In its definition, an architect is a licensed professional. It would roughly mean there are no self-established ones; the title needs to be earned through formal education and courses. With hard work and the passion for learning the needed skills, an architect can start working in the field after four to five years of education. If you are wondering how to become an architect, this information should be useful.
A. Starting the Architect Education: from the Classes of Your High school
You may not find any form of architect education in the high school courses because it would only be provided in college. However, you can start preparing yourself with some needed course such as:
1. Mathematics and Science Courses
Learning how to become an architect means that you must have a strong proficiency in mathematics, trigonometry, geometry, physics, and algebra. The work of an architect would involve many calculations, especially in the construction. Besides that, you also need to take the science class.
In architectural jobs, you should understand geography to decide how the construction should be built, and how specific materials affect the durability of the building.
2. Humanities Subject
English language and history are two of the humanities subjects that you may take while you are in high school. These subjects would improve your analytical thinking skill as well as well as communicating personality.
3. Art Classes
Art classes which consist of drawing, photography, and crafting would be beneficial for your further architect education. The visual presentation is important especially when you are an architect. Learning in these subjects would be easier if you are passionate about it.
4. Economics Courses
Often, an architect needs to have a bit of economic and marketing skills, especially when working on a solo project. Studying economic would also teach you to value the architectural skill you would learn in college.
An architect combines the skill of art and engineering. Some economic and marketing skills should also be acquired especially when you are pitching the project by yourself. Due to those reasons, many practitioners believe that having an architect career means to have a complete set of skills technically and personally.
B. The Requirement to Enroll in Architectural School
To be a licensed architect, you can take a bachelor or master degree in architecture. The courses would involve computer skills, research projects, and building your design as a portfolio. Mainly, the architecture school program focuses on visual arts, design, construction, drafting, and modeling.
It has been known that how to become an architect is not an easy path of education. Prepare yourself for an enrollment test before entering an architecture education. The skills of mathematics, English language, and laboratory science are tested to meet the requirement. Remember that previous scores would also be considered before you can be accepted.
Some classes in the architecture education may also contain the course of sustainable design which is greatly needed in the modern world. Nevertheless, each of the bachelor and master programs demands a different requirement for its students.
The bachelor of architect program would teach the students about architecture law, building structures, and technique of construction. Mainly, it emphasizes how an architect should produce designs, construct it, built it, and understand the administrative aspects.
At the end of the program, the students need to submit the design they made in the studio. The design should be visually attractive, has a sensible structure and construction, and has a specific quality which separates it from other designs.
Opt to take a full throttle and go for the master degree after you earned the bachelor degree if you want to get your license in immediate time. Though the course is rather short, you may need to include your portfolio and complete a research project, and present a sustainable design to get the degree.
Throughout the school years, you are expected to bring out the creativity and implementing it technically.
C. Architect Certification, What Should You Pursue?
Before you embrace your architect career, you need to get licensed first. The architect certification and license are provided by the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB). The license works regionally which means if you are a licensed architect in one state, does not mean you can do architecture projects in others.
The responsibility of an architect which is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of public makes licensing essential for this profession. There are three steps to get this license:
- Education: one must be graduated from a top architect college which is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). It may take 2 – 7 years to finish the architect education.
- Experience: the experience is obtained from the Intern Development Program (IDP). The graduates must work at least 5,600 hours in architecture-related position and submit the report to the NCARB.
- Exam: the program is called the Architecture Registration Exam and consists of 7 different fields of the test. Some candidates finish the tests in under a year, but the average time of completion is two and a half years.
Indeed, the process of architect certification demands hard work and an extensive time. Thus, you need to focus on the goal and start as early as in high school to prepare yourself for the education and licensing.
D. Getting in the Real World and Work as an Architect
The architecture industry is vast, and there are many job descriptions that you can handle. Off course, the experience would play an important role in making you specialize in one or several architecture fields. The lengthy education and tough process of licensing should be able to shape you into the professional architect requirements.
E. The Worth of Becoming an Architect
You reap what you sow—the process of how to become an architect sure does take a considerable effort. However, depending on your level of expertise, the architect starting salaries are one of the well-paying jobs in the United States.
Interns receive an annual pay of around $45,000, while the medium-level architect annual pay is somewhere between $55,000 and $87,000. On another side, a professional with more than 20 years of experience has an annual pay of around $100,000 to $200,000 depending on his or her qualification.