Drafting and Architecture Schools

More education equals better jobs and higher pay

Education in architecture and drafting can come in the form of a trade or technical school, community college or university. Some programs, like architecture, require years of school and several more years of internships before graduates can become registered professionals. Other programs such as drafting can be completed in two years, with graduates entering the workforce almost immediately. Some people may take drafting courses before continuing on to become an architect or engineer.

Is accreditation important?

Where architecture is concerned, the best bet is to enroll in a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in the US, or the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) in Canada. Each U.S. State is responsible for licensing professional architects, and in general the minimum requirement for graduates to write the examination is an accredited degree. New programs won't be accredited right away but may have applied for the designation. In that case you may choose to take the chance it will be accredited by the time you graduate. If you live in a state that doesn't require accredited degrees, such as California or Arizona. You may be able to substitute a four-year professional degree or a certain amount of work experience.

Look into the licensing standards in the state you'll be working in before applying to a program. The National Council of Architectural Registration Board's (NCARB) website provides a checklist of requirements by state.

Is online learning a possibility?

For some drafting and architecture programs it's possible to acquire schooling online or through correspondence, to gain partial or associate degrees. Before you jump at the chance, make sure the credits earned will count towards your final degree. Schools are generally selective about where they'll accept credits from and you don't want to end up wasting time and money on an education you won't be credited with. If you know where you want to continue your education, contact the institution to find out what their standards are.
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