Archinect
anchor

Is it possible that I earn experience and log hours for the license exam (AXP) working part time for architects remotely?

adamk1992

I've been thinking about this question everyday for quite a long time now. I don't seem to be able to find an answer myself so I'm posting it here. 

My story starts when I was a freshman at college. I wanted to find a job that pays better than working at Walmart...I knew AutoCAD so I applied for a drafter position at a steel fabricator. I worked full time throughout college moving from a steel fabricator to another. By the time I graduated with my B.Architecture I was already making a good money as an experienced steel detailer. I graduated 2.5 years ago. Right after college I found a job in New York City for a respected steel company as a drafting manager. 

I'm 27 years old now, realizing that I went too far in the steel industry and trying to find my way back to become a licensed architect and have my own practice one day. I'm feeling that time is passing very quick and I'm older than normal for a junior position now. The main problem for me is not age, it's money. I make a very good money in my current position. If I want to work in an architectural firm as an entery-level designer, I will have to lose more than half of my salary. That's a big sacrifice that I'm not sure if I can make. I may need 10-15 years so I can start making my current salary again.

So is it possible that I log hours for the license exam (AXP) working part time for architects remotely? This way I can get some experience while keeping my day job then starting my own small practice and get small project and learn on my own. Is that something doable in your opinion? I contacted some local small architectural firms offering to work for them remotely for 20 hours a week for free. It's not easy, a lot of them were suspicious, probably thinking that I'm trying to steal their customers or something lol

 
Oct 3, 19 3:15 pm
archinine
It depends on your state of initial licensure. If you’re in New York (you mention nyc) the answer is a big fat no unfortunately. New York is very strict about accepting part time, temp or contract work. However they do answer the phone and are amenable to an extent to oddball circumstances. Call the number on the New York State education / license requirements page. No offense but if you can’t google / research your way to that phone number without being spoon fed you’re never going to get licensed.
Oct 3, 19 3:19 pm  · 
 · 
adamk1992

Yes sir, I live in NY. Wow, I had no knowledge that this differ from state to another. I will surely find their number on my own ;)

But how about the experience? But even if they agree, would remote work ever give me enough experience to start on my own on a small scale one day?

Oct 3, 19 3:23 pm  · 
 · 
archinine
Like I said look at the education website it clearly spells out what counts in ny and what doesn’t. Im not the authority NYS is. There are numerous variations on getting all the requirements met and you don’t have to do ncarb to be licensed in ny. You can just get a ny RA license. You can get some hours from a contractor office so that may be your best bet, however I’m pretty sure you have to do at least a solid full time year in a proper arch firm.
Oct 3, 19 3:35 pm  · 
 · 
adamk1992

Yes I can get up to 50% of the hours required from my current contractor work but no more than that.

 · 
Bench

Dont work for free. I think that would throw a bigger red flag to the state licensing board for your hours than if it is part time vs full time work.

Oct 3, 19 3:42 pm  · 
 · 
Formerlyunknown

I agree with don't work for free. However, in most states, including NY, the state licensing board has no information as to whether you worked for free. There's no salary or tax information available to the architecture board, and nothing in your NCARB records that indicates what you were paid (or not).

One of the biggest issues in NY is that the firm be properly incorporated there. NY uses experience records as a way to "catch" firms that violate NY's statutes (for things like being set up as a non-professional LLC, or having a non-architect part-owner), and unfortunately sometimes-unsuspecting young grads get caught in the middle and get their years of experience in those firms rejected.

 · 
adamk1992

You're right. I think I should agree on a low salary but never offer to work for free because principles would think there's something suspicious..  

Oct 4, 19 11:40 am  · 
 · 

Why agree on a low salary? Why not agree on compensation commensurate with your experience and value? Is that really such a novel concept?

 · 
adamk1992

​So far I couldn't find an architectural job that could use my experience in steel detailing. It seems irrelevant. Even though I have detailed very complicated stairs

 · 

Oh course they're not interested in your experience detailing steel. No architecture firm needs that ... otherwise you would have never had a job doing what you did for the steel fabricators. You should be selling your drafting skills in general and your experience working on the "other side" for context and coordination, not your specific steel detailing skills. 

You mentioned above that you want to get your license and open your own practice ... why?

 · 
adamk1992

I will give you a very honest answer. I want to start my own practice because I currently make 135k in my current job. Why would I go work in architecture firm as a junior designer for 65k maximum then wait another 10-15 years to earn what I'm earning now! Maybe if I start my own practice as an architect along with offering independence drafting servinces for steel compnaies, I might be able to break even with my curent salary. Does that sound logic to you? Do you think someone can start or his own right after getting liscened? Maybe start working on samll residental projects then climp up the ladder..

 · 

Thanks for your honesty. What do you see having your own practice offering you that you don't get at the moment in your current job? 

I'm not trying to be a jerk in asking these questions, I'm just trying to understand what the motivating factors are (if it helps, I've asked this type of thing before). Money doesn't seem to be an issue for you in your current job, but I can't comment on what you might be able to expect as a newly licensed architect trying to make it on your own with small residential projects and drafting work on the side. Maybe it turns out to be more lucrative. Maybe the other factors influencing your decision aren't really found in what you want to do, but no one can comment on it if we don't know what they are.

 · 
adamk1992

1- Personal Freedom

 · 
adamk1992

2- To avoid becoming a slave for the boss as I get older. The older the employee is the more liability he gets considered. That's a fact that I've seen personally

 · 
adamk1992

3 - The creativity, having the opportunity not to spend my life detailing bathrooms since I can outsource a big part of the construction documents work

 · 
adamk1992

4-The chance of making it big and leave a legacy. You will not have your name remembered by working for someone

 · 

What personal freedoms are you currently lacking that going out on your own would give you? What do you mean by liability? There are no opportunities for creative problem solving in your current job? Why are you drawing bathroom details for steel fabricators? What kind of legacy do you want to leave? 

All your reasons seem pretty banal if I'm being honest. That's not to say they aren't valid, just that there probably isn't much there there to dive into without more specificity.

 · 
kjdt

New York does not count experience from 1099 situations.  

 · 
midlander

what kind of project portfolio and client references are you going to give to that first potential client?


you're missing some key steps in this process. if making 135k/yr in self-practice were merely a matter of having a license and printing some business cards there'd be a lot more of us out doing it.

Oct 5, 19 6:10 am  · 
 · 
midlander

on your offer to work remotely for other offices for free, they're not worried about you stealing clients. they're wondering what benefit they could possibly get out of someone with no relevant experience working remotely who sees his own potential contributions as literally worthless.

 · 
midlander

as to whether remote work would give you sufficient experience to open your firm, the answer is a simple no. there is so much more than just drawing things by yourself that goes into running an office, and you will experience none of that working remotely part time.

 · 
midlander

honestly in your situation my own focus would be on how to set myself up as a consultant to steel fabricators, and maybe pursue that work freelance while working full time at a local architect who was flexible with scheduling and needed much CA on projects with large amounts of architectural steel work.

 · 

^ this

 · 

Block this user


Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: