The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) released its annual data report, NCARB by the Numbers. The report provides insight into the number of U.S. architects, the timeline and attrition along the path to licensure, and diversity in the profession in 2017.
The report finds that the number of architects in the United States increased by 3 percent since 2016, and a record number of professionals completed the core requirements for licensure. In 2017, there were still almost 41,000 individuals actively working toward becoming a licensed architect.
Diversity continues to improve along the early career stages of the path to licensure, which on average takes 12.7 years to complete — including earning a degree, completing the experience program, and passing the ARE. However, non-white candidates are at least 25 percent more likely to stop pursuing licensure than white candidates. Over a 10-year period, less than one out of three candidates stop pursuing licensure. While diversity improved in 2017, gender equity remained relatively stable. Women accounted for 35 percent of candidates completing the core requirements, and 42 percent of the new ARE candidates. Additionally, women complete licensure requirements one year sooner than men.
For most licensure candidates, the first step towards becoming an architect is enrolling in a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The NAAB data shows that the number graduates increased by 2 percent. The overall pool of total enrollments has held steady for the past four school years at around 24,000. Additionally, the NAAB data shows that nearly half of the newly licensed architects started the path of licensure while in school. Those candidates with a degree from an accredited program progressed toward licensure more efficiently. The data indicates that those from accredited programs complete the ARE sooner and with higher pass rates.
In Texas, there is a 53 percent success rate on the ARE, compared to the 56 percent rate nationally, and a 28 percent completion rate on the AXP, which is above the national 26 percent rate. Texas residents complete the ARE in 2.1 years, slightly higher than the national average, and complete the AXP in 3.9 years, which is faster than the national average of 4.1 years.