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Who Licenses the Licensors?
by Katy Purviance on 02/21/10 @ 03:17:50 pm
Categories: Articles | 892 words | 3846 views

I was just reading this article by Perry Marshall about how the American Education system turns people into obedient drones to service a planned economy. That’s the short version. If you want the long version, you should read everything by John Taylor Gatto. You should read the works of John Holt, too, while you’re at it.

Something about what Perry Marshall wrote made me think of the licensing process for becoming, technically, legally, an “architect.”

Lee Milteer, who is a professional speaker and coach, was asked to speak at a conference of certified professional trainers. When she told them she charges $250 per hour for her personal coaching services, they were outraged. “You have no right to charge $250 per hour! Certified Professional Trainers are only supposed to charge $85 per hour. And you’re not even certified!”

Lee replied “Who says I have to be certified? And who says what I should be able to charge? And who certified the people who are handing out the certifications?”
That really made them mad.

Most people don’t realize that they’re living in an artificially constructed world in which the only reason others have power over them is that they allow them to have the power. Most of the people who certify you are actually your competitors. It’s their job to impede your progress. Stop giving them permission.

You do not wait for someone else to tell you it’s OK to be an expert, or innovate, or claim a title, or dispense advise. You just do it – and you let the laws of supply and demand take care of the rest.

If you have this idea in your head that you need to wait for someone’s permission, you need to re-examine your assumptions, and the education that formed those assumptions.

You can find this in a 15-page PDF, downloadable here.

If you’re not ar architect, or an architecture student, here is what you currently must do in order to legally call yourself an architect:

Architects must be licensed before they can practice architecture as or call themselves an architect.

There are four main steps to becoming an architect.

Education
In most states, to become licensed, candidates must earn a professional degree in architecture from one of the more than 100 schools of architecture that have degree programs accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). However, each state architectural registration board sets its own standards, so graduation from a non-accredited program may meet the educational requirement for licensing in a few states.

Three types of professional degrees in architecture are available:

Bachelor of Architecture: Accredited degree programs awarding the B. Arch. degree must require a minimum of 150 semester credit hours, or the quarter-hour equivalent, in academic coursework in professional studies and electives.

Master of Architecture: Accredited degree programs awarding the M. Arch. degree must require a minimum of 168 semester credit hours, or the quarter-hour 10 equivalent, of which 30 semester credit hours, or the quarter-hour equivalent, must be at the graduate level, in academic coursework in professional studies and electives.

Doctor of Architecture: Accredited degree programs awarding the D. Arch. degree must require either an undergraduate baccalaureate degree or a minimum of 120 undergraduate semester credit hours, or the undergraduate-level quarterhour equivalent, and a minimum of 90 graduate-level semester credit hours, or the graduate-level quarter-hour equivalent, in academic coursework in professional studies and electives.

Internship
Most state architectural registration boards require architecture graduates to complete an internship in order to become licensed. The Intern Development Program (IDP) is a comprehensive training program created to ensure that interns in the architecture profession gain the knowledge and skills required for the independent practice of architecture.

Most new graduates complete their training period by working as interns at architectural firms. Interns in architectural firms may assist in the design of one part of a project, help prepare architectural documents or drawings, build models, or prepare construction drawings on CADD. Interns also may research building codes and materials or write specifications for building materials, installation criteria, the quality of finishes, and other related details.

Examination
All 54 U.S. jurisdictions require the completion of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). The examination is broken into seven divisions consisting of multiple choice and graphical questions. The eligibility period for completion of all divisions of the exam varies by state.

Licensure
All jurisdictions require individuals to be licensed (registered) before they may call themselves architects and contract to provide architectural services. During the time between graduation and becoming licensed, architecture school graduates generally work in the field under the supervision of a licensed architect who takes legal responsibility for all work. Licensing requirements include a professional degree in architecture, a period of practical training or internship, and passing the ARE. You must contact your registration board to find out their requirements and complete the licensure process.

Before 1897, no legal definition of “architect,” nor any legal requirements concerning the use of the title or the provision of architectural services, existed. In that year, however, Illinois became the first state to adopt an architectural licensing law. It would take more than 50 years for all of the states to follow suit and adopt licensing laws. Today the AIA works in conjunction with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) to develop and recommend standards regulating the practice of architecture.

Read more about the history of the AIA

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I am starting a new kind of architecture school. Unlike most architecture schools, you wouldn't have to submit GRE scores or good grades or letters of recommendation. You wouldn't have to put the rest of your life on hold for 3 to 5 years. You wouldn't have to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt. At my architecture school, anyone could come for a few weeks and learn how to build a house with their own two hands. My teachers would take skills and concepts from some of these other workshops I've listed above... except classes would be held year-round to make it easy to fit into your schedule. I would have a number of different campuses around the country that would teach building designs appropriate to the local climate. And I need your help. Can you donate land for a campus? Can you dotate books for a library? Can you teach a workshop? Can you provide start-up capital? Let me know.

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