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Becoming an Architect

We all need places to live, work, play, shop and eat - and it wouldn't be possible without the work of architects. If you're interested in watching your ideas turn into buildings, then read on to find out how to become an architect!

Architects - What Do Architects Do?

Architects design homes, office buildings, schools, hospitals, sports arenas, shopping malls and so much more. Although the appearance of these buildings are important, architects need to consider other factors, like building costs and function, and make sure they pass three tests.

  • The building must be safe for people to use.
  • The building must serve the purpose for which it was designed for.
  • The building must be pleasing to the senses.

In order to design such a building, you'll need to get educated in the liberal arts and sciences.

Architects - How Can I Become an Architect?

Since architecture is the art AND science of building design, you need to take a variety of courses in high school, like English, history, business, computer science, physics, math (geometry, trigonometry, algebra and calculus) and art (drawing, painting, sculpture and photography).

Once you graduate from high school, you need to earn a professional degree at an architectural school that's recognized by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Then you'll have to gain practical work experience by working under a licensed architect, work as an intern in the Intern Development Program (IDP), take and pass a national exam called the ARE, and apply for a certificate issued by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), which allows you to practice architecture in both the US and Canada. That's quite a mouthful, but getting past all those steps will have you on your way to a rewarding (and well-paying) career!

Architects - Did U Know?

  • Architects can earn anywhere from $35,000 to $93,000 US.
  • More than 1 in 5 architects are self-employed.
  • In North America, the initials RA designate a registered or licensed architect.
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What Would You Like to Design?

  • Skyscrapers.
  • Sports arenas.
  • Airports.
  • Shopping malls.

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