Q: How long does it take to become an architect? A: 16,000 hours of education and on the job training - minimum.
Clients sometimes wonder why they should hire an architect, and what sort of education and experience are required to earn the title.
First, a little background: The title "Architect" can only be used in the united states by someone that has passed a licensing exam that is the most comprehensive and difficult of any professional exam in America. Just to qualify for the exam requires at least 5 years of college education to gain a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree, and 8 years to get a Master's Degree. After that, a minimum of 3 years (6,000 hours) of professional experience is required, as well as passing a battery of tests known as the A.R.E, which consists of 7 divisions, for a total of 33.5 hours of testing. That is almost a week of testing! Pass rates for each of these individual sections range between 60% and 75%, making them among the most difficult of any professional exam.
...and until recently in in California, there was a supplemental oral exam with a pass rate of less than 50%
The upshot is that when hiring a licensed Architect, you are assured you are hiring someone who committed a minimum of 8 years of intensive study, work experience and test taking to earn that title.