Wash. Admin. Code § 308-12-025 - What qualifications do I need to meet for initial licensure?

If you are not licensed in another jurisdiction, your combination of education and experience will determine what you need to do to get your license (see the chart below). To become licensed, register through NCARB and they will guide you through both the AXP and the ARE.

(1) If you have an NAAB accredited architectural degree, or are enrolled in an IPAL program, you must complete the AXP and the ARE. The board also requires a review of Washington's laws and rules relating to the practice of architecture.
(2) If you do not have an NAAB accredited architectural degree, you must have:
(a) A high school diploma or equivalent;
(b) You must complete the ARE; and
(c) You must have at least eight years' practical architectural work experience that includes the completion of the AXP.
(i) At least three of these years of work experience must be under the direct supervision of a licensed architect and be completed outside of the experience reported in the AXP.
(ii) The remaining three years can be any combination of the following as approved by the board:
(A) Postsecondary education courses in architecture, architectural technology or a related field including, but not limited to, environmental design; urban planning; landscape architecture; construction management; civil engineering; naval architecture; interior architecture; other fields as determined by the board.
(B) A year consists of three quarters (45 credit hours), or two semesters (30 credit hours), or as otherwise defined by the postsecondary school attended. You may earn a partial year of experience as follows: Each quarter (15 credits) completed equals four months of experience; each semester (15 credits) completed equals six months of experience. Experience will not be awarded for increments less than 15 credits or its equivalent.
(iii) Practical architectural work experience may be accrued simultaneously while earning postsecondary educational credit.

Part-time work will accrue on a prorated basis.

(3) The board also requires satisfactory completion of the Washington state law review exam.

Architect - Draft rule changes

Education type

Accredited professional degree (B.Arch or M.Arch) Or Enrolled in IPAL

An equivalent degree, awarded by EESA (education evaluation services for architects) for candidates from a nonaccredited U.S. architectural school or a foreign architectural school

A preprofessional degree in architecture (typically four-years) from a program offering an accredited degree

Postsecondary study in architecture or related fields, with passing grades, in increments of one year, will receive up to three years credit

A degree in architectural technology (typically a two-year community college or trade school degree)

High school diploma or equivalent

Practical architectural work experience

Gained during AXP

AXP PLUS Two additional years under the direct supervision of an architect

AXP PLUS Three or more additional years depending on your education credit

AXP PLUS Four additional years

AXP PLUS Six additional years

Three of these additional years must be under the direct supervision of an architect


After graduating high school, contact NCARB to enroll in AXP and begin reporting experience

When to apply to take the ARE

You can start taking the ARE through NCARB while enrolled in AXP or actively participating in an NCARB-accepted Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) option within a NAAB-accredited professional degree program in architecture while enrolled in AXP

After completing and submitting the board's official application form with payment contact NCARB to register for the ARE

When can you get your license

Apply to the board after you have completed your AXP and ARE

Apply to the board after you have met the education and/or experience requirements and have completed the AXP and ARE

Additional materials

All candidates must complete the Washington law review


Wash. Admin. Code § 308-12-025
Amended by WSR 21-01-127, Filed 12/15/2020, effective 1/15/2021

Statutory Authority: RCW 18.08.340 and 43.24.086. 11-11-019, § 308-12-025, filed 5/9/11, effective 7/1/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.96.060. 07-05-040, § 308-12-025, filed 2/15/07, effective 3/18/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.08.340. 98-20-061, § 308-12-025, filed 10/2/98, effective 11/2/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.08.350(2). 97-03-121, § 308-12-025, filed 1/21/97, effective 2/21/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.08.340. 95-04-080, § 308-12-025, filed 1/31/95, effective 3/3/95. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.08.360. 89-17-038 (Order PM 857), § 308-12-025, filed 8/10/89, effective 9/10/89. Statutory Authority: 1985 c 37 § 5. 85-21-065 (Order PL 560 ), § 308-12-025, filed 10/17/85.

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