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After college, how do I start a career in architecture?

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Architects show a model of their work

Architects show a model of their work

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Question: After college, how do I start a career in architecture?
Answer: Your journey from student to professional architect will move through several stages.

Stage 1: Student Projects
If you possibly can, begin your career in architecture while you're still in school. Look for a part-time job related to architecture or design. Do clerical work or drafting for an architect or designer. Consider volunteering for an emergency relief organization or charitable program that provides design services for those in need. Whether you are paid or not, the experience will give you the opportunity to develop your skills and build a strong portfolio.

Stage 2: Internship
Most graduates work for several years as interns before they take licensing exams and become licensed architects. For help finding an internship, visit the career center at your college. Also look to your professors for guidance. Career tips: How to Find an Internship

Stage 3: Licensing Exams
In the United States and Canada, architects must take and pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) to receive a professional license in architecture. The ARE exams are rigorous; some students take extra coursework to prepare. Learn more: Architecture Licensing Exams

Stage 4: Job Search
After completing the AREs, some students find jobs at the same firms where they interned. Others seek employment elsewhere. Either way, a strong career network will pave the way toward a success. Career Tips: Network Your Way to a New Job

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