junior architect job title


i'm in the process of revamping my resume and it was recommended to me that i rename my job title of "intern" from my last job.  this was a full time position that i worked at for three years after grad school.  i was told that it was misleading and confused the term with "summer intern".  i thought about using the title "junior architect" but i was also told that i should avoid using that because i am not yet licensed.  the only solution i can come up with is "job captain" or "junior designer", but those don't feel right either.  what do/did y'all call yourselves for your first job out of school?

Jul 27, 11 12:32 pm

i use 'project designer'.  it's not perfect, but i think it implies that i was committed to a single project for its duration...

job captain is fine, but it's one of those titles that means different things at different places. at a large firm, the job captain is an intermediate, sometimes even senior-ish level person, usually right under the project manager. at a small place, everyone is a job captain, since small projects usually require a jack-of-all-trades type who can take charge of anything and everything.

Jul 27, 11 12:37 pm

If applying to an advertised position, call yourself whatever they call the position out as.

If blanketing entire city's arch firms vie e-mail I'd go with "Mr. Desperate Junior Pants".

Jul 27, 11 12:42 pm

elinor, you're registered now. It's okay for you to call yourself the A word :)

Jul 27, 11 12:43 pm

I use Architectural Designer Or Junior Architectural Designer. It refers to that I was involved in the design portion of projects and that i am not yet a licences architect. But it really depends on what your involvement in the projects are. If you were leading the projects sure go with project designer or job captain. But perhaps you can ask your old boss what he thinks you would be. After working in a position for 2 years you definitely don't want to have the connotation of being an intern any more! 

Jul 27, 11 1:16 pm

I wouldn't use Job Captain unless you really were one, as that title means something with regards to your duties managing the job. Most people don't reach Job Captain status for a few years after they've left school.

Architectural Designer or Jr. Designer are fine. I've never heard Project Designer before, but it makes a certain amount of sense.

Jul 27, 11 1:26 pm

It has been my understanding that any use of the word "Architect" in your title is illegal unless you are licensed.  I suppose if that was the case, somebody would be suing all the software architects. I have spoken to some architects that do claim even professionals in the computer industry are inappropriately and illegally using the title.

Jul 27, 11 1:37 pm

How about Intern architect? Could mean you were gaining your experience towards licensing however you are not fully licensed yet

Jul 27, 11 1:48 pm

It has been my understanding that any use of the word "Architect" in your title is illegal unless you are licensed.

Depends on the state. In this context, it would depend on what jellyroll's current state jellyroll resides in and where the jobs jellyroll applying to are located in.

From State of New York's Practice Guidelines:

"For those who are gaining the architectural work experience required to become eligible for admission to the architecture licensing examination, the use of either "architectural intern" or "intern architect" is acceptable."

I also believe "junior architect" is covered as an acceptable job title for an unlicensed individual pursuing licensure.

Jul 27, 11 1:52 pm

you mean 'Awesome,' rusty?  yes, i use that all the time!  Elinor, Awesome project designer.  i hate the word 'intern' in anything but the summer-student context, and calling yourself a 'junior' sounds odd if you're more than 3 yrs out of school...someone did tell me once that 'junior architect' was illegal, but i think those people are just nitpicky jerks.  as long as it's very clear that you're not pretending you're licensed when you're not, i'm ok with 'intern architect' or 'junior architect' or 'architectural in NY, 'project architect' is used pretty frequently and doesn't always indicate licensure.

just look at the job listings--many of the ones for 'project architect' indicate a preference for a licensed candidate, but not all require licensure.




Jul 27, 11 1:52 pm

Yeah, Elinor. Although "intern architect" sounds slightly slicker than "junior architect." A "junior architect" sounds like the professional version of Happy Meal™. Although if there's a "toy" lodged inside, the "junior architect" should probably see immediate medical attention preferably under a pseudonym. Apple slices, please!

I think at this level (3+ years experience, graduated), it might be worth it to email your state board to see if "assistant architect" is acceptable to use on job application.

Jul 27, 11 1:58 pm

i don't think anyone really cares if you say architectural designer unless your services.  You're handing your resume to an architect, not a lawyer.  You're not misrepresenting yourself because your employer should know that the reason you put "architectural designer" instead of architect is because you're not licensed.

what if you took an opportunity to be more descriptive and creative with your title.  Something that had to do with tasks that you were sought for.  "Parametric Modeler & Coffee Pot Starter"  I think its always fun when people have fun with their niche.  Even bathroom layouts and stair sections people wear as badges of honor or rite of passage.  Maybe not when you go for a super corporate job, but people look through hundreds of resumes at "Intern" and "Architect" and "Designer" all day.

The third suggestion would be to use an industry standard convention similar to the AIA breakdown.  Intern 1-3, Design Staff 1-3.  Meh, maybe that doesn't have quite the ring to it.  I've only really seen these on the compensation reports, not sure how wide spread the descriptions are.

Jul 27, 11 2:03 pm

Is this perhaps an overly dramatic concern?

Has the AIA ever gone after an individual person for using some variation of the word architect as a personal description (with attachments like junior or intern) when they are simply applying for jobs at architecture firms? It seems to me that what they care about is some representing themselves to the public, offering their personal or their companies services while representing themselves as an architect....

Jul 27, 11 2:23 pm

Is this perhaps an overly dramatic concern?

Yes and no. For starters, you'll encounter instances where you're not sure where your resume actually ends up.

And secondly, posting your resume, biography or work experience on websites like this one, careerbuilder or monster, you're disclosing that information to the public. If architect is in your title (without a disclaimer that you're unlicensed), you might get a very strongly-worded letter telling you to stop doing that.

Also, the professional community is often vindictive and malevolent while hiding behind a veil of "professionalism." Someone who you're at odds with might use a slip of the tongue on a resume to their advantage which might end up with you barred from professional practices or with a hefty lawsuit.

Jul 27, 11 2:40 pm

Are 'intern' or 'job captain' or 'project architect' real titles?

Here's the list of titles in my office in ascending order:

Architectural Assistant 



Associate Partner


Senior Partner

Senior Partner in Charge of Design

Design Director




Or is that descending order...  :)

Jul 27, 11 3:39 pm

As quoted from the NCARB RULES OF CONDUCT

3.2 An architect shall accurately represent to a

prospective or existing client or employer
his/her qualifications, capabilities, experience,
and the scope of his/her responsibility
in connection with work for which he/she is
claiming credit.



Many important projects require a team of architects
to do the work. Regrettably, there has been some
conflict in recent years when individual members of
that team have claimed greater credit for the project
than was appropriate to their work done. It should
be noted that a young architect who develops his/her
experience working under a more senior architect has
every right to claim credit for the work which he/she
did. On the other hand, the public must be
protected from believing that the younger architect’s
role was greater than was the fact.

(end quote)


Since you list the dates of employment on a resume the rebuke to use the term summer intern was unwarranted.  


There is a corporate ladder or rank which an employer can use to determine how they will bill a client for your time and compensate you. Ask the old employer what they think an appropriate title would be. There is no reason to be embarrassed about your age or qualifications nor is there any need to use fluffy over reaching terms in describing it on a resume. Point of fact, when the demand for services returns it will be a moot point. 

Jul 27, 11 5:19 pm
Jason Muller

Junior Architectural Designer = 1-5 years  Experience

Intermediate Architectural Designer=5-10 years Experience

Senior Architectural Designer= 10 Years+

Jul 28, 11 11:34 am
won and done williams

If you haven't completed IDP, you are an intern; it's the I in IDP. If you have completed IDP, but aren't licensed, you can call your "job captain," "architectural designer," or whatever else you want, but to me, all it says is, "I've been around for a while and haven't completed my exams yet." I think it's odd that we spend so much time discussing job titles when, if you've been around the profession even for only a short while, we all know what these titles actually mean and when someone is trying to puff himself up into something he is not.

Jul 28, 11 12:25 pm

won, you sound very proud of completing the IDP. As we all know, registration is black belt of architecture. Which test qualifies you for running a 20 person team again? Is it the one with graphic component? :p

Jul 28, 11 1:19 pm

"If you haven't completed IDP, you are an intern"  - won and done williams

You are incorrect. 



Jul 28, 11 3:23 pm

FU, NCARB by bryanboyer, on Flickr:

Jul 29, 11 5:05 pm

Found at:


Except as hereinafter set forth in Section 11, no person shall directly or indirectly
engage in the practice of architecture in the state or use the title “Architect,”
“Registered Architect,” “Architectural designer,” or display or use any words, letters,
figures, titles, sign, card, advertisement, or other symbol or device indicating or
tending to indicate that such person is an architect or is practicing architecture,
unless he/she is registered under the provisions of this Chapter, except that a person
registered in another jurisdiction or a person retired from the practice of architecture may use the title “architect” when identifying his/her profession in circumstances which would not lead a reasonable person to believe that the person using
the title “architect” is offering to perform any of the services which the practice of
architecture comprises. No person shall aid or abet any person, not registered under
the provisions of this Chapter, in the practice of architecture.


Oops, I thought that calling myself an Architectural Designer was appropriate because I was not saying Architect according to NCARB that's a no-no. What a bureaucracy...

Dec 2, 11 11:41 am

Its funny how we can get sued for calling ourselves 'architects/architectural designer' even at the age of 75 if we aren't registered but you can call yourself a politician without even a high school degree. 

Dec 2, 11 1:05 pm

AIA  told me not to even use Architectural Designer and that they would only say Designer is ok but not Architectural Designer

Dec 2, 11 1:34 pm

What ever happened to "draftsman", "print boy" and "gopher"?

Dec 2, 11 3:57 pm

A bunch of titles seem to be common and, within each experience band, interchangeable:

Intern (literally somebody between years in school)
Arch I/Jr Architect (if registered), Designer I/Jr Designer (if not)
Arch II/Intermediate Architect (if registered), Designer II/Intermediate Designer (if not)
Arch III/Sr Architect/Project Architect (if registered), Designer III/Sr Designer (if not)
Arch III/Associate
Arch III/Sr Associate/Associate Principal
Arch III/Sr Associate Principal/Junior Partner/Junior Principal
Arch III/Director (not always present, at some firms means: not eligible to become principal)
Managing Principal & Design Principal

Personally, I've never been able to figure out what on earth a job captain is.  We have a few Arch I's who call themselves job captains, but I don't think it has any official bearing.

Dec 2, 11 9:01 pm

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