How To Become A Licensed Architect

How To Become A Licensed Architect

by Mike Love
ML Group, LLC.

It’s unrealistic to expect high school students to have their entire lives planned out. But by their senior year, which is now for the Class of 2019, many of them have a pretty good idea what their career path will be. I’d like to think maybe there’s even a few who, like the team here at the ML Group, see themselves one day getting into architecture. If you are a student and architecture inspires you, you may be wondering, “What do I do now?”


Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Decide Whether You Want to Be a Licensed Architect
    There will always be a place for you in a firm whether you are licensed or not. But being licensed opens more doors, including the ability to one day run your own firm, commanding higher salaries, and the ability to work on special projects. Some projects require a license.
  2. Choose the Right University
    There is a myriad of quality architecture schools all over the world, but universities like Texas A&M, University of Texas-Arlington, Rice, and Houston have programs that are accredited by the National Architectural Accreditation Board.
  3. Enroll in the Architectural Experience Program (formerly IDP)
    This is a structured national training program that has many guidelines, including requiring interns to work under the direct supervision of a registered architect. You must complete a minimum of 3,740 hours to complete the program, and while some tasks may be easier to complete earlier in your career, others take more time and experience.
  4. Pass the Architectural Registration Exam
    This is the last step to becoming a licensed architect and only comes after you have followed the steps above. This test examines your journey and everything you’ve learned along the way. So study up, guys.


While this process is lengthy and takes dedication and passion to complete, it is worth it. Be mindful of your future and what led you here in the first place. I’d like to end this column by sending out a special and heartfelt good luck to the 2019 class of Argyle High School and Liberty Christian. Make us all proud!

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