Friday, May 22, 2009

Becoming an Architect

I am 37 and a resident of California. I have an undergrad degree in Liberal Studies. I'd like to pursue a career in architecture. Do I have to get a degree in architecture or can I start as an intern and work my way up and eventually get certified? What would be your recommended course of action? I'd like to avoid school if possible.

In general terms, it is very difficult to become a licensed architect without first obtaining a NAAB accredited degree in architecture ( However, very few states will allow an individual to become registered with either a preprofessional degree in architecture or a high school diploma, but the experience required would be increased.
As it turns out, California is one of those states. With only a high school diploma, a candidate would need 8 years of acceptable experience. For more details, contact the state board in California or the following:
While it is possible for you to pursue licensure without any additional schooling in California, I would NOT recommend it. First, you will find it extremely difficult to secure an intern position with no background in architecture. Next, as most states and NCARB require a NAAB degree for licensure, you will be limited to practice only in California.
I recognize that you wish to avoid school, but architecture is a very technical field. As such, you have much to learn both in the classroom and working within a firm.

Dr. Architecture

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