Become an Architect

Children 2-10

Encourage playing with things like building blocks, LEGOs, and even drawing or "designing" their dream house. Recommended activities include art and STEM related lessons in and out of school.

Youth 11-14

Engage in activities like architecture camps, practice drawing, and begin reading books about architecture.

Donate LEGO to Kona Children's Library Architecture Studio

Join the Architecture LEGO Studio at Kailua-Kona Public Library! Led by local architect Maziyar Rajaei, AIA, participants work in two stages: designing individual buildings and structures, then creating a complete LEGO community display. Teamwork is key, and we encourage repeat attendance.

Contribute to the Architecture LEGO Studio via our Amazon Wishlist.

Young Adults 15-17

Take course work that prepares you for college, Pre-Algebra and/or Algebra, art classes that include skills like sketching, painting, photography, etc.

College & Beyond

Before you can call yourself an architect, you have to earn a license by completing your state’s specific requirements (Web). Each of the 55 U.S. licensing boards sets requirements for licensure in their jurisdiction, but they all include 3 core components: Education, Experience, and Examination.  ViSee below for more information!

Resources & Activities:

  • Destination Architect! — This is your guide to becoming an architect. Start your journey with tips from NCARB for earning a license.

Looking for a Speaker?

Would you like an architect to speak to your class, after school program, career fair, or similar? Find us on the ClimbHI Bridge or reach out to us at with the potential date, time, location, and audience to see if we can work something out.

#1 EDUCATION: Pick A School

ln the United States you should pursue a degree from an architecture program which is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) (Web) in order to meet the educational qualifications necessary to take the Architectural Registration Exam or “ARE.”


YWCA Building: Designed by Julia Morgan, FAIA in 1927.

In Hawaii, the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Architecture (Web) has an accredited Doctor of Architecture degree program.

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) (Web) is the official voice of students to the educational system and the profession of architecture and design. The national office is co-located in Washington DC in the headquarters of the AIA. Go to the AIAS Hawaii website (Web) for more information on our local Chapter, membership and student resources.

Study Architecture to Make an Impact - Student Resources and Schools from ACSA. Explore to find a wealth of resources, including where to learn, what to know, and the latest news in the global architecture community.

#2 EXPERIENCE: Architectural Experience Program (AXP)

The Architectural Experience Program (AXP) (Web) is a comprehensive program that contributes to the development of competent architects who can provide exemplary architectural services. The National Council for Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) is responsible for establishing, interpreting and enforcing the AXP and architectural training requirements. The objective of the AXP is to prepare intern architects for competent practice. You can start earning AXP® experience (Web) after you graduate from high school (or the established equivalent).

You’ll need three things before you start:

  1. An experience opportunity that qualifies for AXP credit
  2. An NCARB Record
  3. A supervisor or mentor

The AIA National website (Web) also offers a number of resource highlights and information to assist AIA Associate members and interns in their continuing education.

YWCA Building

James Harrison Residence: Designed by Alfred Preis, FAIA in 1961.

Transcript Information

Continuing education credit can be earned for any AIA CEU accredited course. Interns may earn AXP Supplemental Experience hours by completing approved AIA Continuing Education programs. One AIA CEU/LU is equal to one AXP experience hour. When submitting to NCARB, LU's must be documented on the intern's AIA Transcript.

#3 EXAMINATION: Architect Registration Examination (ARE)

The Architect Registration Examination (ARE®) (Web) assesses candidates for their knowledge, skills, and ability to provide the various services required in the practice of architecture. The ARE is the only examination prepared by NCARB and has been adopted for use by all 54 U.S. member boards and the Canadian provincial architectural associations as the registration examination required of all candidates for architectural registration.

James Harrison Residence

Board of Water Supply Administration Building: Designed by Hart Wood, FAIA in 1958.

What is ARE 5.0? ARE® 5.0 features six divisions organized around the progression of a typical architecture project.

  • Practice Management
  • Project Management
  • Programming & Analysis
  • Project Planning & Design
  • Project Development & Documentation
  • Construction & Evaluation

The divisions can be taken in any order and include a combination of multiple-choice, check-all-that-apply, fill-in-the-blank, hot spot, and drag-and-place questions, as well as case studies.

Click here to learn how to begin (Web) the examination process! Learn more about meeting your jurisdiction’s requirements, scheduling a division, and important ARE policies to know before you start.

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