Intern Time Table


I realize that this is very broad, so I think it's best if personal experience is shared, however, what is the appropriate amount of time to work as an Intern?  How will a boss know when to promote an Intern to the next level, or how will an Intern know when they've maxed out their experience gained and need to pursue the next level?

May 20, 13 1:05 pm

The simplest answer to your question is that you will be an intern until you are licensed. However, some here will take strong exception to that statement.  How long it takes you to become licensed is, to a great extent, up to you.

May 20, 13 2:33 pm

About 6-8 years from graduation to getting a license. People are about 37, on average, when they get an optional NCARB certificate. 

On average that ends up being 5 years of college, then another 8 years of internment. A rough number would be 13 to 14 years. You can do it sooner by working through college however, the trouble for most is in getting the required hours in the right internship work experience categories. During most of the internship you are hired for a specific employment position which results in one being excluded from the other areas of practice.

It wasn't always like that. The baby boomers could get out of high school and take the license exams. It was that short and easy because architects were drawing rectangles and making notes that said drywall and stucco. In some states it is still that way but probably not for long. 

Sources -

May 20, 13 3:02 pm

Idp is a set up for a life of poverty and debt.  It is a paranoid over regulated crock of shit thats only purpose is to elevate a title that has lost it's  legitimacy because of failed leadership. It is completely based on fake fears that have no basis In reality.  The goal is to limit competition and discourage or prolong entrepreneurship.  To accept this fate of servitude is more than foolish.  

May 20, 13 4:44 pm

while everyone above is correct in the definition of an "intern" in terms of IDP and NCARB, i think your question is more along the lines of the title and position of an "intern" at a firm as opposed to the definition according to NCARB.

in that case, you are an intern as long as you choose to keep yourself in that position. there are firms that hire recent grads and called them "project designers" and offer them a decent salary and benefits. other firms hire "interns" and only give them measly stipends with no promotion in sight. then there are firms who hire "interns" and will promote them to "junior architect" after a period of time, as short as 6 months to as long as 2 years. 

there are a variety of titles you can earn without ever earning your architectural license. each firm is different and you need to talk to your firm about your position and any possible promotions.

May 20, 13 7:04 pm


This is your corporate ladder with the years required for each promotion. 

May 20, 13 9:40 pm

great info everyone!  and thank you @petitcomments and @Adam J. French, that was more of what I was hinting at.  I had a notion, but sometimes it's better to have something confirmed or at least brought into from another perspective.

I'm very relaxed and easy going... but that's not to be confused with lazy or non-motivated.  I just know my current status and instead of bothering someone weekly, I'd rather churn out work, give myself a body of experience and knowledge, and then re-address the issue later when it can be taken more seriously

May 21, 13 10:44 am

It helps to know what the career path outline looks like. Note there is no Job Captain anywhere on the AIA career path document and it won't be a term you will see on your exams. You may be dubious if you see that as a job description as it is an insidious moniker. Since you asked what the next step is, you can now see a little better as to which steps will take you in the direction you need to go. There will be days when you probably will see things the way jla-x does. Most of us have moments like that and how you manage to make it through the good times and the bad is a challenge. There are bad days and then there are the days when you are on site and you see the building you had on paper getting built - which is awesome. Its not all sunshine and unicorns but there are some good times to take with the occasional drizzle of misery.   

May 21, 13 2:55 pm

@Adam J. French, thanks for that info. I am searching about the meaning of a "JOB CAPTAIN"  and haven't seen it on the pdf file. is this title legitimate? because some of my friends have this tittle in their first job after graduation. 

May 26, 13 5:06 am


Now that is a captain.  

May 27, 13 5:14 pm

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