Architects are professionals who plan out, design and supervise the construction of buildings and other structures. These individuals, through a rich course of study, have a flair for design and provide their clients with expert professional opinions on aesthetical and technical aspects of proposed landscapes and structures. Architecture degrees are a viable option for individuals who wish to pursue a career as architects.
Students interested in the field of architecture usually obtain their professional degree from a program that is recognized by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), the sole agency in the US which is authorized to accredit professional degree programs. The NAAB recognizes three different types of architecture degrees; the Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.), the Master of Architecture (M.Arch.), and the Doctor of Architecture (D.Arch.).
The Bachelor of Architecture degree is usually a 5 year program. A bachelor's degree is essentially targeted at those students who have no previous architectural training. The courses studied in this program generally focus on:
Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD),
Structural and other environmental control systems
Different types of technology,
Quantification and planning theories
The specific curriculum for each degree varies for each school and their program. The B.Arch. program offers a comprehensive preparation for students who want to pursue careers as practicing architects. It also provides excellent preparation for those aspiring to enter related design fields. With a Bachelor of Architecture degree and a suitable internship experience, students may become eligible to apply for the professional state licensing examination and ensuing registration as architects.
Many accredited institutions also offer online bachelor's degrees in architecture. Online degrees could be more cost effective and convenient in that students could choose their own pace and study at their own convenience. The Master of Architecture degree could be completed anywhere between one to five years. The duration is dependent upon previous education, experience, and type of porgram.
All states require architects to be licensed. The licensing requirements generally include having an accredited degree in architecture, gaining all the necessary experience through a paid internship (many boards require at least 3 years of experience), and passing the Architect Registration Exam.
To keep architects up to date with the current developments in their field, many states also require architects to participate in some form of continuing education to keep a license. The general requirements vary by state, but usually comprise of additional education through self-study, continuing university classes, and by attending workshops and conferences.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment rate for architects is predicted to grow by 17 percent from 2012 to 2022, a rate that is faster than the average of all other occupations. With eco-friendly initiatives taking strong root among many organizations, an increase in demand is specifically projected for architects who have knowledge of green design, also called sustainable design. With regard to the pay, the median annual wage for architects was reported to be at $73,090 in May 2012, according to the BLS.