Category: Robinson, Green, Beretta Corp

RGB Architects Discusses How to Obtain An Architecture License

Each year, nearly 400,000 new architecture graduates join the workforce; however, of these graduates, more than half will begin working as architectural and town planning technicians, another 7% will start working as chartered architectural technologists, and just 4% will work as architects. The primary reason that only 4% of architecture graduates become architects is primarily due to the time-consuming and challenging process of obtaining an architecture license. On average, within the United States, it can take 11 years to obtain an architecture license and begin practicing. RGB Architects, a premier architectural firm based in Providence, recognizes the talent and innovation of the next generation of architects and each year welcomes several architect interns to study at their firm. Today, RGB Architects (Robinson, Green, Beretta Corp) hopes to inspire others to join this dynamic industry and discuss the process of obtaining an architecture license. 

Education Requirements

The step students must complete in order to become a licensed architect is to complete their first professional degree in architecture. A “first professional degree” is an accredited program approved by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Most NAAB accredited degrees will include a 5-year undergraduate degree or a 3-year graduate degree. 

Individuals who have an undergraduate degree in another subject can still become architects by earning a Master’s degree in Architecture. However, because they have not taken any previous architectural courses, these master’s programs will often take between three to four years to complete. 

Complete an Internship

All fifty states require that architect graduates complete certain training or internship programs before obtaining their own licensure. These internships will typically last a minimum of three years and help architects gain hands-on experience at an architectural firm under the supervision of experienced and licensed architects. The majority of states use the Intern Development Program (IDP), which is administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and requires interns to complete 5,600 hours of state and NCARB approved work experience. The experience is categorized into elective and core hours; however, the four main areas covered by the IDP include pre-design, design, project maintenance, and practice management. 

Earn Licensure & Certification

Before being able to practice, all states require architects to obtain licensure. While the requirements for obtaining licensure vary depending on the state, most only require applicants to have completed a bachelor’s degree program and an internship. All applicants who qualify are allowed to sit for the NCARB’s Architect Registration Exam, which consists of seven pass-or-fail tests covering a variety of topics ranging from building systems, site planning, and construction documents. 

Additionally, many architects opt to earn voluntary NCARB certification, which allows architects to obtain reciprocal licensure from other states. Architects who have been licensed and who possess documentation of ARE passage, transcripts and proof of prior experience are allowed to apply for the certification. However, some candidates might be required to complete additional testing or sit for an interview before being approved by the NCARB.

Providence based Firm RGB Architects Discusses Developing Architectural Concepts

For many architectural students, developing a fully formed architectural design can seem like a daunting process. While developing architectural concepts from simple parameters may seem like an impossible task, the majority of experienced architects use several proven approaches to help fuel their creative process and create the first draft. Since their foundation, the architectural firm of Robison, Green, Beretta Corp, also known as RGB Architects, has garnered a reputation within the architectural community for their cohesive, creative vision and innovative designs. Below, RGB Architects, based in Providence, RI, will discuss different processes associated with developing architectural concepts. 


When designing a structure in a well-known or historical district, many architects will use a contextual approach for creating their architectural concept. For this type of approach, architects will often heavily draw from site analysis and explore the data gathered from outside the site, whether physical or non-physical. Although every project must use context to a certain degree, some designs may focus more on a site’s context than others meaning specific projects hould consider it as the most crucial factor in design creation. 


Typically, architectural students will grapple between creating a design that is functional or one that is aesthetic. While this task is certainly challenging, combining function with aesthetics is often the defining mark of an experienced architect. A factory or hospital’s design should first and foremost meet functional requirements; however, that does not mean an experienced architect will not be able to include a visually pleasing design. However, when creating a draft for these projects, architects will often first work to create a functional design and later add in different creative elements. While every project will present its own unique set of problems, looking for the sole function of the building will help focus an architect’s design and resolve these issues. 


When architecture students are stumped, oftentimes, professors will encourage students to consider their own design philosophy. Each architect will have their own set of values that influence their designs. Whether these values are influenced by physical spaces, nature, or the concept of ideal structures, asking architects to consider their own design philosophy while developing an architectural concept can not only help them move forward with their design but develop a structure more true to their own style. 

Philosophical questions that architects can use to investigate their own design philosophy include: 

Artistic vs. artificial 

Consumer needs vs. wants

Individual vs. societal structures

Rational vs. irrational 

Personal vs. universal