Experience


Work Experience Credit

The Board evaluates work experience based on a calendar month of 40 hour work weeks. the Board grants credit for both part-time and full-time work experience. Overtime may be considered. Work experience credit is granted toward meeting the educational requirement and/or the additional three years of experience requirement as follows:

  • 100% credit for work experience under the direct supervision of US licensed architects.
  • 50% credit for work experience under the direct supervision of architects licensed in qualifying foreign countries up to a maximum of seven years of credit. Candidates should contact the Board for information about which countries qualify.

Credit may also be granted for work experience obtained under the authority of or on the property of the US federal government when the experience is under the direct supervision of a US licensed architect or engineer.

Candidates may receive credit for work experience obtained under the direct supervision of professionals other than licensed architects only after they meet the educational requirement. If such experience is obtained prior to meeting the educational requirement, the credit is deferred until fulfillment of the educational requirement. Credit for work experience obtained under other licensed professionals applies as follows:

  • 50% credit for work experience under the direct supervision of US registered civil or structural engineers and/or US licensed landscape architects up to a maximum of two years of credit.
  • 50% credit for work experience under the direct supervision of California licensed general building contractors or California certified building officials up to a maximum of one year of credit.

Candidates who are required to complete the IDP should review NCARB’s AXP Guidelines (PDF, 801K) to determine whether such experience is accepted.

Note: Prior to being eligible to take the CSE, all candidates must work at least one year under the direct supervision of an architect licensed in a US jurisdiction or two years of experience under the direct supervision of an architect registered in a Canadian province.

Work Experience Defined

"Work Experience" may refer to experience that candidates use to meet the educational requirement or the additional three years of experience required prior to a candidate being eligible to take the CSE. For most candidates, the additional three years of experience is obtained while fulfilling the AXP requirement.

Examination

The examination aspect of licensure is satisfied by successfully completing both the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) and the California Supplemental Examination (CSE). Detailed information is available about each examination in their respective section of this website.