Go Part-time to fulfill my License?


So long story short, life has been complicated and I have a wonderful job that I absolutely love! Pay, benefits, coworkers, etc are great. I honestly couldn't ask more. I know a lot of people aren't in my situation, and I know the economy sucks. I consider myself to be very lucky.

However there is one thing I want. That is my architectural license. I just don't have the time to study as much as I want... and finding the studying to go a lot more slower than I'd imagine. Do I risk going part-time, as I am not sure how my employer would react with my request. Might lose my job, and then probably not find a job like this again? Or do I persue my dreams and find a perfect balance before the two by going part-time?After a long days of work it is so hard to hit the books. I'd like to keep the benefits too, but I'm just confused and need some advice. 

Dec 9, 12 7:38 pm

Wait for a year or so and then talk about it with the employer. That way they see you being an employee that's valuable enough to keep, and you have some work from them in your portfolio. Also, in case they still decide to let you go, it won't look wierd on your résumé.

Dec 9, 12 9:10 pm

Yea the one year mark is coming up soon. Thanks for the suggestion!

Dec 10, 12 12:07 am

anyone else have some more advice?

Dec 11, 12 1:50 pm

I suggest talking with your employer. Let them know that your ambition is to become a licensed architect and that you're seeking some advice as to how you should go about balancing work and studying for the ARE. From the sounds of it you're a solid employee (anyone that loves their job that much should be), and they'll be happy to work with you.

Worst case scenario, they tell you that unfortunately they can't ease up on your work performance. If that's the case, you need to get back into academic architecture mode and work all day, and study all night. You've done it before, you can do it again!! Just make sure that your work doesn't suffer.

Granted, this is all under the assumption that you're a solid performer and an asset to the company. 

Don't request going part-time right off the bat, speak with your employer first and fill them in on the situation. Good luck!

Dec 11, 12 2:08 pm

advice: AREs aren't that hard, study a bit and you'll be fine. don't procrastinate or make excuses for yourself.

Dec 11, 12 11:12 pm

OLA: I think the danger you face by asking to go part-time is mostly about leaving your employer with the view that you cannot rise to the challenge, organize your life and solve problems. In the broad scheme of things, I doubt your employers will look kindly on a request to go part-time unless they already are looking for a way to cut payroll.

I recognize that it takes a lot of effort to pass the ARE -- however, lots of young graduates still manage to do so while holding full-time jobs and many of those do so while starting their families. Getting this behind you is mostly about discipline and focus -- if you really want your license, you should organize you life to accommodate that goal.

In our firm, we have 2-3 employees each year who manage to pass the ARE while holding down full time jobs. I admit that it's clearly a challenge for them, but they are really proud of their accomplishment once it's done.

Good luck.

Dec 12, 12 3:41 pm

I work 40+ hrs. a week.  It took me 21mo. with two failed exams in there.  You just need to dedicate yourself to the exams and work and nothing else.  As a mentor once said to me; it's an inconvenience, but it will end.  You will not have much of a life for  a few months, but it isn't that bad.  You will be happy you did it, trust me.

Best of luck.

Dec 12, 12 9:10 pm

what is it that's keeping you from studying and holding a job?  do they work you 60 hours a week, or a couple young kids?

iirc, i took a day off to take each test (maybe a half day for one or 2?  it's been a while, but i'm pretty sure i left some space to decompress).  i assume i went over my allotted vacation time that year, but i think that was acceptable due to professional development.  other than that, i just spaced them out a bit.  i think i did one test a month for 9 months.  there were 9 tests back then.  i didn't watch much tv during that time, but to be honest not knowing who's leading on american idol or survivor isn't that important.

Dec 12, 12 9:28 pm

I have a couple of kids... its just been overwhelming. 

Dec 13, 12 10:45 am

i can certainly respect that kids can make the process overwhelming.  i had a supervisor back in the day with a bunch of kids who would stay late at the office to study since that was complicated when he was at home.  you can probably substitute 'office' for library, bar, or coffee shop depending on your own preference, but your office might provide you a place to keep study materials.  if you have a supportive wife (or other person looking after kids) that may be an option.  just set a schedule, like 2 weeks or 1.5 months to study per test, and then just accept your life is going to change until it's over.

Dec 13, 12 11:29 am

Try taking the exams now, For example the design vignettes are probably easy if you are working since you are doing this every day.  You might pass the exams on your first try. If you don’t pass one you have 18 months before you can retake it plenty of time to study. Also you’re probably studding for everything at once, try to focus on one exam for three months take it and then see if you passed and passed then take the next one.  If you’re working you are at an advantage because you are being paid to practice.  Go for the vignettes and the site planning these appear to be the least challenging sections.  You have 5 years to finish once you pass your first exam. 

Or you could do the reverse and just walk in and take the hardest exam for many folks that is the structural systems, if you fail then you start to study and try again if you pass then all the rest should be easy.

The ARE is not an all or nothing situation, take a test and if you pass you are on your way if you fail you have to wait for the test to cycle out and a new one to be posted, much of the basics will still be the same. The obstacle we all face is fear and money, don’t be afraid to fail you can try several times.


Good luck

Peter N

Dec 14, 12 3:01 pm

@Peter Normand, I like the way you do business!! on another note, why isnt there a "like" button, tab, link, icon,etc.

Dec 14, 12 4:26 pm

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