The architecture profession continues to grow along with a gradually recovering economy, based on the results of the 2014 Survey of Architectural Registration Boards, conducted by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
The 2014 survey of U.S. jurisdictions indicates that there are 107,581 architects in the United States, a 1.6 percent increase from 2013. The number of architects has grown 3.1 percent since 2011.
“Our survey documents an architecture profession that is thriving,” said Michael J. Armstrong, CEO of NCARB. “NCARB will continue to spearhead changes in architectural licensing standards to support a growing architecture industry.”
Recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data also points to growing opportunities for architects in the American economy. Architectural and engineering services added 5,000 new jobs in September and 2,900 new jobs in October.
All states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands require individuals to be licensed (registered) before they may call themselves architects or contract to provide architectural services. Data collected for the fall 2014 Survey of Registration Boards are from all 54 U.S. jurisdictions and reflect registration levels from July 2013 through June 2014.
To become licensed, most jurisdictions require a professional degree in architecture and completion of an internship program. NCARB’s Intern Development Program (IDP) is a comprehensive program to provide interns with the knowledge and skills needed to practice architecture. All jurisdictions require completion of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). Most states also require continuing education to maintain a license.
NCARB assists registration boards by leading the development and application of licensing standards and the credentialing of architects. The NCARB Certificate program is a program that allows architects to expedite reciprocity – the ability to offer architectural services in different jurisdictions after earning an initial license.
As part of the survey report, NCARB also compiles its own data on the number of reciprocal licenses earned each year, reporting 119,200 reciprocal licenses in 2014. That is down slightly—about 2 percent—from the previous year. “As the economy improves, NCARB suspects that many architects are finding new projects close to home without having to go to other jurisdictions,” Armstrong said. “We’ll keep an eye on this indicator as the economy moves forward.”
In total, the NCARB 2014 Survey reports that the 107,581 architects hold 226,181 licenses nationally. California reported the highest number of resident architects, at 16,618 total professionals, as well as the highest number of total registrations (resident plus reciprocal licenses) at 20,595.