An architect is a licensed professional who can plan, design, and envision buildings in order to make them functional, safe, as well as aesthetically pleasing. Architects will usually be involved in nearly every part of the design and development process of buildings. In the field of architecture, knowledge of science and math are extremely important. These are combined with the creative arts, to provide a career path that can be a great choice for people who want a challenging but rewarding career.
But how can you become an architect? Is there any specific kind of degree that you need to have if you want to work as an architect?
Getting Your Architecture Degree
Before you can work as a licensed architect, you’ll first need to get a degree in architecture, from an accredited institution. It can take you around five years to complete your BArch. Note that it can be difficult to get into an architecture course, as there are limited seats but high demand.
Once you get into your course, you’ll need to complete an extra year at college, where you’ll be taught about architecture. Different architecture courses are designed to be different as well, so choose your college carefully.
After Getting Your BArch
It’s common for architecture students that have their BArch, to go on to pursue a MArch as well. If you complete your master’s course in architecture, then you can earn more once you start working. It can take you another five years to complete your MArch course. However, if you already have the necessary architectural training, then you may be able to complete your course sooner.
Of course, the program can also take you more than five years to complete. This is why, even before you enroll in your master’s program, you should ensure that you can finish the course in five years.
What Will You Learn During Your Course?
While you’re studying for your BArch, you can expect to learn about:
- The history and theory of architectural design
- CADD, and using it to design buildings
- Professional practices as well as construction methods
- Physical sciences
- Graphic design
- Liberal arts
Once you start working on your MArch, you’ll be provided with deeper knowledge regarding the field of architecture. You’ll learn about:
- The history of architecture
- Engineering in Architecture
- Design Theory
These are just some of the additional courses you’ll need to take for your MArch. You can choose to continue studying after your MArch as well. In this case, you’ll be studying for your DArch. Getting a DArch can be particularly useful if you want to stay in the research field, or if you want to teach architecture.
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How Can You Become An Architect?
There are three steps that you’ll need to complete if you want to become an architect. These include:
- Getting your degree: You’ll need to get a degree in architecture from an institution that’s been accredited by the NAAB. This stands for the National Architecture Accrediting Board. Before you can qualify for your state license, you need to get your BArch first.
- Completing your internship: You’ll need to complete paid internships, where you’ll be gathering valuable work experience, under the supervision of a licensed architect. You’ll need to clock in more than three thousand hours before you can apply for your state license.
- Sitting for your final exam: You’ll need to pass various comprehensive exams before you can be granted your license. These exams are known as the ARE or the Architect Registration Examination.
According to the registration boards for architects, found in various states, graduates need to complete pain internships before they can sit for the ARE. Aspiring architects make use of the AXP, or the Architectural Experience Program, to complete their paid internships. For your ARE, there are six sections that you’ll need to complete. You can also complete the exam on your own schedule. For many students, they take just over a year to complete their examination. On the other hand, some other students take as much as two and a half years to clear the exam.
If you want to become an architect, then you’ll need to complete your BArch first. Then, you’ll need to gain practical work experience, before you can sit for the licensing exam. Only after clearing the licensing exam can you start working as an architect.