A degree in architecture from an accredited college or university, acquired work experience earned through a three-year internship and the ability to pass a nationally based licensing exam are required to become an architect. Following that, skills are maintained through continuing education workshops, conferences and classes. The National Architectural Accrediting Board maintains a list of 117 qualified architectural training schools.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, a five-year undergraduate course is available for individuals with no previous architectural training, as well as three-year master's degree programs for individuals with degrees in other majors such as construction management or engineering. It may also be necessary to complete a thesis project and submit a collection of drawings or maps. Typical coursework topics include the history of architecture, industry principles, planning foundations and common trade materials. Computer-aided design, math, science and liberal arts courses, such as language and philosophy, round out classroom instruction. Classroom skills and concepts are practiced in a design studio where drawings and three-dimensional individual models are created.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 24 percent job growth for architects in the decade between 2010 and 2020. In 2012, the BLS reported a median salary of $73,090.