Intern and Junior Architect?


What is different between Intern Architect and Junior Architect?

-Are someone that join in new office must be an intern first before being junior architect?

-Is intern architect is position for short time / temporarily, while Junior Architect is permanently?

Aug 16, 12 6:31 am

Intern 1, 2, and three are the titles, Junior Architect is a title given by some firms to interns to not seem so demeaning or to differentiate between summer interns. There is also Architectural Assistant PT I and II. You just have to pay attention to the years of required work experience and the tasks/pay.

Aug 16, 12 10:19 am  · 

a person who has the training and job functions related to, and is on the path towards becoming an architect, but is not yet licensed, is an intern until they get their license.

i'm pretty sure the aia salary reports divide architect job positions into architect I, architect II, and architect III.  junior architect is just a different title and the definition can change, possibly substantially, from one person to the next.  Depending on your jurisdiction's laws, you likely have to have an architect's stamp to be advertised as a "junior architect."

i kind of like this link as an explanation:

Aug 16, 12 10:24 am  · 


thx for the link, but i'm still confused...

In that link, explained that intern 1,2,3 is about 0-5 years experience..But in many firm, intern vacancies is only for short term 1-6 month, and in some firm (especially in japan) intern  are unpaid/paid very low, Are people like me & recent graduate must apply for an intern until total 5+years experince / registered / licensed and unpaid/paid very low?

Aug 19, 12 5:22 am  · 

Yes, pretty much.

You can't call technically/legally yourself an Architect until you are licensed. Anyone who isn't is technically considered an Intern, despite how much experience they have. Thus people spice it up and say they are Junior Designers or Senior Designers or whatnot.

Aug 19, 12 1:51 pm  · 

To All,

You all make very valid points. However, regardless of the title, the important thing is that the employment opportunities are available AND that these opportunities are salaried. Bottom line, what's more important, a title, or the job that pays?

Aug 24, 12 1:34 pm  · 


A related question:

Let's say, you are 5 years out of an M. Arch., have completed IDP, but not the ARE (therefore, am not licensed). You are considering a career change, have interests/a background in another industry to which you want to market yourself (in my case, business).

Calling one's self an 'intern' 5 years out of school is a little misleading and IMO not good marketing, however your job titles (both while in and out of school) say 'intern'. Are there any alternatives in describing one's skillset & background to people in other industries?


Oct 24, 12 11:39 am  · 

Intern means something totally different outside of the US. In London for example I was hired as a Junior Architect (unlicensed) Interns were the short term job placements who were still in school. In the US I am technically an intern architect but my job title is designer. 

Oct 24, 12 4:46 pm  · 

I think amy got it right, 

I dont think think you should stress too much about the title,

I just graduated and in China, and have been given the title (architect) even though i feel eh about it, bc i know .. thats not exactly correct my US standards..

but i think in the US intern and junior architect are used interchangeably at times.

intern also used to describe short term employment

RYANJ i think if you worked as an "intern" for  5 years and wanted a career change, i would just upgrade that title to junior architect or architectural designer..

other industries are gonna think twice or too hard about the title...

but i would say..if you are still trudging through years 0-4/5 of experience, who cares about the title, as long as you are getting paid and experience.. 

dont think about it so hard...

Oct 24, 12 11:00 pm  · 

Interns are usually titiles for those students still in school and working for a short period of time.  People use titles as they feel comfortable.  Some call themselves junior architect when they're still doing their undergrad, while some still call themselves intern after finishing grad school.  Through personal experience, calling yourself an intern might make others take you less seriously but you don't have have all the responsibilities and expectations that come with calling yourself a junior architect. ;)

Oct 25, 12 10:02 pm  · 

oh and like Amy mentioned, you might want to be careful where you use the term intern.  If you're in Europe and say you're looking for an intern job, you will most likely get paid very little, perhaps none, since that's usually the case with interns.  (not including England and a few other countries that is)

Oct 25, 12 10:04 pm  · 

unfortunately here in North America to call our selves architect we have to complete a Masters in Architecture (here in Canada), plus work three years, then pass the exams to be called architect. Until then by law we have to call ourselves "intern architect"- the most demeaning name ever. But unlike Europe the pay and responsibility for an intern architect can be pretty good. 

So there is a huge difference btw an intern architect in Canada/USA and the rest of the world....I guess if I were applying overseas I would change the title to junior designer.

Oct 25, 12 11:20 pm  · 

In Canada it can go even further - getting licensed at a large firm can take a lot longer than 3 years. We have junior intern architects - intermediate intern architects etc. Some have up to 10 years of experience. It doesn't make any difference in your salary to a point, but if you want to keep moving up eventually you need to get registered.

Oct 27, 12 2:14 pm  · 
Rob Texiera

This post got me thinking as well. Based on what people have written I'm not sure what category I fall in to. I thought it would be junior architect, but maybe I'm wrong..
I'm a recent MArch graduate with 3 years professional experience (from mostly before and during my 3 years of grad school) (some full-time some part-time). I mostly took this summer and worked in construction. Since this Fall I've been seriously looking for full-time employment.
I've been responding to posts I've found looking for Junior architects. No, I'm not licensed, I have some hours towards IDP but that's all.       I never responded to intern architect openings because I figured all they were looking for was an intern, not a full-time employee.      
If what your saying is true about junior architects needing to be licensed architects, it seems odd that no where on the job descriptions have I seen it say you must be licensed.. Also I've seen plenty of junior architect postings whose requirements are only, a bachelors degree and 1-3 yrs experience, that's all..
1-3, That would be very impressive for someone to have a bachelors degree and within 1 year of graduating become a licensed Architect.. Damn! Unless your name is Doogie Howser, I don't see that happening... I also have seen some postings for intern architects whose job description sounds more challenging than Junior...
I personally think that there is no definitive description between these two and companies have their own definition of the terms which is why they get thrown around interchangeably, unfortunately making it very confusing.  

Dec 19, 12 11:28 am  · 

Actually as I think about this, a friend of mine is an Intermediate Architect at a good size firm in NYC..Is he technically a licensed Architect? No he is not.. But according to his company that's what his title is, so that is what he markets himself as. An intermediate architect.         So I personally don't think these fancy title's mean anything official. All that matters is the job description.

Dec 19, 12 11:53 am  · 

I just had a conversation about this with a guy, he is currently in his third year of Arch school & he just was hired at a architecture firm. i strongly feel he should be labeled apprentice over intern, because intern is misleading in this field. Also, as stated, I also feel, if the field makes a effort to properly distinguish someone skill level ( i know which i tough to do) it will make an impact on determined salaries. until i have my license I typically  use the title Architectural staff

Dec 19, 12 12:32 pm  · 


I'd actually go as far to say "intern" in our industry is widely recognized and not misleading at all, within our industry. I believe people know that it typically refers to someone who is theoretically working (in some capacity) towards licensure. It doesn't make them useless by any means, but it primarily distinguishes between those with a stamp and those without.

Now on the other hand, outside of our industry (ie. clients, contractors, etc.) it probably sounds like an office lackey who runs to get coffee for the principles/partners/etc. At that point I think its completely reasonable to refer to oneself as an "architectural designer" or some other variation of that where the word "intern" isn't used. It's not naivety or arrogance on that client's part - its simply the logical assumed extension of what "intern" means in just about every other industry there is.

Maybe architecture needs it own term to describe this - similar to someone who is Articling in law.

Dec 22, 12 10:16 am  · 

@BenC, Imho and experience, "intern" exclusively in our field is misleading and misappropriated. in fact i cant think of any other filed were a person can have 10yrs of experience and stilled be labeled "intern". In many other fields intern means someone who is learning the ropes for a couple of years; not ten. i think in most cases this is just a whack attempt to control pay scale.

Dec 24, 12 12:02 pm  · 

In the states, legally you may not use the term 'architect' in your job title unless you are licensed. Will you get in trouble for using it? Probably not unless you are going out and offering commercial service as such. Every state has codified the use of this term. It is illegal in every state. For example, here is the law in New York:

""Architect" is a protected title. Only a person licensed in New York can call himself/herself an architect and offer architectural services in New York. Anyone else using the title "architect" may be prosecuted for committing a Class A misdemeanor and for offering to perform architectural services in this State may be charged with a Class E felony.


"Architect" is a protected title. Only a person licensed in New York can call himself/herself an architect and offer architectural services in New York. Anyone else using the title "architect" may be prosecuted for committing a Class A misdemeanor and for offering to perform architectural services in this State may be charged with a Class E felony.

Similarly, unlicensed persons might also be prohibited from using derivatives of the word "architect" or "architecture" in conjunction with unrestricted titles as this may be viewed as misleading to the public when it is implied that professional services are being offered, e.g., "architectural designer", "interior architecture", etc. The restriction does not apply to the use of such terms in a context unrelated to professional services, such as "architectural supplies", etc."

Many of the job posting on Archinect at technically incorrect. A 'junior architect' or 'intermediate architect' that does not have a license is misusing the term.

Another interesting article on the topic. It's pretty funny to think that Texas is fining a business 200K for misusing the term architect.

Jan 30, 13 4:21 pm  · 

Hi all, I am an Architect with more than four years experience, in Architecture firm, with good clear portfolio, it can applicable to work in US. or Canada.   

Jan 1, 18 8:33 am  · 
Non Sequitur

Mo, as long as you clear whatever VISAs you need for employment, you can work however, note that it is highligh unlikely that you will be recognized as an architect given the difference in education and licensing requirements. You'll likely be applying for entry level.

Jan 1, 18 3:46 pm  · 

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