At what age were you licensed?


At what age were you licensed? I am 29 starting march in a few months. I think I'll get my masters by 32 and hopefully get licensed by I am 34. (I have 2~3 years of work experience). I know that's not too late according to some of the posts I read in this forum but I am just curious when other people got their license. 

Jun 20, 17 1:46 pm

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Jun 20, 17 1:47 pm

Don't sweat it. You'll be fine. There's room in the profession for you.

Jun 20, 17 1:52 pm


Jun 20, 17 1:54 pm


Jun 20, 17 2:10 pm

I'm 31 now. taking my final ARE in 6 days. I should have everything wrapped up before I turn 32.

Jun 20, 17 2:16 pm

Best of luck and look forward to you becoming T. Dud..., ARCHITECT


Welp, that didn't quite happen. Finished it before 33 though.

32, which NCARB says is average. 

Jun 20, 17 2:30 pm

"As a result, the average age of a newly licensed architect—33.3 in 2014—is at its lowest since 2001"


Close enough. Point remains - don't worry about how old you'll be.

NCARB By the Numbers Report says 33 in 2015. Might be around 32 for 2017 looking at the overall trend.!/vizhome/NBTNAges_large/AgeatLicensureContinuestoDrop

NCARB Agrees with me.

I was right all along.



Jun 20, 17 3:01 pm


Remember that architects generally don't do their best work until they are 50, so you have lots of time. :)

Jun 20, 17 3:01 pm
Non Sequitur


Jun 20, 17 3:16 pm


Jun 20, 17 4:37 pm

According to Wikipedia (and a little interpolation), George Costanza was 30 or 31 when he first pretended to be an architect.

So he's right in there...

Jun 20, 17 4:46 pm


Jun 20, 17 6:12 pm


Jun 20, 17 6:38 pm

50, it was a birthday present to myself;). It is never too late and it wasn't any easier to pass some areas. Things I knew well, weren't asked that much. I am glad I got a valid license. Very worth it. If you want to get hired to design, your clients would appreciate if you are registered and nowadays it is almost a prerequisite. There are also many unlicensed designers out there who are really good at it. A lot of reputable firms have talents like those. But, pick up your license early if possible. 

Jun 20, 17 7:34 pm


Jun 20, 17 8:53 pm
33 or 34, I can't remember. It's a big deal and super important and wonderful to get it! But I can't remember the date.
Jun 20, 17 9:35 pm




Jun 20, 17 10:14 pm


Jun 20, 17 10:52 pm

dang. youngest I've seen so far! congrats!


I bet he is REALLY successful now


Like one of those pre-teen geniuses headed to Harvard Medical School... amazing!


I was screwing the teacher.

Pretty sure Doogie was too.



Jun 21, 17 6:13 am

I was 36 when I got my license.  It was about 6 years after my M.Arch.  It took that long, and a couple job changes, to get experience in some of the IDP categories (I had more than twice as many IDP hours as I needed by the time I finished, but had a hard time getting the last bits in some mandatory categories).  The IDP requirements have been lessened in recent years, and there were 9 tests then as opposed to 6 now, so the younger staff seem to be getting through more quickly after gradation, on average.

There's an ARE study group in my office right now - it has about 15 members ranging in age from late 20s to mid 50s.  Frankly I have doubts that the third of these folks who are in their 40s and 50s will ever follow through and get licensed.  They could prove me wrong, but these are people who graduated from architecture school 20 to 30 years ago and have got along without a license until now, and they seem to be having more difficulty than their younger coworkers at getting into study mindset/motivation at this point. 

Jun 21, 17 10:30 am

sometime around 2010 I saw a graph of actual licensure ages, there was a big cluster of 50+ old people finally getting their licenses that really skewed the median age.


I remember that, but I believe the fine print on that is that the uptick in older people finally getting licensed over the year or so prior to that was due at least in part to NCARB and many states having instituted the time limits ("rolling clock") on testing, which put an expiration date on a lot of tests that fell into the transition period (i.e. tests that weren't so old that they were grandfathered) - so for those people who'd started testing and passed some number of tests, and then slacked off for one reason or another, if their old tests now fell into the use-it-or-lose-it time frame they felt a little more compelled to get their act together and finish during those particular years. I doubt that if we were to look at data from 2016 we'd see the same trend, because any old test results that fell into that transition period have long since expired.


28. 3 years after graduation from arch school.

Jun 21, 17 12:48 pm

38. M.Arch 31.

Jun 21, 17 5:10 pm

40 for me, but I was about 20 when I landed my first job in the business. It took me forever to finish my undergrad degree due to a combination of health problems, money problems, and some stupid decisions. Once I finished my MArch degree, though, I took the exams and got my initial license within just over a year. I figured I had already been waiting long enough.

Jun 21, 17 9:56 pm

Nonetheless, congrats on reaching that milestone.


^ Regarding our "stupid decisions," there's not enough room on the internet to cover all of those...


Not enough room for my own... alone.... LOL !!!!


One day I will be you and maybe finish my master's.


congrats! What age did you start your MArch? 39?

35. I took a year longer than the rest of my class so that I could take an extended co-op placement in Los Angeles, and because the university's transition to a semester-based calendar screwed up my structures sequence.

That said, the extra time I spent on co-op counted toward my IDP requirements, so it probably had no impact on my age at licensure. I finished IDP and passed the last of my exams at around the same time.



Jun 22, 17 12:00 pm


Jun 22, 17 1:26 pm

31, 6 years after receiving my M.Arch. I was lucky enough to graduate right at the beginning of the recession, so getting gainful employment (read consistent IDP hours) took some time. Actual testing took me a bit under a year, and I completed IDP about 4 months before I finished testing. 

If you don't already have a substantial (1/3+) portion of AXP complete already, I think your 2 years timeline to licensure is optimistic (but not strictly impossible). Either way you're certainly not to late by any means, as all the other answers can attest. 

Jun 22, 17 1:52 pm

Completed IDP at 30. Started ARE at 30. Left profession at 30. Re-entered profession at 37. Licensed at 39.

Jun 22, 17 2:09 pm

I should add... was asked to be a partner at age 30. Rejected offer of partnership at age 30. Glad I did - ever since.



About 4.5 years of full-time employment, post-MArch

Jun 23, 17 11:17 am

32 in California

Jun 24, 17 9:46 am


Jun 24, 17 11:47 am
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31 after trying fervently to be one of the youngest  licensed practicing architects in Philadelphia in the late 90s..... At that time I was working in a highly competitive design firm and competing with other young professionals in the race to licensure by or before 30.......I didn't feel ready to take the exam until 28 and started  to take the exam when 29........I spent a lot of time studying and preparing....all while working on significant projects with significant workload, commuting for project meetings between Philly, Princeton, Atlantic City and Newark New Jersey.......I put so much time and effort into work and studying For and taking the exam that I literally made myself sick and wound up in the hospital........I learned to slow down a bit  after the hospital visit and finished the exam by 31. 

Don't overly obsess about licensure, but try to get it as soon as possible so that you can put years between the year that you attain it and future career opportunities.

Jun 25, 17 1:36 pm


Jun 26, 17 1:30 pm


Architectural PE 

Jun 27, 17 11:43 am

So you aren't a licensed architect?

39. Got license in the summer, then lined up two clients and walked out of my job that fall.

Jun 29, 17 3:08 pm


Jan 7, 19 7:15 pm

Architecture 30

Landscape Architecture 31

Opened office 32

Jan 7, 19 7:47 pm

What extra requirements were necessary for the landscape license? Do you need a separate degree? I'm suddenly curious...


I did my Bachelor of Landscape Architecture before my Master's in Architecture. Smallish practice that is mostly a blend of site planning, urban design and architecture, not very many projects are solely Landscape oriented. I was in school for 7 years. I interned in a a couple Landscape Architecture offices but always got work in Architecture offices as the "Landscape Fluffer" ( not really ) but it certainly helped bring a new skill set to an interview that set me apart from other applicants, I actually have a fairly strong design background so it was a real asset as a young architect trying to get my foot in the door of offices .. particularly when times were slow.

Just recently at the age of 37.  

Was out of the profession for 4 years during the recession.  Got married at 31, got my MArch at 32, had a kid at 34, first ARE at 35, second kid at 35, started a firm at 35, licensed at 37. Crap, I have another kid coming....

Jan 8, 19 11:43 am

go back to work,;-)


It's interesting, the profession is time bound, almost like the Air Force.

You have to make captain by a certain age, then major, and if you don't make make major, you will never be a colonel.

Or in architecture, if your don't get licensed by 35. you never will 

Jan 8, 19 11:57 am

Except for all the people above and elsewhere who get their license after 35 ...


So, Xenakis how old were you when you got your license, if you ever did ;)


Xenakis, that's not 100% true but you should complete your architecture degree and be employed in architecture by age 35. Architecture schools sometimes are a little bit discriminatory on age or age related matters even with people who have prior education in non-architecture degrees. They can be a little dick-ish about it. The licensing boards don't actively or otherwise enforce such a policy on age. While employers can be a bit of PITA because they don't want to hire people older than 40 years old because of insurance premiums especially if their insurance on employees are age discriminating. Ideally, those practices should be outlawed. This gets into a can of worms. I don't know if people are not hiring people explicitly based on their age being over 40 in architecture but insurance premium maybe a factor in some cases. In fields like computer field with rapidly evolving technology and software technologies that changes frequently, if you don't keep up with the new technologies and new languages that comes into popularity and supporting apps and tools used in creating new software, games, etc. it can be hard to keep up with new stuff when you are busy working because often you'll be working with a specific toolset as long as you want and don't bother to learn the new tools. The young fresh out of college kids maybe brought up on those new tools that are being in demand because they have the time to spend 40 hours a week or more learning new tools but in work life, you don't. Designing buildings in general don't quite have that pace. While there are new versions of the same tools, like new versions of Revit, AutoCAD, Maya, etc. Architecture tends to be a little bit more laid back on this front. Hell, if you are a f---ing genius wizard with just a pencil/pen & paper, you could still be employable if you can work like a miracle worker and meet project deadlines and quality standards and expectations. The means and methods and the mere tools are less important than the outcome and what you know. Intelligent and smart architecture comes from the brain not the computer mouse or the pen or pencil. They are just tools to put those design thoughts into a medium format to communicate to others those thoughts, decisions, and ideas.


Life is time-bound.


I guess, there is an ultimate too old to get licensed..... when you are dead.


Graduated at 25.  Licensed at 30.  Took 5 years of working experience to fulfill state requirements for license. 

Jan 8, 19 1:35 pm

26. I knew I'd never have more free time than when I was just out of school and I was watching 30- and 40- somethings in the office try to fit studying in while balancing kids, spouse, workload, etc. THAT looked so much harder than getting it done out of the gate, before you forget how to study. Also, it helps to learn the things they don't teach you in school, like contracts. I also became a little more capable in conversations with contractors. Totally worth it to get it out of the way early, IMO.

Jan 8, 19 5:25 pm

Dont hurry to get licensed, you will still be paid peanuts after you get it.

Jan 8, 19 8:43 pm


Jan 9, 19 11:55 am

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