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Alternate Path Towards NCARB

newenglanddesign

Hello All:

This is a general question regarding licensing for you all.

I studied architecture (pre-professional) back in 2009. When the economy tanked with the housing market crash of 2008 (finally recovering in 2012), I decided to go into the trades.  Obtained a few certifications including a contractors license.  

Long story short, I applied to New York State Board of Architects for review to education and experience for initial licensure.  The board determined that 1 month of working for a NYS architect would suffice for beginning to take the ARE's.  

Currently in a masters program for construction management.  I believe that this will also meet the requirements (in leu of working for a NYS architect, however I need to pass this by the board).

My question for you all is this:

1.  It is now possible to obtain an NCARB certificate with 2x AXP after registering as an architect and practicing for 3 years. For those of you registered, would getting an M. Arch at this point be redundant considering I can register without one?

2.  After researching some M. Arch degrees, I would be looking at an additional 50-60K.  Almost insane considering you all state your starting salaries are fairly low considering the years of schooling.

Open to suggestions and comments.

 
Nov 18, 20 10:31 am
square.

there's a lot of information about this already on other threads, not to mention the best place to get specific information from the NY licensing board (dept of ed) is to contact them directly.

my one bit of advice is your intuition is correct- as this point in your career, it is absolutely not worth taking on 50k plus of debt. with an architect's salary, it will take you around a decade to pay off and severely hinder your ability to invest in other things.

Nov 18, 20 10:53 am  · 
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t a z

Have you started an NCARB Record yet?  It's automated to be a "make sure you check all the boxes" type of endeavor as the path of least resistance to get certification.

I don't know what a 2x AXP scenario would be because the NCARB site isn't setup to track that.  The only other AXP experience option is portfolio documentation which sounds like a manual review process.

Have a read here if you haven't already:

https://www.ncarb.org/sites/de...

NYS may have flexibility in the accounting of education + years of experience required for licensure (to get to the magic 12 credit number I believe). Last year I think they did loosen requirements to allow current Arch students eligibility to test with minimal experience.  Previously I think it was only graduates with limited experience who could test prior to completing AXP.

Getting the NCARB certificate will be your challenge because that is still a NYS requirement for most licensure paths.

Nov 18, 20 10:55 am  · 
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Jay1122

Pretty sure the most important question is why do you want to come back to the field after all these years? You have to start at the bottom of the ladder. Although having the contractor experience will definitely help but it will still be around 50K salary. You need many years of intern experience and the ARE exams in order to get the license. What is your end goal here? And you are currently in a master CM program. It does not look like you want to leave construction field behind. Do you just want to grab the architecture license fast?

As for master. useless and waste of money at this stage unless you are loaded and wants some fun.


Nov 18, 20 11:16 am  · 
1  · 
thatsthat

Don't get the M.Arch; you don't need it in NYS. I got my license in NYS through an alternative path. Right after I finished IDP, I was still finishing my experience before I could start testing; I looked into the NCARB 2xIDP path, and found it to be too expensive for basically no reward. It does not convey that you are more qualified; it only helps with reciprocal licensing. If you plan to practice in multiple states, it may make sense, but if you are planning to work for someone else and not stamp your own work (or stamp your own stuff but only in NYS) it is pointless.  

Nov 18, 20 11:39 am  · 
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newenglanddesign

Have you started an NCARB Record yet?  It's automated to be a "make sure you check all the boxes" type of endeavor as the path of least resistance to get certification.

I have.  Would need to complete the AXP to register, however, one month of working for a NYS architect (category I per NYS http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/a...)

The magic number to test for the ARE has a combination of education and experience equaling a degree from a NAAB accredited program totaling 9 of the 12 required units for licensure. I am 1 credit away from this requirement. 

Pretty sure the most important question is why do you want to come back to the field after all these years?

  1.  Was asked by an emerging arch to work for them.  Will finish this degree before making any moves as it will meet NYS category for credit as well.
  2. This was not discussed as an option as the NCARB regulations didn’t allow for it when I was in undergrad. (https://www.ncarb.org/sites/default/files/Main%20Website/Data%20%26%20Resources/Guidelines/EducationGuidelines.pdf)
  3. This was the way architects were licensed before the information age.  I worked for 2 architects that were degreed prior to the B.Arch or M. Arch was even developed.
Nov 18, 20 12:39 pm  · 
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thatsthat

If they say you are 1 month away from 9 credits, that means you could start your AXP, work 1 month, verify your experience through the state, and then start testing while you finish AXP. What the NYS rep explained to me is that as long as you complete all AXP hours, they are happy. AXP is a separate requirements from the state's experience requirements. For example, if you need 3 years of experience before testing, it doesn't matter if AXP takes 1 year or 10 years to complete. If they allow you to start testing at 3 years, and you finish all exams, you still won't be licensed without completing AXP.

 · 
t a z

That NCARB document you linked is from the future (January 2021) meaning I think it is completely new or recently updated.  

Good stuff!

 · 
t a z

The latest Education Guidelines are from the future because they don't go into effect until January 6, 2021.  The guidelines previously in force were from 2016.

Good timing!

 · 
newenglanddesign

Thanks.  Much appreciated as I know of only one other that has gotten licensed this way.  

Nov 18, 20 2:51 pm  · 
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Aluminate

A fair number of people get licensed without a professional degree in NY, and some of the other states that allow it - though there are few states that have rules that allow it on a case-by-case basis but rarely if ever approve anybody who applies by that route anymore. The alternate route to NCARB certification (necessary for reciprocity in many states) is not necessarily as clear cut: the current system for that is very new so it's hard to say how many can and will eventually get through the process, but in the older system the success rate for applicants was only about 33%, and the application review process averaged 2+ years.

 · 
thatsthat

Interesting that it was so low. Now that they've added the 2xAXP route as an alternative to the portfolio requirement, I'm curious to see if the numbers go up. I looked at it back when I finished IDP - the idea was to just keep going until I satisfied the requirement - but NCARB told me I couldn't log hours towards to 2x program until I was licensed. For me, there would be a 2 year gap between finishing IDP and the rest of my experience requirements for the state. I couldn't justify paying NCARB for 2 years to have a dormant account and then another 2 years to finish my hours. However, it looks like they may have changed it so that candidates can continue logging hours without a break.

 · 
newenglanddesign

If it takes 2+ years on average for the state to review your application, you should probably contact the Division of Professional Licensure in that state.  Typically, they have regulations on timelines for review as with most things in government.   If they are clueless as to what the NCARB Board has voted and enacted, then sometimes you are your only advocate for this.  A cover sheet from a lawyer friend acting as an agent for you may get that point across.

Reciprocal Registration

An NCARB Certificate granted through the education alternative is accepted

AK, AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, GA, GU, IA, ID, IL, KS, LA, MA, MD, ME, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NV, OH OK, PA, PR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VI, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY

For the following jurisdictions, some conditions apply. Select the State for full details.

FL - Applicants must complete the ARE (or a predecessor), hold a license to practice architecture in another U.S. jurisdiction, and have a U.S. social security number.

HI -Board meets monthly to consider reciprocal registration applications.

KY -Please contact the board directly for more information (AKA we didn’t know NCARB changed the rules)

NM-(Also like KY, not sure when NCARB changed the rules)

 

Source:  https://www.ncarb.org/get-lice...


Nov 19, 20 2:10 pm  · 
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Aluminate

The states have timelines for reviewing completed applications to the their state, but if they require an NCARB certificate they won't consider the application complete until the certificate record is transmitted - so basically the state's timeline doesn't start ticking until then. Times for standard NCARB certificate applications are much shorter than they used to be (a matter of several weeks now, compared to a norm of 6 months 10 years ago) so maybe this is the same with the alternate-route certification options - it's just that so far not a lot of people have successfully navigated them so it's hard to know what a typical time frame is now.  Going back a few years, NCARB's own published time-frame for the portfolio-route "broadly experienced architect" NCARB certificate was about 1.5 years minimum, and every time they published a story about somebody who had successfully gotten through that route it had taken them more than 2 years.

 · 
newenglanddesign

 That must be frustrating.  I am sorry to hear.  I am not surprised as it is new to these jurisdictions.

 This article pretty much sums up these current issues such as accessibility of education and the realities of the practice.  This falls in line with the current cultural shifts we've seen across the US.  

https://www.ncarb.org/blog/carly-de-la-hoz-insight-the-re-think-tank-experience

Universities have been unchecked (finically speaking) from the federal government since the Higher Education Act of 1965.  The 'I did this so you must do this' mentality of previous generations (also seen in the trades, which are not able to sustain manpower currently) it proving to bar many people from entering the profession and costing may young people to bury themselves in six-figure debt for a disproportionate income.  

I think times are changing. 



Nov 19, 20 3:19 pm  · 
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