Average pay for an Architect [Canadian Construction]

Average pay for an Architect

“My interest in architecture goes way back, ” the familiar voice begins. “There was a time when I thought I could be an architect, where I expected to be more creative than I turned out, so I had to go into politics instead.” The crowd in front of the podium laughs, and architects nationwide swoon.

So began a recent speech by Barack Obama, as he presided over the prestigious Pritzker Prize ceremony earlier this year. Smart or determined as he may be, it’s doubtful even the president understands what becoming an architect might have entailed — years of school, followed by a multi-year internship and a costly seven-part exam. With roughly a third of architecture school graduates or fewer jumping through those hoops, the president’s odds of having become an architect are even slimmer than those for his reelection.

Last month, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the little-known but powerful gatekeeper for the architecture profession, again announced changes to its postgraduate internship program, to be unveiled next spring. The program is long overdue for a revamp, if not elimination.

Over three decades old, the Intern Development Program is more an exercise in arithmetic than experience, with aspiring architects required to pay hundreds of dollars and record a staggering 5, 600 hours across various tasks. They’re asked to do so in lieu of demonstrating creativity, competence or any other attribute one would associate with their profession. The purportedly three-year program takes an average of five years to complete.

Few within the profession and fewer beyond its walls are aware of the roots or evolution of architecture’s internship requirement, first piloted in 1976 in the state of Mississippi as a roadmap to a well-rounded experience. When it debuted some 35 years ago, 15 components represented the various aspects of architectural practice; since that time only one area has been added (around community service), although the practice of architecture has expanded substantially. The program has barely evolved, yet all the while it has been adopted as a requirement for architect registration in all 50 states with virtually no alternative paths.

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