The steps for aspiring architects in Michigan to becoming a licensed architect in ARE pretty daunting. First, you have to probably take some art classes in high school and build up a little portfolio to help you apply to colleges, although this isn’t really a deal breaker, It will help with admission and possibly a greater scholarship.

The architecture colleges you apply to have to be accredited by NCARB in order for the degrees to even qualify you to become a licensed architect. Although, some people do not have the dream of being licensed, but overall you will get a much better design education at an accredited university rather than a non accredited university. So once you find those specific universities, you’ll either have to do a four year bachelors of science in architecture degree or maybe you can find a university that still offers a bachelors of architecture, which is a five year professional degree. And the difference between those two is that a bachelor’s of science in architecture is not a professional degree. So after that you need a master’s degree, which is a professional degree. You need a professional degree in order to get licensed in the state of Michigan at least. All Architects in Michigan have a professional degree and have taken all steps to get licensed.

If you get a bachelors of architecture, which is a five year degree, you can use that and you will not need a master’s degree in order to get licensed. So that is four years for your bachelors, plus at least two for your masters, depending on if you’re working at a firm or what kind of time you have to put into those classes. After all of your schooling is finally done, you can start working at a firm and gaining experience hours. In the state of Michigan, you need 3740 hours of working under a licensed architect to qualify to become a licensed architect. These categories of experience, there’s six of them; Practice Management, Project Management, Programing and Analysis, Project Planning and Design, Project Development and Documentation, and Construction and Evaluation. You have to get a specific amount of hours in each of those categories so they can make sure you are well rounded in what kind of experience you’re getting. Basically to make sure you’re not just doing red lines all day every day for over 3500 hours. And then you say, okay, I’m fine to become a licensed architect with little experience of being onsite and watching construction or managing projects or designing. So once you get your hours, you are, so when you have your degree, your professional degree and you also have your hours. The only thing left is to take the architecture registration exam, the ARE. Any Architects in Michigan have completed hours similar to these, although if they have been licensed for many years, they would not have gone through this same process to be licensed.

Aspiring architects in Michigan will take the ARE 5.0, it six exams that you will have to pass in order to get your license and you don’t have to do each of these things in the order of school then experience hours, then testing, they’ve actually have become very relaxed in their timeline.  You can get your experience hours while you’re in school, you can take your are exams before you are done with your hours and before you’re done with your masters degree. These six exams are pretty difficult to pass with a pass rate close to 50% on average between them all. These 6 exams are in each of the 6 categories for the experience hours needed to be licensed, so not only are you being tested on the information from those 6, NCARB makes sure you have the right about of real world experience in those same categories. Some people have taken the exams very quickly all at once, while most people take a month or 2 to study for each exam separately. If you fail an exam, you must wait 60 days until you can retake it. There are testing centers all over the state for aspiring architects in Michigan. You will pay $210.00 per test, even if you fail it. You can schedule pretty flexibly, there are a lot of times open every month. Advice from many people testing tell you that you need to schedule an exam if you want to get started, since that will give you a deadline. Once you start testing, you have 5 years to complete them all and get your license. Many architects in MI have gone through prior iterations of this test, the ARE 5.0 is the current version.

And even now, there are program’s called IPal that are an integrated path to licensing while you’re going through your formal education. These programs are becoming very popular at these accredited universities because they will help you get licensed pretty much on your graduation day. So you’ll take your ARE tests while you’re still in school you’ll gain experience hours while you’re in school. Maybe by working for doing a worker work comp program in order to get those hours, but you’ll be able to start it pretty early in your schooling. So it’s really beneficial for the timeline of licensure because as of now, it takes an average of about 12 years for architecture students to get licensed from the beginning of their freshman year in college to passing all six exams and receiving their license.

So it does take a lengthy amount of time to become a licensed architect. But the reason that it is such a vigorous program is because you’re designing these spaces and you’re responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of the communities that you design for. And as architects in Michigan, we have to understand what kind of liability we have as architects and we have to protect people from bad buildings and structural mistakes and elements of that nature. So you can be confident that the licensed architect that you hire, is going to be very well versed in the whole profession when they are working on your project.