The National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s (NCARB’s) annual report provides new insights into the makeup of candidates and metrics relating to the pursuit of architectural licensure.
The 2019 NCARB by the Numbers reveals updates on the number of U.S. architects, the time it takes to earn a license, diversity in the profession, analysis on attrition along the path to licensure, and a look-back at historical data celebrating the organization’s 100-year history.
For the first time, the report includes data—gathered in partnership with Benenson Strategy Group—exploring the public perception of licensure and regulation.
Key findings include several record-setting or near-record statistics:
- last year, nearly 5000 candidates completed their core licensure requirements, slightly fewer than in 2017 but still higher than almost any other year on record;
- for the first time, over half of newly licensed architects started their NCARB Record while in school;
- nearly 5000 candidates completed the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) last year, the second highest number on record;
- gender equity improved along most career stages, women now make up 50 percent of candidates beginning the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), the first time equity has been seen at any career stage;
- diversity continues to improve along early career stages, 46 percent of new AXP candidates and 35 percent of new ARE candidates now identify as non-white;
- historic differences in attrition between men and women have disappeared since 2012—men and women now remain on the path to licensure at equal rates;
- non-white candidates are at least 25 percent more likely to stop pursuing licensure than white candidates;
- more than 6000 licensure candidates completed the AXP in 2018, a drop, but still above the decade’s average of 5290;
- on average, candidates take 4.2 years to complete the AXP;
- sixty-three percent of candidates overlap their experience and exams;
- on average, it takes 12.8 years to complete the core licensure requirements, which include earning a degree, completing the experience program, and passing the ARE;
- in 2018, there were 115,316 architects in the United States, a two percent increase from 2017; and
- over a 10-year period, three out of every five candidates stay on the path to licensure.
The Benenson survey on public perception of licensure and regulation involved nearly 1000 registered voters. Participants revealed 76 percent of the public agree professional licensing makes consumers feel safe, and 88 percent believe architects should be regulated.