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6 Steps To Becoming An Architect In The US

Are you planning to pursue a career in architecture? The career path of an architect in the United States is a straightforward but challenging one. Students intent on studying architecture must give various state and Federal level examinations to qualify for the job.

Here, we will look at the career path that interested people must follow, to become architects.

  1. Get the required graduate degree

A professional Bachelor’s degree in architecture is a must for anyone wanting to pursue a career in this field. It’s best to complete your graduate course in one of the 123 National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) certified institutions only. You can even pursue a Bachelor’s in science, with one of the minors in architecture or a related field.

2. Pursue an internship under a licensed architect

Once you’re done with your graduate degree, you must enroll into the Intern Development Program (IDP), run by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). It is mandatory that you complete 5,600 training hours, divided between various fields in architecture such as site analysis, contract negotiation, project management and so on.

When selecting an architect or a firm to intern with, look for only NCARB-approved people/companies.

3. Pass the ARE state license examination

The next step is to take up the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) – which is the primary licensing examination for architects in the US. The current examination version – ARE 5.0 – includes 6 test divisions and you must pass in each division to be eligible for the license.

The ARE® is a state-level licensing exam and you must submit your ARE® scores, along with your academic documents to get licensed by the state.

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4. Complete the professional NCARB certification course

The NCARB certificate is a non-mandatory professional certification which can help you increase your professional scope. By furnishing the NCARB Certificate, you can get a reciprocal license from other states within the US, allowing you to practice there. The Certificate is also valid in other countries like Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. You will also be eligible to take-up any future NCARB courses free-of-cost.

5. Pursue the NAAB Master of Architecture degree

While this isn’t mandatory, some architects take up the NAAB-certified Master of Architecture degree, from one of the 95 accredited colleges. This course can help you access higher-level professional opportunities both in the US and overseas.

In addition to this, you may choose to take-up any specialization course, in order to gain a competitive edge over other architects.

6. Take up a job in the field of architecture

Once all this is done, you are eligible to pursue any career in architecture. You can even set-up your own firm and work independently. But before starting on your first assignment, you should consider purchasing Architects Professional Liability Insurance. This is essential to safeguard your finances and your reputation.

As an architect, your job is prone to many risks and human errors. A client or a third-party vendor may initiate a lawsuit against you in these cases. Architects Professional Liability Insurance ensures that you are financially protected in the event of such lawsuits, by providing legal protection and indemnity. Now you can breathe easy knowing you and your team are covered against all losses. Check this website for more information.

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