How to Become an Architect

The path to a profession in architecture often begins when you’re just a child.

  • Are you fascinated by how things are put together?
  • Do you notice amazing buildings and unique architectural elements?
  • Do you love to draw, create, design, or build?
  • Do you think in three dimensions?

You may already be on your journey to becoming an architect!

Just what does an architect do?

Architects are professionals trained and licensed to design the spaces that people want, need and inhabit every day. They are creative, analytical, curious, imaginative, artistic, and mathematical. Architecture is a collaborative profession. You’ll work with a team of other professionals to plan, design and bring your vision into reality. Along the way, you’ll use the latest tools and technologies to get the job done. Architecture blends art and science to create spaces where people live, work, play, learn, worship, meet, govern, shop, and travel: public spaces and private places; indoors and outdoors; in neighborhoods, towns, suburbs, and cities.

Architecture is a passion, a mission, a calling…a career.

The steps along the way

1. Education

To become an architect you must first earn an accredited degree – a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch), Master of Architecture (MArch), or a Doctor of Architecture (DArch). This is where you will gain the skills required to creatively design built environments while learning how to protect the public health, safety and welfare. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) is the sole agency authorized to accredit US professional degree programs in architecture. You can find their complete list of accredited programs here: NAAB

What can you do immediately? Buy a sketchbook, examine your environments, practice drawing, visit an architectural office, shadow an architect, and travel.

New Hampshire Schools with programs in architecture

New England Architecture Degree Programs

Small scholarship programs for New Hampshire residents are available through the AIANH-NH Architecture Foundation Scholarship program and from PlanNH.

2. Internship

Before you can become a licensed architect you are required to have a certain amount of practice experience under the supervision of a licensed architect. This is monitored through the Intern Development Program (IDP).  After you have met the requirements of the IDP you may then sit for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). You can find more information regarding the IDP and the ARE here: There are many other valuable resources relating to this phase of your career, including and NCARB.

3. Registration

Each State or jurisdiction sets its own requirements for the initial registration, examination and practice of architecture. In New Hampshire, the Joint Board of  Registration is responsible for professional boards, including the practice of architecture. It is advisable to always check with the individual board to verify registration and practice requirements.

Those interested in learning more about New Hampshire requirements should visit the NH Joint Board of Registration. This site contains links to application forms and publications, important announcements and online services. There is also a link to renew your state license online. Renewal for New Hampshire architects is biennial. The renewal period begins 60 days prior to your license expiration date. For information on architecture registration requirements for states other than New Hampshire, NCARB provides links to registration boards in all NCARB jurisdictions.

For more on exploring a career in architecture, go to