I often discuss the importance of obtaining your architecture license. A recent study from the AIA and NCARB have confirmed how vital this is from the perspective of architecture supervisors.
An interesting difference is revealed in the data between what employees think is important versus their managers.
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Is being licensed important?
Depends who you ask.
"Just 27% of emerging professionals indicate they believe it is “very important” to their supervisors for them to obtain licensure, while 88% of supervisors indicated that it was “very important” to them for the emerging professionals they supervise to get licensed."
Your boss cares more than you
Interestingly, the survey shows that supervisors believe they are more responsible for helping staff with licensure than employees think.
"While 44% of supervisors believe they are “very responsible” for preparing the candidate(s) they supervise for licensure, just 9% of emerging professionals perceive their supervisor to be “very responsible” for their licensure."
Mind the gap
"The largest gap between emerging professional and supervisor perception is related to reviewing experience progression. 86% of supervisors believe they are providing that assistance, while just 38% of emerging professionals believe they are receiving it.
For types of assistance like “mentor candidates on career goals” and “help candidates gain experience across all AXP areas,” less than half of emerging professionals believe they are receiving that assistance from their supervisor, while a significant majority of supervisors believe they are providing that assistance."
I thought you were looking after my career?
There is clearly a disconnect between what employers think they are providing versus what is actually contributed. If you are planning on licensure, this shows the need for greater communication between you and your supervisors.
Take the initiative
The thing to keep in mind is you need to be proactive with your experience and steps towards licensure. Architecture managers are very busy juggling multiple projects and deadlines. While your professional qualifications are not on the top of their priority list, it needs to be on yours.
Keep track of what you are working on and how it applies to your licensure goals and experience categories. Setup a quick meeting with your manager if something isn't right, this is rarely intentional and is often just an oversight.
Start a union
Speak with your peers in the office who are on the same path. Setup a study group to help keep each other motivated and informed. There can be major changes to the tests and/or qualification requirements, so do your best to keep up to date.
This further highlights my usual rant around here: the importance of getting your architecture license.
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Brandon Hubbard, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
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