Market for 2 year Arch degrees.


Hello Archinect, 

I'm wondering what folks currently working in the arch industry think the market is like for someone with an Assoc. in Arch. Worth getting? 

If someone were to get the degree and really put their nose to the grindstone developing a portfolio and skills in up to date comp programs would they still get beat out as a matter of course by recent Bachelor's grads or cheap overseas renderers?

I'm 31, and for what it's worth, genuinely able to draw ( Still do live caricature part of the year ). Right now is the first I've ever felt my life situation could allow me to attend school and I'd like to come out able to enter the work force.

From what I've heard about Arch undergrad I don't see myself as likely to get a 4 year degree in it. I'm thinking that maybe some combination of good software skills and some specialized knowledge/certification in green/sustainability could put me in a good place. What do you think?



May 19, 17 12:01 am

My observation is this. Almost everyone I know working in an architecture firm has at least a four year degree. The counterexamples are almost exclusively experienced drafters, never right out of school, and most of them have a pretty narrow job description. With that said, most of the AAs I know are well employed, just in other and often related fields.

Not saying it can't be done.

May 19, 17 2:45 am

A four year degree wouldn't give you any more opportunity for advancement than the two year degree (you can't get licensed with either one).  You'll start out drafting, and if you show promise, move into some expanded roles.  Unless current laws change, you'll likely not have a path to licensure.  But, you'll have a path to potentially being a project manager (at the right firm) if you really nail things.  

I work with two Architects who got their licenses with 2 year degrees.  This was before laws changed and they had the requisite experience.  There are also five other people with two or four year degrees working in our office as design/drafting personnel.  That is compared to eight licensed people, and seven people with some path to licensure. So, the percentage is not horrible for the folks with two and four year degrees. 

May 19, 17 8:02 am

"A four year degree wouldn't give you any more opportunity for advancement than the two year degree (you can't get licensed with either one)"  This statement is false, there are ncarb jurisdictions that will allow you to take a.r.e with only a high-school diploma.

other than that senjohnblutarsky is spot on. To be honest, the non disputing truth is you can learn and do absolutely everything a licensed architect can do besides stamp drawings. there is no law saying you cant study the code books, you dont need a license to buy them, you can even buy all the a.r.e. material also

May 19, 17 6:07 pm

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