The first step towards an architect career would be a professional Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree in Architecture. Individuals will be qualified for licensure with this program.
B.Arch. Programs in Architecture
Students enrolled in most B.Arch. programs are taught about the practice, theory and history of architecture. The program helps in the development of the design and drawing techniques of aspiring architects. They are also taught about considering the environment and community surrounding their designs. In the fifth year of the coursework, students get involved in professional practice, and apply their skills to obtain hands-on experience in the field. It takes five years to complete a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree program. This program carries the accreditation of the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), the nation’s sole agency that accredits architecture programs, which accredits only two other professional degree programs.
Admission criteria in a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) program typically requires applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma, apart from submission of a portfolio containing both 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional work. The student can use the portfolio to showcase their skills in working with various media to potential recruiters.
In the first year of study, students will complete foundational courses in architecture, and in the next three years, they get involved with professional core coursework. During this period, students are taught about different structural and design concepts before going on to apply the knowledge gleaned during the final year. Coursework commonly includes topic areas such as:
Job and Wage Outlook
Completion of a professional degree program in Architecture, such as the B.Arch., and the passage of the Architect Registration Exam can help individuals obtain licensure. A job growth of 16% has been projected for architects during the decade from 2008 to 2018 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, architects took home an average annual salary of $73,090.
Continuing Education Choices
In order to maintain licensure in some states, architects may have to take annual classes or attend regular conferences, workshops and seminars. Those who seek continued education may enroll into a Doctor of Architecture (D.Arch.) or Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) program. The NAAB also accredits these professional architecture degree programs.