The costs associated with becoming a licensed architect are out of control. If you have gone through the process yourself in the last 10 years you know exactly what I mean – it seems like there is a never-ending line of people with their hands out, telling you that you have to pay for every single step along the way – and we all know that there are a lot of steps along the way to becoming a licensed architect.
Over the past 40 years, the requirements for architectural licensure have increased tremendously in terms of time and cost to the candidate. In 2012, the Texas Society of Architects agreed to put together a task force to examine the Architectural Licensing Exam (ARE) and the Intern Development Program (IDP) process and propose changes for a simpler, more efficient system. The results from this task force have been compiled and were presented at this years 2013 AIA “large states” meeting where the findings and recommendations were very well received. Last week The Path to Architectural Licensure was presented to the Executive Board at the Texas Society of Architects who unanimously endorsed the task force findings.
This is an extremely important issue for our field – it forces us to look at how we are nurturing and building the careers of the young people who aspire to become architects, and what their path to success might include.
I have read the report myself several times over and the data presented in it is both remarkable and alarming. The report not only identifies items in the system that might be broken, it also presents recommendations on how to fix this process. I have culled out and presented some of the graphics which highlight the main issues – mainly the time and costs associated with becoming a licensed architect.
This first graphic shows how the testing requirements have changed over the last 40 years [click to enlarge]:
This next graphic takes a look at the out-of-pocket expenses associated with the process of maintaining and recording the requirements of the Intern Development Program as well as the number of tests and costs of those test required to become licensed to practice architecture [click to enlarge]:
Finally, as if to add insult to financial injury, this last graphic looks at the costs associated with becoming licensed as compared to Engineers and Lawyers [click to enlarge]:
The participating states (Texas, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Jersey, and Michigan) were to take the paper to their own leadership groups and see if those groups would like to endorse the recommendations – with that process currently underway. Ultimately, the paper with any endorsements will be forwarded to NCARB and a request for their response. Your participation is encouraged and I would really appreciate your feedback on the recommendations posited by the force – or even if you simply want to vent about the current system. To read the entire report (which I highly recommend anyone in the field of architecture take the time to do so) just follow this link to The Path to Architectural Licensure report.
Cheers – and thank you for your time and opinions.