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Architecture Career Path: A Framework for Your Career Transition

Are you a recent grad looking to build your career path and journey right on to success? Well, it takes more than earning a degree to excel in the architecture field. We have you covered with the steps you need to build a solid career path and prepare to become a successful, registered architect

Building a Successful Career in Architecture

Step 1: Build a Compelling Portfolio

You worked hard to earn your degree, so you probably have some great projects you created along the way. Impress your prospective employer by featuring your best projects  in a sharp,attractive portfolio. 

If you still feel like you could use more material, consider other projects and revisit them. You can always adjust previous work to make it look just as refined and professional as the rest of your portfolio-worthy projects. In the end, always choose quality over quantity.

Step 2: Focus on Networking

Don’t underestimate the power of networking when seeking career guidance for architecture. The more people you know in the field, the more doors may open for you. Consider joining the American Institute of Architects (AIA). You get free membership for up to 18 months with the “associate new graduates” membership, so it’s a great idea to take advantage of this opportunity to get to know more people in the field.

You can also connect with your local architecture community and find a mentor who will provide support and guidance on your architecture career path. And of course, by joining the Black Spectacle’s ARE Community, you will surround yourself with like-minded budding architects and seasoned professionals to support you along the way.

Step 3: Gain Work Experience

Not sure how to get the architecture job of your dreams? Join a reputable firm and work alongside experienced architects. 

Firms are always looking for new talent, and being an intern will not only get you first-hand experience, but also provides a stepping stone for future career opportunities and advancement.

While you’re working at a firm, you can start studying for the ARE 5.0 and aim to get licensed. Look for a firm that is supportive of new grads — some might even pay for your test prep membership to encourage licensure. 

Step 4: Acquire Your Skills

To broaden your architecture career path, you’ll want to stay on top of tech advancements. By learning the latest software, you can become an indispensable asset to your company. 

Black Spectacles offers Software Learning Programs that give you access to VideoTutorials led by practicing architects from some of the most prestigious firms around the world.

Step 5: Earn a Master’s Degree

The architecture field is competitive. Stand out from the crowd by earning your Master of Architecture (M. Arch) and staying on top of new developments in the field. Make sure you know the requirements for licensure so you can plan well ahead of time. 

Check your jurisdiction for state-by-state eligibility requirements, because most states require a degree plus other qualifications in order to become a practicing architect. In most states, it’s required that you have a professional degree from a NAAB-accredited program and have passed the Architect Registration Exam (ARE) to even register for licensure. Earning your master’s degree will give you extra experience and knowledge so you can tackle prepping for the ARE with confidence.

Step 6: Pass the ARE Exam and Get Licensed

Passing the ARE 5.0 is required in every state. Before you can test, you must meet your state requirements and then register to qualify for the ARE. The steps you need to take to register are pretty straightforward, but what about actually passing the ARE? 

You need test prep material that is current and designed to help you every step of the way. Consider an online test prep membership that  helps you stay on track and organized while you prepare for licensure.

Step 7: Explore Career Paths

You know the steps it takes to be an architect, but success comes with knowing your options. 

There are many career path options available to a licensed architect such as:

  • Associate at a successful firm.
  • Project Manager.
  • Project Head Architect.
  • Principal of a firm.

And, just because you choose one path, doesn’t mean other paths aren’t options for you in the future. Focus on evaluating your skill sets and deciding what career path would be meaningful and rewarding for you.

Ready To Work Towards Your Goals?

Now that your career path is mapped out, it’s time to be proactive and get started on your journey. Black Spectacles Online Test Prep provides all the tools you need to pass the ARE exam. Take control of your architecture career path by getting started on your ARE test prep. Choose the right plan for you.

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