“How do you become an architect?”

Phrased in a variety of ways, I am frequently asked about the qualifications of an architect. The path is relatively straightforward, but it is a lengthy process. For most states, the following are the requirements:

  • Earn the professional architecture degree (min. of 5-6 years of collegiate classes)
  • Complete a national internship program (min. 5,600 hours in 16 disciplines, which typically requires more than three years to fulfill)
  • Pass the national Registration Exams (currently, there are 7 individual exams)
  • Apply & be approved by the individual state(s) in which you would like to be licensed

Once licensed, most states also require architects to further their knowledge with continuing education classes.

This process is daunting and difficult. It is also important. This lengthy (and ongoing) education is vital to gaining (and increasing) the expertise which is the foundation of the architectural profession.

TMD