On The Path To Licensure

Today’s Topics:

  • Officially Started All 3 Parts To Becoming Licensed
  • AXP Hours
  • Finishing Education, And Studying For Exams

Officially Started All 3 Parts To Becoming Licensed

Just 2 years ago I was an outsider looking into the world of architecture in awe. I remember thinking to myself “wow I will learn and do so much about architecture while I am in college” and I cannot understate how true that has been for me.

So what are the requirements to become an architect? Well if you search up a place called NCARB, you’ll find everything you need.

There are 3 main steps:

  1. Graduate from a NAAB accredited five year program.
  2. Receive 3,780 hours of experience under a professional as AXP hours
  3. Pass all of the ARE exams.

The Average amount of time after graduation that people become licensed is about 7 years.

It is a very challenging task to do it in a short amount of time that is why I have started my preparation early.

AXP Hours

After going to architecture school, you have to start applying your knowledge in the field.

Over about a 2 to 3 year period you are required to gain experience in the field of architecture. All of these hours are required to be paid hours so that interns are able to pursue a career without having to pursue alternative solutions for money.

There are 6 areas where you can receive hours:

  1. Practice Management
  2. Project Management
  3. Programming and Analysis
  4. Project Planning and Design
  5. Project Development and Documentation
  6. Construction and Evaluation

Each area requires a different amount of hours to be completed.

For the first two weeks of my internship I have mostly been working on Programming and Analysis.

As part of each category, there are several tasks that are recommended parts of each section that will help you in preparation for the exams.

Finishing Education, And Studying For Exams

One of the most important things I searched for in a school was an NAAB accredited program. This is one of the requirements to graduate.

This typically means that your school is a 5 year program. I have completed two years with 3 more left to go.

Moving to exams, for most people this is the most challenging part.

Studying for these exams is what takes the longest amount of time. Most of the information for exams you start learning while you are working, but other parts do require studying .

Often times you will find test prep guides, study groups, and many other ways that your journey can be supported.

I have started my journey with test prep videos that I have been taking notes with.

Overall, I’m excited about the process and lessons that I will learn through all 3 phases of becoming an architect.


Thanks for tuning into this week’s blog post! I hope you enjoyed it and learned a little. Leave a comment about any questions you may have about licensure! As always, Dream Big!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

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