What Degrees Do You Need For Architecture


Architecture is a rewarding career path that involves the designing, planning and creating of the physical and virtual world. A professional in this field must possess creativity, technical and communication skills, as well as a certain level of education. Although many architects come from a wide range of educational paths, the most commonly accepted educational qualifications for becoming an architect include a Bachelor of Architecture Degree, a Master of Architecture Degree, and/or some type of architectural registration. This article will discuss the necessary degrees for an individual to pursue a career in architecture and provide a deeper understanding into this popular profession.

Bachelor of Architecture Degree

The Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) is the minimum requirement for pursuing an architecture-related career in the United States. This typically 5-year degree program involves a range of courses that teach architecture history, design and construction techniques, material science, construction law, and engineering. Upon completing the B.Arch Degree, the individual is required to obtain a certification from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) in order to practice architecture in the United States. The NCARB certification requires the individual to have a minimum understanding of architecture code and regulation, as well as experience working with a licensed architect.

Master of Architecture Degree

The Master of Architecture (M.Arch) is for those who are interested in pursuing a higher level of education in architecture. This 2-year degree program builds upon the B.Arch Degree by introducing additional skills and knowledge in intricate architecture design, construction, and management. An M.Arch Degree equips the individual with advanced design and technical skills, as well as experience in leading the design process. In addition, having an M.Arch may give the individual access to higher-paying jobs within the architecture field.

Architectural Registration

Architectural registration is a formal process that entails passing a set of exams and obtaining a state-issued architectural license. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) offers several criterion pathways to obtain architectural registration. This can include the Intern Development Program (IDP) or the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Having architectural registration allows an individual to gain skills and knowledge that will help prepare them for work in architecture, as well as be eligible for higher paying positions.

Additional Qualifications for Architects

In addition to the conventional educational qualifications for becoming an architect, many firms and organizations require a portfolio of work from applicants. This portfolio highlights the applicant’s best projects that demonstrate their skills in architecture design and construction. Firms and organizations may also require applicants to have a certain experience level, as this ensures that the applicant has the necessary background and knowledge for the architect position.

Advantage of Having an Architecture Degree

Having a degree in architecture is advantageous for many reasons. It allows an individual to specialize in certain aspects of architecture, such as design, construction, or historic preservation. Furthermore, having a degree in architecture can help the individual obtain higher paying jobs, as many employers look for individuals who have higher levels of education to manage their projects. Last, having a degree in architecture can help the individual gain the necessary skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field.

Advancement Opportunities For Architects

After the initial qualification requirements are fulfilled, there are plenty of opportunities for advancement in the architecture field. Some of the common routes of advancement include becoming an architectural engineer, working on public projects, and obtaining a master’s degree in architecture. Working on public projects is a great way for architects to gain experience in management and leadership, as well as develop their technical skills in architecture. A master’s degree in architecture is an invaluable tool as it provides the tools for the individual to become an expert in the field.

Pros and Cons of Pursuing an Architecture Degree

Pursuing an architecture degree requires plenty of time and money, so the individual must weigh the pros and cons of the investment before making a decision. On the one hand, having a degree in architecture opens up career opportunities that may not be available to those without a degree. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that having a degree in architecture will lead to success, as there are no guarantees in the architecture field. It also takes a lot of dedication and hard work to obtain a degree in architecture, so it is important to consider the individual’s lifestyle prior to deciding to pursue an architecture degree.

Job Prospects for an Architect

The job prospects for architects are promising, as architects are in high demand in the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for architects is projected to grow by over 8% from 2018 to 2028, which is higher than most other occupations. Architects have the potential to make a substantial income, with the median annual wage being over $80,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Furthermore, the job prospects for architects continue to grow as technology has enabled firms to pursue more projects and take on more clients, which means that architects are needed for their services.

Advice for Aspiring Architects

Aspiring architects should create a plan and timeline for becoming an architect. Although the typical educational qualifications for architecture are a B.Arch and a M.Arch, there are alternative education paths to pursue an architecture-related career. For example, an individual may pursue a substantial amount of academic coursework prior to becoming an architect or they may choose to become a chef or join the military. Additionally, having a degree in a related field, such as engineering or mathematics, may give the individual a competitive edge in the architecture field.

Importance of Networking for Architects

Networking is an important part of the architecture profession, as it helps the individual establish connections with potential employers and mentors. Networking also allows architects to gain access to new opportunities and learn about different aspects of the architecture field. In order to grow a successful network of contacts, the individual must invest time, effort, and dedication into building relationships with individuals in the industry. Furthermore, networking is an essential tool for an architect to establish and maintain a successful career in the architecture field.

Gaining Experience in the Architecture Field

Gaining experience in the architecture field is an invaluable asset, as it provides the individual with a range of skills and knowledge that are needed for success. One common way to obtain experience in the field of architecture is to work for a firm or organization. Working for a firm allows the individual to obtain experience and knowledge of the technical aspects of the architecture field, as well as learn from the firm’s history and standards. Additionally, interning for a firm is a great way for architects to gain experience and insight into the profession.


The necessary qualifications for an individual to become an architect vary from country to country and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However, a general understanding is that the most commonly accepted educational qualifications for becoming an architect include a Bachelor of Architecture Degree, a Master of Architecture Degree, and/or some type of architectural registration. It is important to note that other qualifications, such as a portfolio of work, may be necessary for certain firms and organizations. Above all, having a degree in architecture is a worthwhile investment as it provides the individual with the necessary skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the architecture field.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

Leave a Comment