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What I FAIL to understand is how there are standards in place to become an architect, but no standards in place to protect those who want to become architects. They have a sweet little set up that dictates numerous qualifications for which an enterprising individual has to abide by in order to obtain Licensure, however, they have no problem making prospect architects pay out the rear while not at least mandating a wage scale that befits their qualifications.
AIA Accredited Degree (Bachelors or Masters) - very few considering the amount of universities, of which most want 5 years within their program (3 years in Masters)
$250 per test (what are there, like 7 of those damn things?)
And no problem allowing their certified Architectural firms to operate without a Minimum Standard set in place (minimum wage via state law and not Institutional Established Policy, standard apprenticeship format, etc.). I am completely fine with the free market and enterprise, however by mandating set qualifications without universal implicity, they have removed the free market and established a large union with a corporate mentality. How is this even aloud to operate? The only form of policy they abide by is renewal of membership and continuing educational requirements.
Someone stop me if I'm wrong, but that's how this seems to play out to me.
Somebody force you into architecture at gunpoint, or did it just seem like a good idea at the time?
What is an "AIA Accredited Degree" ?
What is a "certified Architectural firm" ?
These are all brand new terms to me -- and I've only been practicing for 41 years.
Oh ... and who is "they" ?
You know that moment where you're good at something, you focus on it, make yourself even better at it to the point where you excel at it, and then after you've made that financial and career commitment someone walks up and tells you that you're not even close because Certified Architects require a specific educational degree (go back and invest more into specific institutions) then take more tests than lawyers, and work within a firm for some many years of experience for a firm's entry price is really overkill.
Education + Experience isn't enough. I'm completely fine with the testing (though I don't see why each test needs to cost $250 considering you need to take roughly 7 of them), I actually think they (the tests) are necessary... however, if someone can earn experience and knowledge within a firm, and study for the tests in their required time frame (passing them obviously) then why is there a need to attend specific university programs? They (for those who can't figure out who they is... they are the board who creates these mandates for licensure purposes) make a prospective architect pay unreasonable amounts of money without protecting them or their interests.
How does a prospective architect gain experience? Working at a licensed architect's office. Since the time frames are not the same, it took far less to become a licensed architect than what it currently takes today. The financial investment and time specific towards architectural knowledge is probably equivalent to a medical student, but you don't see licensed Architects reaping the same rewards... so how can one justify the means if they can't justify the rewards? It doesn't seem fair that one of their requirements (experience) is not regulated by compensation (every firm has a different pay scale for entry workers, and their is no mandated number for Interns employed). I'm just saying, if you're going to make an organization (government?) who oversees licensed standards for an initial and annual fee, you should offer more security and regulations to protect those vying for membership.
"AIA Accredited Degree" just as it sounds. In order for a program to be AIA accredited, the program must match their requirements, not just educationally, but facility requirements. If you went through a technical college, participated in architectural studios, studied architecture history, structures, means and methods, professional practice, etc. and earned a bachelor's degree... if it's not backed by an AIA accreditation, you're S.O.L. You can't just get a job in the field, earn experience, and take the tests. You literally need to find a program that is accredited by the AIA and do the other items required.
"certified architecture firm" Is essentially a firm with a licensed architect that can approve plans and specs
NAAB accredits schools. The AIA is a voluntary membership- based professional organization, it has nothing to do with schools.
There are several states that still allow 'broadly based experience' to get licensed in lieu of a degree. Mr. Snook, here on Archinect, did it that way I believe.
So what's NCARB, and how's that different from NAAB?
"There are several states that still allow 'broadly based experience' to get licensed in lieu of a degree. Mr. Snook, here on Archinect, did it that way I believe"
And I don't think I can enjoy that luxury, but to be honest, I have no clue other than what I've been told about NCARB by co-workers, there are too many acronyms... Insert NCARB for AIA in my statements before... they were made after giving blood and writing up a punch list (not a very good excuse, but me'h, I don't make enough of them to make me worry)
NAAB is the National Architectural Accrediting Board, they deal with architecture programs in college.
NCARB is National Council of Architecture Registration Boards, they deal with licensing individuals to be architects.
American Institute of Architects is a club you can join as a licensed architect - or you can join it as an Associate Member if you're not licensed.
And the short response to your original post: go ahead and bitch about what a pain it is to get registered but *do* get registered. It's not really that hard and the emotional rewards are immense.
I got mine when I was 16, but couldn't drive after 9 pm until I was 17.
Nice job Miles. Well done.
I'm working on mine right now. Is it a ton of work and expense? Yeah, but not a pain if you manage it right. I'm sure it's going to be pretty damn worth it in the end.
the tests are fine, the naab degree is a little absurd. i see the reasoning behind it: engineers and contractors could effectively pass it, and its a way of protecting our profession (i hate unions and protection for things that could/should be replaced, but i'll go with it).
what i absolutely don't understand is why a bachelor of science in architecture or a bachelor of art in architecture doesn't qualify. i got my bs, and then i got my masters, and to be honest i really don't see how doing a thesis, taking a few electives, and an extra professional practice course make me somehow more qualified to stamp drawings than say, my co-worker with 20+ years experience and a non-naab degree.
safety and welfare my ass
what i absolutely don't understand is why a bachelor of science in architecture or a bachelor of art in architecture doesn't qualify. i got my bs, and then i got my masters, and to be honest i really don't see how doing a thesis, taking a few electives, and an extra professional practice course make me somehow more qualified to stamp drawings
I totally agree. I'd give you a "thumbs up." I'm ok with the 4 year crowd. Slightly longer internship to equalize things, though. In a decent program, most of the skills are acquired in years 3 and 4. Some states still allow it, though.
The the OP: just do it. And if you go to a party or a picnic, you can tell them you're an architect ... and you really are. It was nice to finally say that instead of saying "I draft for an architectural firm" ... even though one probably still does!
the problem I have is the NAAB accredited program... there are 2 in Missouri. 1 in Springfield, MO (southwest Missouri... 3 hours from St Louis) and the other is Washington University that wants $21,250 a semester... and 3 years (aka 120K). The only other option is a school in Southern Illinois (Carbondale) which is still 2 hours out from downtown St Louis. I find this issue absolutely ridiculous because my degree (4 year bachelor of architectural technologies) doesn't qualify because we only had 2 studio rooms for the whole school... never mind the fact that we had a studio per semester effectively using the space by scheduling classes and studios accordingly.
Essentially, for me to become and Architect, I will have to leave an Architecture firm to go back to school in a different city to receive better understanding for Architecture than what I would learn on the job? Oh, or option 2... buy a house without owning a house and still get paid an Intern's wages. Makes no sense.
Having an architectural license will not necessarily result in getting paid more than an intern's wages. And if it does you'll still have a pile of debt.
FYI MO will accept CABC accreditation. At least in theory.
JayCon, I'm curious if your school told you when you were accepted that your degree would not allow you to become licensed? I'm not being snarky or placing blame, I'm seriously curious how 4-year programs present this aspect of their curriculum.
"Combining critical thinking skills, state-of-the-art technology and hands-on experience, the Architectural Technology (ART) program trains students in the newest practices of this evolving profession. The program is designed to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to not only launch successful careers, but also fully participate in the practice of architecture"
Well that is misleading to say the least.
yeah... Even worse was going through there was right at the time when no architecture firm was hiring. It took a phone call break (co-worker receiving while we were working on a project) for me to discover that little pebble of insight from NCARB's website.
My understanding was the road to Architecture included years of experience in an Architecture firm and the tests. Then, if I wanted to advance within the firm, I would go back to school for a Masters in something more specific with in architecture (professional management... something).
It's sort of a deep crack I found in their system, especially considering NAAB hasn't aligned themselves with multiple options within my region. I guess when Chicago has about 5 schools in their area with NAAB accreditations, they don't really pay much attention to other regions. St Louis/St Charles even has 5 great universities in the area (Wash U., St. Louis U, UMSL, Webster U., and Lindenwood), but they give people only one option for Architecture and they chose the university with an Ivy League price tag.
If you log experience in a firm, with the backings of a licensed architect, then why do you need an NAAB accredited degree?
the problem I have is the NAAB accredited program... there are 2 in Missouri.
Check to see IF one of your neighboring state schools extend "good neighbor" tuition rates. That could put you at the Kansas schools, the Oklahoma schools, and/or Nebraska. This is done in the West, because of the vast rural expanses. For example, I believe the Univ of Colorado-Denver extends a lower tuition rate to adjoining states and, God knows, Wyoming needs that because their school neither has architecture, nor is it that good of a school. If you're strapped for cash, you shouldn't even be looking at Wash. U. STL. As for what Donna asked, all the schools that offer BS degrees in Architectural Technology tend to make it fairly clear they are more vocational than professional, are silent on the topic of licensure, and are generally clustered with Construction Technology and stuff like that. JayCon, it sounds like you've got a job at a firm you want to hang on to. Is that what's driving the discussion? With few exceptions, like WI, the Midwest is pretty much a solid NAAB + IDP bloc for licensing.
Like Donna, I'm not really interested in being snarky. But, why are you condemming a whole system ? The requirements of the licensure system have never been hidden from view. Had you bothered to undertake a basic amount of due dililgence, you could have (and should have) known before you selected your school what you were getting into.
I accept that you're not in the position you had hoped you would be - and I can appreciate the discomfort you are experiencing. But, this system's been in place for quite some time; many young professionals have navigated it with success; and it was put in place by a profession using a transparent, and generally accepted, process.
Despite the ignorance of the op, he/she is correct that the entire system is a stupid sham.
"he/she is correct that the entire system is a stupid sham"
-graduated w/ M.Arch & $45k plus intrest
-paid $400.00 to initiated idp
-paying $160.00 annually for association fee
-paid so far $250.00 for first exam (not with a co. who has this as a perk)
-was notified last week to pay $75.00 due to idp renewal
i figure once i get my first client, i will bill them $885.00 right out the gate! :D
the fees are the least of the problem.
While I really want to hear you out and sympathize with you, I really can't for one simple reason ... this information is not hard to find. The system may stink (that's a different argument altogether) but it sounds like you didn't even know what the system was. That's just ignorance on your's or your HS guidance counselor's part.
Ignorance... maybe, I won't disagree that I share fault, however, I don't think Google should be the answer to how I become an architect. I feel I did as much due diligence as I should, spoke with professionals who were apparently unaware of how the current person goes about getting licensed, (guess due diligence is talking to a 30 year old rather than a +40 year old licensed architect), councilors and school visits.
I'll play their little game, it's just unfortunate that people need to jump through unnecessary hoops. I really don't understand why they have to add their little NAAB accredited program to the repertoire of an already difficult journey, one that already includes years of logged experience and numerous expensive tests. To be honest, it's a rather elitist statement, and advantageous to the larger firms who can pursue and oppress top talent coming out of school.
If it's good enough to get a job in a firm, it should be good enough for licensure purposes
Woah, I missed this thread a few days ago when you posted that blurb from your university's website, JayCon. That's very nearly criminally misleading, in my opinion! How can they specifically use the word "fully" when they know you can't be an architect with that degree?!?! That's appalling.
I don't understand how someone that gets a 4 year BS or BA in architecture, is less qualified to get a license that someone that has a bachelors is - whatever thing else - and then go to school and do a 3 year Masters of Architecture. Just saying.
Since very little of what one tests for has to do with actually working in an office, my feeling is that the a.r.e. should be designed to be taken and passed while in school. perhaps a restructuring of the degree that would allow one to start testing after a certain grade level while still doing "design" work. there is no design work on the a.r.e. one does a stair detail, a handicap ramp an ada toilet etc. the rest is multiple choice. if one is taking structures classes, passive and active systems etc. why not get smart and combine academia with the exam. and perhaps we could bring some building design back into the exam while we're at it.
the problem I have is the NAAB accredited program... there are 2 in Missouri. 1 in Springfield, MO (southwest Missouri... 3 hours from St Louis) and the other is Washington University that wants $21,250 a semester... and 3 years (aka 120K). The only other option is a school in Southern Illinois (Carbondale) which is still 2 hours out from downtown St Louis.
one more option you left out http://cas.umkc.edu/aupd/aupdhome.asp
I didn't see that listed anywhere on the NAAB site:
however, per UMKC, "University of Missouri-Kansas City and Kansas State University have formed a cooperative program that leads to a five-year accredited degree in one of the following: Architecture, Interior Architecture/Product Design or Landscape Architecture"
Interesting... still too far away for me (St Louis), but after my more recent discovery, I wouldn't chance it
sue em for false advertisement and get your money back!
Or there is something called Full Disclosure too. Keep us posted.
If you can get into Wash U. and are legitimately struggling for funds JayCon, their endowment might be able to help significantly. I was considering applying there for undergrad at one point, and when talking to an admissions and financial aid counselor, they said that I would practically get to go there for free if I got in due to the fact that my parents can't pay for any of my college. I'm not sure if that translates to the same or similar financial support for grad, but I think it might be worth a look see if St. Louis is geographically convenient.
wait till you start taking the exams...thats all i have to say!
if you just want the degree, LTU offers an accredited online m.arch