to maintain license
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 7% (for architects, except naval and landscape)
Median Salary (2015)* $76,100 (for architects, except naval and landscape)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Credentialing Information

The licensed architect must maintain his or her license in order to keep working. In New Jersey, for example, the Department of Law and Public Safety (Division of Consumer Affairs) states that at least 24 hours of continuing education are required every two years to maintain an architect's license (www.state.nj.us). Requirements vary by state, however. Continuing education may involve self-study programs, university classes or internal conferences, according to NCARB. The architect may also choose to become certified through the NCARB. This certification may ensure that the architect will be licensed to work in all states.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Due to the continued demand for new structures in the U.S., the BLS anticipated that jobs for architects, excluding those of the naval and landscape varieties, would grow 7% between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, architects (except naval and landscape) earned a median annual wage of $76,100, per BLS data.

Architects are required to obtain state licensure, and they must also complete continuing education in order to maintain their license. The job outlook for this career is about as fast as average.

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