Northern Frontier Visitors Centre - Yellowknife, NT - Pin/Taylor Architects

A Career in Architecture

The path to becoming an architect begins with a passion for buildings and the built environment.  As with doctors and lawyers, architects must complete profession-specific university programs and lengthy internships.

Architects must be licensed before they can practice. In order to get a license, a person must hold a degree in architecture. The degree program includes courses in architectural theory, building design, math, and science.  Graduates then need to complete an internship and pass a professional exam.

To prepare for university, future architects should focus on the following subjects and skills:

  • Science & Engineering/Technology - the design process, materials and tools
  • Mathematics - sorting and using 2D and 3D shapes, measuring and estimating
  • Social Sciences - exploring and mapping places in the neighborhood, home and school
  • Arts - drawing, painting, sculpture, or photography will be helpful in developing your ability to visualize; elements and principles of design; materials, methods & techniques
  • Language Arts - speaking, writing, presentation skills
  • Elective courses in computers and business will also be extremely helpful

To gain employment as a registered Architect, you will need the following:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited school of architecture, or completion of the RAIC Syllabus Program
  • A master's degree in architecture
  • Completion of a three-year internship under the supervision of a registered architect
  • Completion of the Examination for Architecture in Canada (ExAC) or, if you wish to work in the United States, the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) from NCARB
  • Registration with the provincial/territorial regulator in the province/territory of work

For more information, visit the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Schools of Architecture

Architectural accreditation signifies that a professional program in Architecture has a satisfactory standard of educational achievement. This achievement is ascertained by an evaluation process carried out by the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB).  The list of Accredited Canadian Universities - Schools of Architecture can be found on their website.

Syllabus Program

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Syllabus Program provides access to Architectural education to Canadians who, for reasons of geography or personal circumstances, are unable to attend one of the ten Canadian University Schools of Architecture, as well as International Architecture Graduates (IAG) who come to Canada and require additional courses.