How to Become An Architect in USA

Do you want to design your own house someday or plan the structure of commercial buildings in a famous city?  Perhaps you should become an architect.

The employment rate of architects and engineers, according to the US Department of Labor, is expected to increase 9% until 2020.  Architects with a Bachelor of Architecture degree earn between $44,595 and $79,400 a year.  Meanwhile, those who went on to take up advanced studies after earning their baccalaureate have a median annual wage of about $150,000.

That said, there is no better time to learn how to become an architect than today.

How to Become An Architect

Step 1: Prepare a creative portfolio.

 Just like in fine arts, you need to submit a portfolio of your drawings, paintings, and other artistic work to obtain admittance to a school that offers architectural programs.  Start your portfolio as early as now because the more impressive your works are, the higher your chances of being admitted to a school of architecture.



Step 2: Aim for a higher GPA.

 It is not enough that you pass high school to get admitted into a college that offers architecture.  You must be able to acquire a high grade point average (GPA); besides a high GPA will easily qualify you for scholarships that will help pay your tuition in college.  Because architecture involves science and math, focus on these subjects while you’re in high school.



Step 3: Take up Bachelor of Architecture. 

This four-year curriculum is a preparatory stage for those who wish to take the licensure examination afterwards.  It consists of various courses such as science, arts, humanities, and electives pertinent to architecture.

See to it that the school you plan to attend offers an architectural program that is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).  Some of these schools would include Virginia Tech, University of Alaska, and Kent State University in Ohio among others.



Step 4: Obtain a Master of Architecture.

Although you can choose to live without this degree, a Master of Architecture is a requirement for the licensure exam.  Furthermore, a master’s degree or doctorate in architecture will guarantee not only a managerial position but also a higher paycheck.  Master’s degree holders make more money than those with only a bachelor’s degree.  They earn more than $100,000 yearly apart from being more in demand because of their experience and tenure in the architectural industry.

You can opt to take a three-year master’s degree after having completed a bachelor’s degree, or enroll in a five-year architecture course that automatically leads to a master’s degree.

For scholarships or grants, you can search by state.


Step 5: Work as an intern. 

After acquiring a degree in Bachelor of Architecture, you have to perform internship for three to five years.  Consider this an extension of your classroom lessons, except that you will be applying all the theories of architecture in an architectural firm.  As an intern, you will receive training from licensed architects, which is definitely the best way how to become an architect.


Step 6: Pass the ARE. 

Once you have completed your internship, you have to take and pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) in order to become a full-fledged architect.  You can inquire about test centers and fees in your area of residence.  This is the last but not the easiest step to becoming a licensed architect. 


As mentioned in an earlier paragraph of this article, architecture is a combination of science, math and arts.  Needless to say, oral communication is worth mastering because if you can relay clearly the concept of a design, then potential clients will prefer you to other architects.


Did you find these steps helpful?  If you know other ways on how to become an architect in the USA, feel free to let us know.

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