Most students when starting their college career have selected a major which they deem fit for themselves. The majority of the time our college career is outlined in a set of courses given to us by advisors that set our path for the next four to five years. Personally, I had no idea what all I’d be doing as an architecture student.
Architecture school is an unprecedented experience, one that from the outside looking in is almost torturous. In a recent study, researchers uncovered that architecture majors work the hardest in college.(http://thetab.com/us/2017/02/06/ranked-majors-work-hardest-59673) Based on a survey, the average Architecture student works 22.2 hours a week preparing for class, with Chemical and Aerospace engineering in second and third. So no, it doesn’t take just take good hand drawing and math skills to make it through Architecture school. So if you are looking to become an Architect, here’s a few things you should know.
The professional degree programs for Architecture are branched into two different paths, a 4-year Bachelor plus a 2-year Master’s or a 5-year Bachelor’s. These are the required programs in order to qualify for licensure. Spoiler Alert: When you graduate, you are NOT an Architect, those 22.2 hours a week are only scratching the surface. On top of getting a degree, there are 3740 hours of work experience that need to be logged, called AXP (Architectural Experience Program), along with five ARE (Architect Registration Exams). After completing all school, AXP hours and ARE, you are now licensed in the state where you have registered. Yes, that is one state, in order to get another license, you would have to pay to register and take comply with any other requirements they may have, usually addition exams.
All of these requirements are handled through NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards), get to know all about them. NCARB has many tools to help future architects reach licensure and can help avoid any possible obstacles. To begin your path to licensure you must have an NCARB account to begin logging AXP hours or to register for ARE. (http://www.ncarb.org/)
As you can see Architecture is more than just your 4-year degree. To accomplish licensure takes an average of 13.3 years and NCARB has worked rigorously to decrease that timeline by decreasing the amount of work experience along with number of exams. This path requires dedication and passion…granted licensure may not be for everyone but if we work so hard why not be able to call yourself an architect at the end.
(Author Jaqucline Gacia, 2nd on the top left)