NCARB: Record number of aspiring architects on path toward licensure

More than 37,170 design professionals either reported hours through the Intern Development Program or tested for the Architect Registration Examination last year, according to a new NCARB report.

July 09, 2015 |
NCARB: Record number of aspiring architects on path toward licensure

The 37,178 aspiring architects who were testing and/or reporting hours in 2014 was the highest to date. The previous record high was 33,030 in 2009.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) released the 2015 edition of NCARB by the Numbers, a yearly report about the path to licensure. The redesigned publication is available for free download at

The latest NCARB data reveals a number of positive trends relating to both the future of the architectural community and NCARB’s regulatory and licensing efforts.

“The architect profession is healthy and growing,” said NCARB CEO Michael Armstrong. “The report’s findings also help validate the efforts of NCARB and its licensing board members to open doors of opportunity for qualified people in the architecture profession without sacrificing the rigor needed to ensure public health, safety, and welfare.”

The report’s findings indicate progress in several key areas:

• A record high of 37,178 aspiring architects either reporting hours through the Intern Development Program (IDP) or testing for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).

• 107,581 licensed architects reported by the 54 U.S. licensing boards, a 3% increase since 2011.

• The average age of an architect upon initial licensure fell to 33.3 in 2014, shaving off 2.7 years since 2008.

• Racial and ethnic minorities made up 41% of the aspiring architect talent pool in 2014, compared to 22% in 2007.

• Women made up 38% of aspiring architects who completed the IDP in 2014, compared to 25% in 2000.

• Women also accounted for 35% of candidates who completed the ARE last year, a percentage that has nearly doubled since 2000.

Program changes, as well as NCARB’s renewed focus on providing guidance and clear communications to emerging professionals, have played a big part in improved performance metrics, said NCARB 2014-15 President Dale McKinney, FAIA, NCARB. “NCARB’s 2014 data finds that the growing number of female aspiring architects, combined with those from racial and ethnic minority groups, indicates the future architect workforce should be more diverse.”

Download the full report at:

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