Becoming an Architect

A Student’s Guide to Becoming an Architect

How do I become an Architect?

The journey to becoming a registered architect is a long but rewarding one. Registration or licensing for a professional Architect in any jurisdiction requires a combination of education, relevant work experience and examinations.

BoATT (Board of Architecture of Trinidad & Tobago) outlines requirements as listed below for applicants for registration in Trinidad & Tobago:

  1. Candidates must demonstrate that they have a professional architecture degree from an accredited architectural programme (see ‘Where can I study Architecture’ section below).
  2. They must also submit documentation that shows three years of working experience under the guidance of a registered architect.
  3. They must pass all parts of the Architects Professional Practice Course exam, which is jointly administered by BoATT and the Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Architects.

Architectural education can take different formats, allowing students to determine which route best suits them. After registration / licensure, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) requirements must be fulfilled annually to maintain professional status. TTIA’s CPD requirements are listed here.

Paths to professional registration or licensure including Architecture degree options from Validated or Accredited educational institutions are illustrated below.

Which subjects would best prepare me for Architecture school?

“As an Architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.”

Norman Foster

Understanding society and the underlying issues that affect us daily better equips us to initiate change through design. The course of study of Architecture is broad, allowing students to choose from a wide spectrum of subjects in preparation for admission into Architecture school. Some that Architects have found beneficial in study and practice include but are not limited to: Art, English Literature, History, Physics, Calculus, Geography or Technical Drawing. Prospective students should also be mindful that a creative portfolio and personal statement are critical components for admission to many Architecture schools.

What else can I do with an Architecture degree?

Sometimes graduate architects choose to venture outside of the profession into related fields which take advantage of knowledge and skills acquired during architectural training. These related fields include architectural theory and academic research, industrial design, urban design, landscape architecture, theatre stage and set design, architectural modelling and visualisation, animation, graphic design, construction and project management.

Skills acquired at Architecture school might include ArchiCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, Autodesk REVIT, Vectorworks, Rhino, SketchUP, 3Ds max, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, as well as physical modelling.

Where can I study Architecture?

A prospective student should ensure that the University offers an accredited Architecture programme that meets the basic requirements for registration or licensing of Architects in the jurisdiction in which she intends to practice. There is no School of Architecture in Trinidad & Tobago. The closest in the English-speaking Caribbean is the Caribbean School of Architecture at the University of Technology located in Jamaica.

Below are links to the websites of architectural accreditation boards which maintain listings of Architectural education programmes which are accredited or validated.