How to Become an Architect in 3 Steps

Updated May 9, 2024
4 minutes
How to become an architect

Becoming an architect involves several stages of education and training, designed to equip you with the necessary skills and qualifications to succeed. In our guide, we have provided three of the most important steps for potential architects. You don’t know how to start? Get to know that with us.

Step 1: Educational Requirements for Architects

The first step on your path to becoming an architect is to obtain the right educational qualifications. Typically, this begins with completing a recognized architect course.

Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture (Part 1)

An aspiring architect must first enrol in a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Architecture. This undergraduate program, which generally lasts three years, provides the fundamental skills and knowledge essential for the field. The course covers various subjects such as design, history of architecture, technology in architecture, and environmental science.

Master’s Degree in Architecture (Part 2)

Following your undergraduate degree, the next step is to pursue a Master’s degree in Architecture, which is required to advance in your training. This two-year program builds on the knowledge from the bachelor’s degree and delves deeper into complex design and technical issues. It’s crucial for developing a more sophisticated understanding of architecture and prepares you for professional practice. It can assure you a better place of employment.

Step 2: Practical Experience

To become an architect, practical experience is as crucial as academic qualifications. In the UK, you need to complete a minimum of 24 months of practical experience under the supervision of a professional architect. This is often split into two phases: 12 months before starting the Master’s program and 12 months after completing it. This stage helps bridge the gap between academic studies and real-world architectural practice, allowing you to apply your theoretical knowledge in practical settings.

Step 3: Professional Examinations

After completing your degrees and gaining the required practical experience, the next step is to pass the Part 3 exam. This examination assesses your professional practice knowledge and is a critical step in obtaining your license to practice architecture independently in the UK.

The Part 3 exam includes an assessment of your practical experience, a written examination, and an oral interview. Successfully passing this exam grants you the title of Architect and makes you eligible for registration with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and membership in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Desired Skills of an Architect

  • Design Skills: A strong ability to conceptualize and visualize space creatively and efficiently, including an understanding of architectural principles and aesthetics.
  • Technical Proficiency: Knowledge of industry-specific software such as AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, and BIM (Building Information Modeling), which are crucial for drafting and modelling projects.
  • Mathematical Ability: Competence in geometry, algebra, and trigonometry, which are necessary for calculating dimensions, volumes, and loads.
  • Project Management: Skills in overseeing projects from conception through to completion, managing timelines, budgets, and resources effectively.
  • Communication: Excellent oral and written communication abilities to articulate design ideas clearly to clients and work collaboratively with engineers, contractors, and other stakeholders.
  • Problem-Solving: Capacity to identify problems and devise effective solutions quickly, especially during the construction phase of a project.
  • Legal Knowledge: Understanding of planning permissions, building regulations, and contract law within the context of construction.
  • Sustainability Awareness: Commitment to designing buildings that are environmentally sustainable and efficient, with an understanding of green building practices and certifications such as LEED.
  • Attention to Detail: Precision and care in designing and specifying various elements of a building, ensuring both functionality and aesthetic quality.
  • Adaptability: Ability to adapt to new technologies, methodologies, and shifts in client needs and industry trends.

Continuing Professional Development

Once you become a qualified architect, the learning doesn’t stop. The field of architecture is continually evolving with new technologies, materials, and environmental considerations. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is required to keep up with these changes and maintain your registration as an architect. CPD can include attending workshops, seminars, and conferences, as well as undertaking further studies.

Key Takeaways

Becoming an architect requires a creative talent, technical knowledge, and a commitment to lifelong learning. The qualifications for architecture in the UK are rigorous, ensuring that professionals are well-prepared to meet the challenges of the industry. If you are passionate about designing and building environments that influence how people live and interact, then a career in architecture might be the right path for you. is here for you when looking for a new employer. Start your career in architecture with us!