Becoming an Architect

Your path to becoming a licensed architect

More than 21,000 of AIA members are young professionals, and more are joining every day. AIA makes you a priority with resources to help you create your path and build your leadership skills.

The Basics in California

Each candidate’s path to licensure will likely differ depending on your education and experience. California’s examination and licensure requirements to become an architect are more flexible than most other jurisdictions.


A professional degree in architecture: a Bachelor or Master of Architecture from an accredited institution is required. There are 100+ accredited professional degree programs in the United States and Canada alone. Check the list maintained by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) to find accredited programs.


All states require that you work under a supervising architect. During this time you’ll get valuable work experience that will help you advance your career and earn credit in the AXP. NCARB offers resources to help you complete AXP.


You’ll also need to pass the ARE. It’s a multi-part exam that will test your knowledge and skills in a variety of segments within the practice of architecture. We have an ongoing study group as well as study materials for our members preparing for exams.