How To Become an Architect: A Simple Career Guide

architect jumping with excitement outside house

In the US, the number of architects only continues to grow. This nods at the demand for the job, plus its desirability. In 2018, the number of architects grew by at least two percent.

This brings the total amount to a whopping 115,316 practitioners!

Are you interested in this lucrative, exciting, diverse career choice? Do you want a job that's equal parts art, science, and design?

Then it's time you learn how to become an architect. 

In this simple career guide, we'll outline a few steps you need to take before you join the ranks of Philip Johnson, Frank Gehry, and other famous architects. Keep reading!

Obtain A NAAB-Accredited Degree

There are two options when it comes to schooling. 

If you're already clear on your goals—you know you want to become an architect right away—you can begin college by obtaining a degree that's accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). This sets you on a clear path to become an architect and prepares you for licensure immediately.

If you find your passion for architecture later in your education, you can go on to obtain a Master's in architecture. Your schooling will vary based on your previous experience and training in architecture. 

Complete An IDP

Like many trades, being an architect typically requires you to undergo an Intern Development Program (IDP). If you want to continue your education through the NAAB, this is mandatory.

With a hands-on job such as this, interning is the most transparent way to understand the ins and outs of the job. This will prepare you for licensure in your state and is the next step after getting your degree.

IDPs break down into three areas of study and call for 5,600 experience hours. This setting allows you to apply everything you've learned up until now. To be eligible for licensure, you must show proficiency in all three categories of the IDP.

Receive A License In Your State

Last but not least, you can apply for licensure in your state! If you live near the border of other states, you can apply for licensure in several states.

There are several layers of certification available based on your goals as an architect.

For example, TOGAF refers to a high-level approach to design. The TOGAF certification cost is minimal compared to the rewards. This approach deepens your understanding and knowledge of enterprise architecture.

Of course, you can apply for standard licensure and find plenty of opportunities in your community. 

Keep in mind that you need to apply for your license no more than five years after completing your IDP. This timeline ensures that your knowledge is fresh and applicable to the times.

Now You Know How To Become an Architect! Start Designing

As you can see, the steps are relatively simplistic—education, internship, certification, begin practicing. You get out what you put in. 

The sooner you begin your studies, the more straightforward your path. Once you follow these steps and become an architect, the next step is finding a place where your design skills are needed—or you can open your own practice!

Our site covers more how-to information like this. Keep scrolling for more insight.


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