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Architecture Certification

It’s not necessary for an architect to become certified, however, certification does help becoming licensed easier in all jurisdictions. There are a growing number of architects who are voluntarily becoming certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, or NCARB. Certification is the primary requirement for reciprocity of licensing among State Boards that are NCARB members, and as of 2009, 1/3 of all licensed-architects had this certification.

The certification facilitates reciprocal registration among all 54 NCARB Member Boards, 11 Canadian jurisdictions, as well as a factor when registering in other countries. Being certified does not qualify an architect to practice architecture in any jurisdiction. Instead, it sends the message that you as an individual have met the highest professional standards established by the registration boards that are responsible for protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Advantages of Certification

There are many benefits and advantages to being certified, such as:

  • Discounts on continuing education fees
  • Allows you to use the NCARB acronym after your name
  • Gives you a competitive edge
  • Allows you to take advantage of business opportunities in other jurisdictions

Certification Requirements

To get certified, you must prove that you have met the strictest standards of eligibility for licensure. The NCARB Certificate says just that. The requirements set for NCARB certification are:

  • Earn a professional degree from a NAAB-accredited or CACB-accredited program
  • Complete the Intern Development Program (IDP) training requirements
  • Pass all

    divisions of the Architecture Registration Exam (ARE)

  • Receive a license to practice from one of the state registration boards

Certification Costs and Fees

Below is a list of the different costs and fees of associated with certification, as well as a brief summary to describe they type of fee.

Certificate Application Fee: $675. This fee covers one year of NCARB services to compile your NCARB Record and verify your credentials. Once approved, this fee maintains your Certificate Record in active status for one year.

Supplemental Application Fee: $100-$500. If you need to reactivate your Record while pursuing certification and are a former IDP Record holder, a $100 fee is set for each year or fraction of a year, from the date your Record expired to a maximum of $500. Reactivation done through the supplemental application process, also requires a $175 Certificate fee upon approval.

Annual Certificate Renewal: $190. This fee is paid annually to keep your Certificate in active status.

Annual (non-certified) Renewal: $190. This fee is charged annually to architects who do not qualify for the Certificate, yet wish to maintain their NCARB Record in good standing.

Transmittal: $300. Each time you need to transmit your NCARB Record to a U.S. registration board, Canadian provincial association, or foreign regulatory authority, this fee is assessed.

Reactivation: $225. If you have lapsed for non-payment of renewal fees, this fee is assessed for reactivation. In addition, all unpaid annual renewal fees and other outstanding fees must be paid before a Certificate Record can be reactivated.

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