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Architects are professionals who are licensed and registered in the state in which they practice. They provide services related to the design and construction of buildings and the spaces around them, where the safeguarding of life, health, property, and public welfare is concerned. One needs to be licensed in order call yourself an architect. The pathway to becoming an architect involves four steps.

One must normally obtain a professional architecture degree to begin the pathway to becoming an architect. Each state sets its own standards however, so while some states may require a professional degree (B Arch, M Arch, or D Arch), others may accept lesser degrees.

After obtaining a degree and satisfying the internship requirement, candidates may then apply to take the Architect Registration Exam (ARE). The exam is a lengthy, at this time seven parts, and students may choose to take it in parts over time or take it all at once. To obtain a license, all parts must be passed within a set amount of time set by each of the states individually.
Upon successfully passing all parts of the ARE, candidates may then become licensed or registered. Their registration continues for a specified amount of time, often 3 years, before renewal is required. Most states require continuing education as part of the renewal process.

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