can you practice architecture with out a license in the U.S or abroad?


I was just wondering if anyone has any info on how important it really is to be licensed.  I know it is important in the U.S, but is the process the same in other countries? 

Sep 6, 11 3:20 pm


Sep 6, 11 5:09 pm

depends what you mean exactly. And which other countries you're speaking of specifically. In some nations for instance, Architect isn't a regulated job-title at all (ex. Finland). 

Sep 6, 11 7:14 pm

Well talking for Turkey, where I'm from you finish the 4 year college (yeah it is 4 years here not 5) then you're automatically called an architect. No licensing exams, no mandatory IDP like stuff.

Sep 7, 11 6:06 am

For example, can I open a "architectural design firm" in the U.S?  I know the title architect is regulated, but what If I design projects and then get an architect to stamp the work for a fee?  Is this legal? 

Sep 7, 11 11:31 am

Or, would an architecture firm ever subcontract work out to me as a "designer/drafter" for example.  It would be cheaper than hiring me as an employee. 

Sep 7, 11 11:36 am

in most states of the US anyone can be a "designer" and design homes up to a certain size.  There is a lot of competition in this area as people can buy home plans online and half of all contractors claim to be designers.

Sep 7, 11 7:37 pm

you can not open an architectural design firm without a license in most countries.

even in countries where architect is not protected you will not do well without getting a degree and registering in the club.


if you wanna be a designer nothing stopping you, just don't say you are an architect and don't offer architectural design services and your fine.  not sure how it works with insurance though.  can un-licensed designers who build buildings get insurance for when they fcuk up?

Sep 7, 11 9:46 pm

sure you can practice whatever you want as long as it is not called architect, architecture, architectural, etc.. anything that would allude to word architecture even in shortcuts like arktek, achit, architectonics, archdesign and so on also no go, if they want to bust your ass, and they can.

don't get into contractual situation specific to architecture and architects. in united states, architecture is defined and regulated. you should do what many do, get a license and be done with the name calling...

sorry for being baboon about it but i just sent in $300 renewal fee to state office today and spent few hours earning 5 continuing education units on universal design for home appliances for ADA, wheel chair lifts, mass storage shelving and the warning systems for the disabled... t5here were couple more courses too but i already forgot. yeeees i passed them all.

Sep 7, 11 10:49 pm

@Orhan, the only issue i have with licensing is that there is no transitional program for engineers into the architecture world. IF you're a practicing engineer and want to become an architect then your only option is to quit your job and do 3 years of schooling + 3 years of internship; however, our stamps are interchangeable on a lot of things. I'm not saying it should be a smooth transition, but if it all it takes was 2 years in school and 1 year internship, I'd do it

Sep 7, 11 11:01 pm

ah, so your complaining that effort is involved out of pace with the rewards?  well maybe you are meant for architecture after all ;-)


personally i think you should be glad you have options.  a lot of people don't.  nothing close to it frankly.

Sep 8, 11 12:17 am

[off topic] congrats Orhan on passing those free continuing education classes!

and yes, doesn't that suck that they raised the renewal fee?  part of their reasoning for the increase was that they added the continuing education requirement so they needed more cash to pay people to review their increased regulations.  bah!

but hey at least the public is getting better architecture out of us! [/o.t. and sorry for sarcastic wednesday on thirsty thursday :'( ]

Sep 8, 11 10:00 am

The problem is that I can't find a job.  No job no IDP.  I completed my masters degree and I'm more than willing to do things the legit way, but I can't find a job.  It sucks that my career has to come to a stop, and I was looking for an alternative way to gain some more work (design) experince by trying to start something on my own.

Sep 8, 11 11:07 am


You're an inspiration.  I need to do exactly what you did, and soon, or pay the big late fee!

Were you able to do all 5 hours in one day?  Did you use CE Academy, or Ron Blank, etc. online?

Sep 8, 11 11:38 am


here's the thread you need:

the ones Orhan mentions are the first three courses from AEC Daily ->

here's the wheelchair lift one ->

ron blank ->

here's another one that i took (this one was the most boring for me .. maybe because it was the last one i did) ->

all of these courses have been verified to satisfy cali's archi's board and if you need any help at all bump one of these threads and i'll answer all your questions (search california continuing education on archinect and there are a couple of threads with more/redundant information)

good luck!

Sep 8, 11 12:35 pm


You are my new best friend...  Thank you very much!

Sep 8, 11 1:28 pm

citizen, just like frac says/links.. don't wait and study the text for hours. just browse the text and start taking the test. as you move with the questions down you will see the answers spelled out. it is mostly switching between windows. you should be done in 2 hours for 5 units and feel educated.;.)

Sep 8, 11 11:14 pm

Thanks, Orhan... I really appreciate the info.

Sep 12, 11 5:59 pm

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