Crowdsourcing Solutions

How to Become an Architect: The Complete Career Guide


An architect is a profession where a person designs blueprints and then they oversee the way the buildings are constructed as well as any other structures which people use for shelter.

Architects are highly educated and licensed professionals who have many responsibilities. But their main responsibilities are to see whether everything is happening in a safe and a functional way for every project they have undertaken. Now let us discuss few things on what it requires to become an architect.

How to Become an Architect

Basic necessities that an architect requires would be some educational requirements and licenses and there are different career options in this field. The ways of becoming an architect and different options in the field have been mentioned below.

A. Preparing To Become An Architect:

1. Understanding the architecture profession:

Even though the person may be a good artist, good at drawing or good in the field of carpentry, the field of architecture is way beyond and broader. Architects have different phases in their profession when it comes to the structure creating process. They need to first conceive the entire idea about the structure they are about to design. Then they communicate with their clients for them to oversee the designs and then a final structure is designed.

Architects need to have these necessary talents and skills if they wish to be successful;

i. Architects need to be creative:

The person needs to come up with creative and unique ideas of their own. They need to be original which will not only suit the structural design but even match with the surroundings around the structure. It needs to have both beauty as well as functionality which are seen in most of the structures designed by architects today.

ii. Architects are science minded people:

The architectural study is a combination of both art and science. Though a building needs to be designed with elegance and beauty, understanding the science of the building is essential. They must know that there are different components to a specific building. When all these work together then a sturdy and a safe environment is present and so math and physics are an essential component for architects.

iii. Architects are good communicators:

An architect needs to have the ability of sharing their vision with others. This vision should be effectively shared with their clients who are about to construct their design. Architects are excellent speakers at delivering certain presentations. They are clear when they describe their ideas clearly and make the client satisfied.

2. Deciding what type of architect the person wants to be:

Architects usually are found working in certain firms for looking over the projects. Their job begins from designing the project to completing the project. And some other architects use all the talents and skills that they possess in the different parts of industries. Some of the different types of architects have been mentioned below.

i. A landscape architect is a person who has a background in plant science along with architecture. Their job is mainly to see and focus on spaces present outside buildings. Then they see whether it plays a complementary role with the building or not.

ii. There are certain architects who only focus on the designing concept. They also are making sure that the plans made for the building are been done as per the prescribed building codes. And then they see to it that it is meeting the expectations of the clients.

iii. There are even certain construction firms who hire architects. These people are the firm’s construction managers whose main job is to monitor and oversee the construction of the structures.

iv. Some architects just focus on constructing certain buildings which are big. Certain buildings such as big malls, hospitals as well as schools are built by them. At times they also provide work for restoration of certain old building.

3. Talking to architects:

When the process of becoming an architect is going on in the person’s mind, then talking with other architects may help. It will help the individual in gaining a better perspective about what the architecture field is all about. At this moment it can be seen that the person’s mind is undecided, so talking to a licensed professional will open up their thoughts much more.

The person can contact certain architecture firms in their area. They can first ask that firm whether they would be comfortable in setting up an informational interview. At the time of the interview, the person can ask all the necessary information they want. They can also ask for recommendations for certain architectural programs as well as any other advice they want.

The best way to understand this field much better is if the person takes up an internship. Taking it in an architecture firm, the person learns much more about the field and it benefits them for any future studies also.

B. Fulfilling or Completing any Kind of Education or Training:

Courses provide the basic knowledge for the person wishing to enter the architectural field. So completing the right courses at the right time is very important for the individual and they should do it in the right way. Completing the right course should be done well because there are a number of courses available in their field of architecture. After knowing the best field in architecture, the person needs to proceed forward in getting educational degrees.

1. Major in architecture:

Researching about the courses should be done well. The person should research the right colleges and universities who provide the courses they wish to apply for. These institutes should provide the right and strong architecture program. When a person is majoring in architecture then it is ensuring that the person has all the necessary prerequisites they want. Having this, it will be more comfortable for them to enter a master’s program in architecture.

  • There are certain schools offering a 5-year program. These programs allow the person to combine their bachelor’s degree as well as a master’s degree as the person doesn’t need to apply for a different and separate program.
  • While choosing the specific program, the individual should ensure that the program is accredited by the NAAB (National Architectural Accrediting Board).
  • Certain other choices in the fields of art, math, environmental design or any other majoring relevant in the field of architecture is also beneficial. It helps the person prepare in the same way for their architecture career as any other related program.
  • But before applying for the course, the person should just make sure that the courses that are taken are required to apply for any graduate program.

2. Getting a graduate degree:

Any kind of graduate degree a person wishes to have in the field of architecture, a program accredited by the NAAB is always needed. Though the person may not enter a 5-year program, i.e. a combination of both the master’s degree and bachelor’s degree, they would still need something else. They will require a master’s in architecture after the completion of the undergraduate degree. There are some programs which even focus on things such as;


A person coming up with their own ideas and unique designs which are different from other. Innovations are the best way of finding success in the field of architecture.

Modern designing:

Coming up with certain modern designs which are mainly seen and appreciated by the world today.


Providing work on certain old buildings and making it or building it much better than before.

Any other kind of designs which are environmentally friendly in today’s world.

So for this, the person needs to research well before starting any program. They need to find a course which matches what they want and as per their personality.

4. Entering an Internship Development Program (IDP):

Know that every state requires any future potential architects to complete an IDP before they are given a license. So the person should consider entering an Internship Development Program (IDP). Also, this program needs to administer by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). These programs are designed in a way that the person has a complete exposure in different areas, such as pre-design, project management as well as practise management and even the final design is provided.

  • The person should know that majority of the IDP programs take at least around 3 years for completion.
  • The person can begin an IDP even if they are still practising schooling. These hours which are spent working in the architecture firm and completing the school programs may be counted while the person is doing their IDP.

5. Passing all the divisions of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE):

The Architect Registration Examination (ARE) has many and different sections which relate to many facets in the architect profession. It also helps in assessing the individual in a proper way. It sees whether the candidate has the complete and needed knowledge as well as skills needed by every architect to perform their role.

  • This test comprises of more number of components where all of it cannot be taken in a single day. So the individual needs to schedule and prepare well for every section. The person should take out one single day for each section so that their preparation for it is done well. Then only the person can get the result they want and complete it in a peaceful way.
  • Even it is advised for the candidate to take a specific course for studying and preparing for the ARE. This course will just make the person understand the examination and certain questions in a much better way. They will even look towards what the people are really looking for while they answer the examination.

C: Getting Licensed as an Architect:

After completing all the above courses and examinations in a successful way, the next step would be completing being licensed as an architect. There is a detailed procedure for this too and it has to be done by the individual in a better way so that they do not face any problems.

1. Obtaining the initial license:

After the examinations, the person should start the procedure of obtaining their initial architecture license. For this first they need to contact the architecture registration board and it should be from the state the person wants to practise their architecture career. Then they need to look out for all the necessary and additional requirements needed for the initial license procedure. But only after the person has completed their IDP and passed the ARE.

2. Getting an NCARB certificate:

Once the person has obtained their initial license, then they have to fill out all the necessary paperwork needed for the certification procedure. The NCARB certification stays as a proof that the person has met their highest possible professional standards in the field of architecture studies. And this certificate will provide the person to work with clients more than one state and not just confined to a single state.

3. Start practising:

The practising procedure should only be started on after the person knows their educational path and where their main interests lie. Then they should join a firm where designing or construction of residential buildings or commercial buildings or even both happens. The best initial way to start the practise procedure would be to begin as a consultant in the firm. This will help them in getting a better understanding of how the firm actually functions.

The career of an architect is a very interesting field of choice. If the person is very passionate about the architecture career, then they can reach the highest possible level at it. But they must ensure that they are doing everything in the right and the systematic way. Getting the right information at the initial stages before going for internships should be done well. Firstly doing the ‘IDP’ well and then scoring well in the ‘ARE’ will only help them in their future architectural career. But when everything is completed, the person can flourish in this field.