Here are the top three reasons licensure matters and why you shouldn't delay the process.
1. Let's face it, money is pretty important!
Licensure allows you to position yourself for career advancement and income generation. On average, licensed architects have a higher earning potential than unlicensed architects. More than half of architecture firms offer higher salaries to licensed architects (AIA 2015 compensation report).
2. Move from doer to leader
Why wait for the future to define you when you can take control of your own future? In many states, only licensed architects can design buildings over three stories or commercial buildings. As a licensed architect, you'll be able to choose the type of projects you work on and firms that you join. You will be able to sign-off on projects, supervise teams, and start your own firms.
3. Claim the title of an architect
It may be a surprise to many people, but without licensure, you cannot claim the title of architect. Becoming a licensed architect is like going on a quest to collect your three medals: education, experience, and examination.
To obtain an architecture license, candidates must satisfy a minimum of 3,740 work hours under the six experience areas (see details here), graduate with at least a bachelor's degree in architecture, and pass all divisions of the Architecture Registration Exam.
Your completion of these requirements demonstrates your ability as an architect. As a licensed architect, you are ensuring that your projects comply with safety and structural standards.