The field of architecture represents a unique blend of technological, artistic and scientific skills, all brought to bear on what is ultimately a 'people' profession. Architects work with a team of clients, contractors, surveyors, builders and, of course, bosses. This team collectively transforms designs prepared on paper into attractive, practical and even innovative buildings.
Jobs are relatively abundant in this sector; buildings are virtually always in construction, and architects are usually needed to design or renovate them. The best architecture jobs require not only a robust competency in the technical and production aspects of the business, but also an ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues, superiors and clients.
Architecture is inherently multidisciplinary and requires a diverse skill set. The field overlaps a great deal with sectors such as demolition, electricity, civil engineering, facilities management, landscaping and many others. While a strong understanding of engineering, mathematics and technology is a clear asset for the architect, so is creativity and conceptual depth. A detail-oriented mindset and drive for perfection, too, are key ingredients.
Professional architects are responsible for creating and helping to implement safe designs that fulfill an aesthetic mandate while preserving all form and functionality. Environmental sustainability might be a priority, and keeping projects within budget is always crucial. There may be no skill more important for architects than the ability to take a complex project and move it through its steps in a successful yet efficient manner.
Architects need to be able to grasp complicated government regulations and myriad deadlines. More often than not, they must fulfill planning and development paperwork requirements such as design reviews, neighborhood zoning rules and site permits. Know much about building codes applications? You will need to as an architect. These professionals may even find themselves climbing ladders and hills, surveying rooftops and difficult landscapes, so physical dexterity is an asset.
Every U.S. state plus the District of Columbia requires architects to be licensed before they can serve the public under that title. In most cases, prospective architects seeking licensure must attain a professional architecture degree, undergo an internship or other practical training, and pass the official Architecture Registration Examination (ARE).
While different state boards may have additional requirements, there is a great deal of continuity between them. The national organization representing state registration boards is known as the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, or NCARB, which develops model rules for the practice and registration of American architects.
Architects must also stay up to speed in their profession, involving themselves in continuing education throughout the life of their career. They are regularly evaluated by peers, supervisors and the architecture community as a whole, throughout the educational process and in real-world employment contexts.
There is only one acceptable accrediting body for architecture schools in the United States: the National Architectural Accrediting Board, or NAAB. This is the organization with which credible architecture programs must be accredited to satisfy most state boards.
NCARB certification requires a professional degree from an institution accredited by either NAAB or its Canadian counterpart, the CACB. However, there is an alternative pathway to certification for graduates of programs not accredited by NAAB. NAAB offers Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA), a service that assesses degrees for their compatibility with NAAB standards on a case-by-case basis.
Architecture education is highly structured due to the substantial responsibilities of practitioners. While there are several possible post-secondary pathways into the field, the preferred route to professional credentials is already laid out in the form of the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) and the Master of Architecture (M.Arch).
There are alternative pathways; the desired career specialty will figure highly in which balance of experience, skills and higher education proves ideal. No matter one's academic pathway or choice of degree, it is highly recommended that students work in their field as they finish school in order to maximize their odds of accessing gainful employment upon graduation. For architecture majors, this could take the form of internships, clinical placements and volunteer contracting work.
NCARB is the chief certifying agency for aspiring architects. The organization issues certificates which serve as proof of meeting the nationally accepted eligibility standards for state licensure. It is one of the most straightforward ways to become licensed as an architect.
Graduates are also responsible for registering with the Architects Registration Board. Earning this certification is a process; it can take up to seven years while candidates acquire adequate professional work experience.
A Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) is officially accredited by the NAAB as a professional degree that qualifies graduates to sit the ARE exam. Other Bachelors, like those in Architectural Studies, Technology, Management, Civil Engineering and others, are considered pre-professional degrees. Graduates of these latter undergraduate programs must therefore go on to acquire a Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) before they can sit the exam.
There are different kinds of Master of Architecture, or M.Arch, degrees. These vary among different schools. The "M.Arch I" designation, for instance, sometimes refers to a professional curriculum for students with existing degrees only distantly or not at all related to architecture. This school-by-school setup creates a diverse set of educational choices for prospective students. Any degree called an 'M.Arch' is accredited by NAAB.
A basic M.Arch generally allows graduates to proceed in the process of earning professional certification by, for example, participating in internships and sitting for the national exam. Additionally, Master degree-holders have the option of pursuing an academic career teaching architecture at the university level.
Architects are often expected to have advanced knowledge of software such as Revit Architecture Suite, AutoCAD, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. Applicants will find that many employers appreciate competency in Integrated Project Delivery, or IPD - a methodology developed by the Associated General Contractors of America. Certificates can be obtained in any of these areas, although competency itself is often most important.
We found 50 schools offering architecture degree programs in the U.S.
|Abilene Christian University||Abilene||TX||4739|
|Alabama A & M University||Normal||AL||5523|
|Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus||Tempe||AZ||44126|
|Ball State University||Muncie||IN||19004|
|Boston Architectural Center||Boston||MA||531|
|Columbia University in the City of New York||New York||NY||19639|
|Connecticut College||New London||CT||1856|
|Conway School of Landscape Design||Conway||MA||16|
|Florida International University||Miami||FL||31945|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan||KS||21929|
|Lawrence Technological University||Southfield||MI||4087|
|Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology||Naples||FL||1607|
|Metropolitan State College of Denver||Denver||CO||17688|
|New York Institute of Technology - Central Islip||Central Islip||NY||908|
|New York Institute of Technology - Manhattan Campus||New York||NY||2501|
|New York Institute of Technology - Old Westbury||Old Westbury||NY||5898|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||Troy||NY||8022|
|Roger Williams University||Bristol||RI||3750|
|Siena Heights University||Adrian||MI||1972|
|Southern California Institute of Architecture||Los Angeles||CA||257|
|Southern Nazarene University||Bethany||OK||2064|
|Texas State University - San Marcos||San Marcos||TX||22423|
|Texas Tech University||Lubbock||TX||24558|
|Tulane University of Louisiana||New Orleans||LA||11652|
|University of California - Berkeley||Berkeley||CA||31277|
|University of California - Davis||Davis||CA||26094|
|University of California - Irvine||Irvine||CA||20211|
|University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center||Denver||CO||13737|
|University of Illinois at Chicago||Chicago||IL||24942|
|University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign||Champaign||IL||38465|
|University of Kansas Main Campus||Lawrence||KS||25920|
|University of Miami||Coral Gables||FL||13963|
|University of Nevada - Las Vegas||Las Vegas||NV||22041|
|University of Oklahoma Norman Campus||Norman||OK||24205|
|University of Oregon||Eugene||OR||17801|
|University of Virginia - Main Campus||Charlottesville||VA||22411|
|University of Washington - Seattle Campus||Seattle||WA||36139|