The Path To Licensure

Discussion (15)

  1. Pack7683

    Maverick – I bet you didn’t even have to suffer the way I did. Was you exam only offered twice a year, with all four days in one week and a 12 hour design problem for the last day? If you failed any part you had to wait at least 6 months to try again.

  2. Tim

    And then add an Oral Exam on top of that.

  3. Random Architect

    My honest opinion is that graduates are not ready to be licensed professionals right out of school. There is a LOT to learn that you need that 3 or so years of real life experience to understand. I remember the transition shock I had fresh out of school and into real life, it was difficult to reconcile academic knowledge with real life knowledge. And licensed architects are relied on to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the public; does anyone really think a young 20-something out of school who has never worked is ready to design egress, fire, and life safety systems for buildings?

  4. IR

    Somehow, Lawyers are lawyers essentially when they graduate, and they work out just fine the distinction between a new/inexperienced lawyer and an older one, we may not be smart like lawyers, but I think we might just be able to stumble on a similar solution. Especially since its a problem that has already been solved – see many parts of Euroland.

  5. DrafterJ

    Yes Mav, they should ALL have to. Something about the horror of coeducational studies just makes me want to force on everyone else.

  6. new age architect

    I agree with this idea completely. The point of going to school for 5 years is to not have to wait another 3+ to be an architect. However, in order for this to work there will HAVE to be required internships where the student works in an office on real projects. In my opinion this is much more useful than designing a museum/gallery/ coffee shop/ or other generic space 5 times in school. I had worked in an office for a semester when I graduated and I was still clueless when I got to working at a real firm on real projects. This is a huge problem.

  7. WG

    The licensing scheme in Australia puts a minimum of 3 years post graduation (of a 5 year accredited course) to become an architect, more commonly it is 5 years + further examination. This is thoroughly needed, given the inability of the university system to convey real world application of the legal quagmire architects are involved in when handling large sums of other peoples money and their propensity to blame the head consultant for all project failings.

  8. Hunter

    The idea of giving an architectural student a license along with his or her diploma sends shivers down my spine. Students coming out of school might think they’re prepared but that’s only because they don’t know what they don’t know, which is a lot. After 30+ years of mentoring interns, trust me…you guys need those 3 years, some of you more so than others…and you need to get burned really bad on a project at least once so that the lessons stick. I guess that’s enough of a rant for one morning.

  9. E Architect

    Most of the momentum and push to restructure the path to licensing appears to come from two sources; those that do not like how much expenditure it takes to become an Architect and those that do not like the exclusivity of the profession. When I was moving through the process in the 90′s I too found the process maddening and unbelievably frustrating. However looking back I understand that there really is no substitute for real world work. I do not like the idea of blending NCARB requirements into the school curricula unless they would tack on 2 extra years minimum. I simply would not trust a person with a fast-track license and ultimately see this push will weaken the overall profession and the significance of the license itself by making graduation equal to being a professional Architect. There is a reason that there are so many exasperating hurdles to clear before one becomes an Architect – not everyone is ready at the same time. (just look at current ARE exam pass rates)

  10. cc

    Pack, I wish it was still the old method. We should be making the process harder, not easier. There are a lot of bad architects out there.

  11. Dean Camlin

    Pack, when I took the exam (1986) it was only given once per year. The passing rate for the building design exam was 38%. How many architects have had to make multiple attempts at the exam? Thank goodness I passed the first time! Since then it’s only gotten easier. And they want to take away the internship? No, no, no! Keep the 3 Es, in that order: Education, Experience, Exam!

  12. Been There

    This is the key element

    “Incorporating internship and examination requirements into university education, the regulatory organization aims to simplify and accelerate the licensing process”

    The last thing my college professors wanted to do it teach the kind of stuff that would be useful on the job or help pass the ARE. I never felt so ripped off by my “Alma Mater” as when I started taking this exam. Good luck getting them to teach this stuff.

  13. swolfearch

    The entire process should be flipped. In school, students learn about design and other subjective things, and pretty much ignore how buildings are built, the theory being that they can learn the truly important stuff on the job.

    Instead, schools should focus on health, safety, welfare, and constructability, and leave design and other non-essential education to on the job training.

    As it is, because architects don’t learn enough in school about the essential things that a licensed professional is required to know, they are not qualified to teach it to their employees.

    Architects are always comparing their education and licensing to those of doctors and attorneys, but there’s a big difference. Doctors and attorneys learn how to do their jobs in school. Architects philosophize about design theory and other things that, while important, are not why being an architect requires a license.

    • E Architect

      Architect are always comparing their education and licensing to those of doctors and attorneys because they are equal to and often exceed them. Doctors and Attorneys benefit from entering into professions that actually have a very limited range of solutions to the problems they will face in the real world so their schooling can follow a much more linear A = B = C process.

      Architects must learn in school that their profession is one of the most technical of the Arts. The “subjective things” they are taught are intended to provide the creative framework by which they can arrive at a solution that not only captures the health, safety, welfare and constructability but do so in an agreeable and pleasing fashion. Something that Doctors and Attorneys rarely deal with.

      Flipping the schooling would only produce highly technical single solution approaches driven by code and with graduates unable to understand ‘Why” a the building turned out like a big ugly inhuman box… in other words – “Engineers”.

    • cc

      I feel it is not subjective at all. The universe has provided a particular task, with an infinite number of passable solutions, with only one being absolutely the most appropriate for the situation of time and space. It is our job as architects to provide a solution that hits that desire as closely as possible. Doctors, I get. They are dealing with similar tasks within a natural body. Lawyers, meh. Man-made laws are pretty silly and pointless.