A press release published by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) on Nov. 20 shows that the architecture profession is expanding in conjunction with the slowly recovering economy. NCARB's 2014 Survey of Architectural Registration Boards indicates that the U.S. has 107,581 architects, a 1.6 percent increase from 2013 and a 3.1 percent increase since 2011.
The annual survey collects information from all 54 U.S. jurisdictions (which includes all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands) on the number of registered architects and reciprocal registrations, which allow individuals to practice architecture in jurisdictions different from where they earned their initial license. The latest report reflects registration numbers from July 2013 to June 2014.
"Our survey documents an architecture profession that is thriving," said NCARB CEO Michael Armstrong in the organization's press release. The press release points to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that supports the survey's findings: The architectural and engineering services sector has been adding thousands of jobs to the economy each month—5,000 new jobs in September and 2,900 in October.
Nationwide, architects currently hold a total of 119,200 reciprocal licenses. This is down 2 percent from 2013, which Armstrong attributes in the press release to the fact that the improving economy has allowed architects to find projects and work closer to home without having to travel to other jurisdictions. "We’ll keep an eye on this indicator as the economy moves forward," he said.
California is home to the most architects (16,618 total) and has the highest number of total registrations (resident plus reciprocal licenses) at 20,595. New York comes in second with 9,872 resident architects and 16,809 total registrations.
The 2014 NCARB Annual Report also notes that in the fiscal year (July 1, 2013–June 30, 2014), 39,074 architects held NCARB certifications, which is a stamp of approval beyond the initial architecture license that allows practitioners to obtain reciprocity in other jurisdictions faster. The number of new certificates issued in the 2014 fiscal year was down nearly 30 percent from the previous fiscal year. NCARB attributes this decline to recent changes in the Council's programs, such as the rollover to IDP 2.0 in April 2012.
Meanwhile, NCARB reported that 10,493 new intern records were added in the 2014 fiscal year, bringing the total intern record count to 60,871. This total is up 31.3 percent from 2013. Of those reported interns, 4,995 were registered as new candidates for the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) in 2014. This brings the total count of ARE candidates to 28,166—a figure which, according to NCARB data, declined in this fiscal year due to a "recent purge of candidates who had not tested within the past five years."
Check out ARCHITECT’s ongoing coverage of the future changes NCARB has planned for the Intern Development Program.