Are you thinking of making your career as an architect? Here are the credentials you need.


Are you thinking of making your career as an architect? Here are the credentials you need.

Meta: To become an architect, you need the right educational qualification and credentials. Learn more about it here.

The creative license you get to explore as an architect, the fact that it is quite a lucrative line to pursue, make this a popular choice as a career option. You are likely to face quite a bit of competition in this field, and that is why it is imperative for you to have the right credentials that will give you a good foundation for a successful career. So how you prepare yourself academically for this line of work?? What are the other qualifications you need??

First stop- your degree

Enroll in a professional architect’s degree program from a reputed National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited school. Remember that in many states, the NAAB school degree may be a mandatory requirement for licensing. Check the prospects of students passing out of the school before you decide which one you will enroll at. There are states where you are not required to have a degree to get your license, but if you have one, it definitely helps in your career. If you are taking a Master’s course, you might need to show work experience, especially for an M. Arch post-grad degree.

Interning at an architect’s firm

You can do your internship while you study so that you save time, but you can do it after your degree completion as well. Try to intern at a large firm with diverse projects so that you gain a lot of exposure to varied clients and their varied needs. Send out request letters to firms early before the semester ends so that you find an interning position easily.


Once you have your bachelor’s or master’s degree in hand, you need to get licensed by the architectural review board in your location. All these boards come within the purview of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Almost all states make it mandatory for you to clear the Architectural Experience Program administered by the NCARB. Under this program you work under an experienced licensed architect and gain some crucial experience.

The Exam

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Next, you need to clear the Architect Registration Exam or ARE with the approval of your location’s board of architecture. This exam tests your ability to apply what you have learned so far in real-life projects. The exam itself is administered by the NCARB and is widely accepted all over the U.S. In some locations; you can take this exam before you have completed your AXP as well, so do check with the specific requirements of your state. 

Getting your licenses

Every state has its own architecture board that is in charge of issuing licenses to new architects entering the field. Depending on where you live or work, you may have some specific regulations to comply with before you can get a license. Check-in with your local architecture board to know what these regulations are for you. Once you have a license from one state, getting licensed in other states is comparatively much easier. 

Opening your own firm

With your degree and license in hand, you may be ready to launch your very own architect’s firm. Apart from the many important things to address when you set up a new business, risk management is one that needs special attention. As a service provider, to address your business risk adequately, make sure you have professional liability insurance or Errors and Omissions insurance along with general insurance. Check this website to find out more about it.

This insurance helps protect your business from the financial impact of client lawsuits filed against you for negligence in your service, delayed service, faulty advice given by you, failure to deliver, etc. In short, if a client is unhappy with your work and he files a case against you, you can fight it out without worrying about the cost of court proceedings, attorney fees, or damages because your Professional Liability insurance will cover it all!


1) Dawn Rosenberg McKay, 2019, How to Become an Architect- Getting an Architecture Degree, Last Updated November 20, 2019, Avl at:

2) Brandon Hubbard, 2018, How To Become An Architect, last updated: September 03, 2018, Avl at:

3), 2011, What Degrees Do You Need to Be an Architect?, Last updated: Dec 11, 2019, Avl at: