How To Become An Architect

Sara Mandeed
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Step 1. How To Become An Architect: Get A Degree

To become an architect, you have to be a licensed architect, which requires an architectural degree from a professionally accredited architecture school or program. There are five basic steps that you will need to take to get your degree.

The first step is to choose a school that is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The NAAB is an organization that improves the quality and public perception of the architectural profession by monitoring the professional quality of those who have attained accredited degrees, and it is known as the “gold standard.”

You have to go to school full-time to receive an accredited architecture degree. You can go to school part-time if you wish, but it will take you longer to finish. If you decide to attend school part-time, make sure you have enough financial aid to cover the costs, since you will not be able to work while you are in school.

The courses at the accredited architecture school will cover all aspects of architecture, including historical and contemporary theory, technology, art architecture, engineering, environmental design, structural systems, aesthetics, writing, design, drawing, and more.

Most schools require between four and six years to complete the coursework for a bachelor’s degree in architecture.

An Architecture degree is NOT necessarily required.

Many people believe you can only become an architect if you’ve obtained a 4 year architecture degree. You can actually work towards that degree but without it, you do not have to go to architecture school. You can become an architect and take on real architecture projects through alternative means such as a 2 year degree from an accredited college.

So if you are interested in an architecture career but do not wish to or are unable to obtain a 4 year degree … there is an option.

Step 2. How To Become An Architect: Get An Architecture Internship

We already know that architecture requires a good deal of education. But in most cases, it is not enough to get just the right education. To become an architect, you need to get experience by doing internships.

There are many stages in the process of becoming an architect. Internships in architecture come at the tail end of the process, but they are actually quite important because they provide you with a chance to learn alongside certified professional architects.

These internships will provide you with a lot of opportunities to show off your skills and eventually make a name for yourself. Without an internship, you might be struggling to find work even if you have the ideal qualifications. For example, you wouldn’t be able to get a license to get your architecture license without doing an internship.

In order to get an internship in architecture, you need to have an architecture degree. Getting your degree in architecture is difficult. Most institutions require you to have a high GPA.

This is not surprising because the study of architectural design is highly rigorous and requires students to have a high level of aptitude. However, if you want an internship in architecture, your grade point average is not as important as it used to be.

You can get your internship by getting hired rather than applying for a job. So you will need to be creative and think about the best way to get yourself a foot in the door.

Step 3. How To Become An Architect: Join The Architectural Experience Program™ (AXP™)

This program will give you more of an idea of what it’s like to work as an architect and will prepare you for the rough day-to-day responsibilities as an architect.

How To Become An Architect: Learn how to use AutoCAD software.

Knowing how to use AutoCad is absolutely essential as an architect, but don’t panic. While learning how to use this at an expert level is going to be difficult, knowing the basics and being able to navigate around the software with speed and ease will make your work life as an architect a whole lot easier!

AutoCad is a very useful and extremely powerful tool, but learning from scratch can take some time, especially if you don’t have much computer experience in general. You can either learn it on the job in a formal training program with your firm or you can use one of the many free tutorials online.

How To Become An Architect: Learn how to use digital design programs.

Another useful and helpful program to learn (which is similar to AutoCad) is called a digital design package.

Digital design packages are very useful tools to have on your computer, especially if you have to regularly work in 2D, as many architects do.

Step 4. How To Become An Architect: Pass The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®)

In our last post we talked about how to find an architecture job, which lays the foundation for becoming an architect. In this post, we'll talk about the steps you need to take to become a licensed architect.

There are a number of ways to become an architect, and numerous paths you may take. Becoming a licensed architect, however, requires the completion of one thing more than anything: education.

In this post we'll talk about how to become an architect and take the Architect Registration Examination, an exam that all architects who wish to be licensed in the United States need to pass.

Step 5. How To Become An Architect: Obtain A State Specific Architecture License