How to Become an Architect in Canada

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You can become an architect in Canada in 3 steps. Go to a university with an education program; get internship experience; and take an exam to become a certified architect. There’s a lot of studying and “hands on” training to do to prepare for the licensing exam. After you get your license, look at becoming a member of the Royal Architectural Institute in Canada.

  • Attend a university to become an architect in Canada. Check this article’s resource section for universities that offer architecture programs. Sit close to the instructor's lecture position; offer to do hands-on demonstrations when the instructor asks for volunteers. Do each assignment as if you’re working on a building that’s actually going to be built.

  • Obtain initial experience to become an architect in Canada. Apply for the Intern Architect Program after you’ve received your degree or certification. Send your questions, and application, to the following address: Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB); 1 Nicholas Street; Suite 1508; Ottawa, Ontario K1N 7B7. Call them at (613) 241-8399 or fax them at (6130 241-7991. Check Resources below.

  • Complete your architect examinations successfully at the end of your internship. Know that the Examination for Architects in Canada contains the basic skill sets you’ll need to work as an architect. Study the following information sources: Internship in Architecture Program; Canadian Handbook of Practice for Architects; and National Building Code, the latest edition. Receive your license after you successfully complete your examination. See Resources below.

  • Become a member with the Royal Architectural Institute in Canada. Go to their website, and click on the “Becoming a Member” option to download an application. Complete the application; then mail it to their address at: Royal Architectural Institute of Canada; 55 Murray Street, suite 330; Ottawa, ON K1N 5M3. Call them at (613) 241-5750 if you have questions. See Resources below.

Tips & Warnings

  • Start studying for your architect examination on the first day of your apprenticeship. Study one of the 3 main information sources each day; see step 3. Set one hour a day aside for this study. Read through one of those sources, as much as you can, in an hour. Continue where you left off the next day, do this daily until you go through the first source. Continue through the second and third sources. After you complete the third source, go back and read the first one again. Keep doing this until you take the exam.
  • After you successfully complete your exams, you’ll receive your license. In Canada, licensing is done at the provincial level. See Resources below for specific information for the province you’re getting qualified in.
  • Membership with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is voluntary. But, if you can afford it, get a membership with this organization. It contains information on architecture in Canada. You can network with other architects in Canada via their message boards; register for their education programs; work on your architecture skills; and use their designation with your name.
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