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Department of Consumer Affairs California Architects Board
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Pathways

There are many different pathways to becoming an architect in California. The field of architecture welcomes a diversity of people from different backgrounds with different interests and visions. Our state and the profession of architecture thrive on this diversity.

Anyone can apply to become an architect. The important thing to remember is this: no matter which path you choose to get here, to legally call yourself an architect and to practice architecture, you must be licensed by the California Architects Board. To obtain a license, you must be able to demonstrate that you are competent to provide architectural services by meeting all of the established education, experience, and examination criteria.

In this section, we introduce the three general requirements to obtain an architect license: Education, Experience, and Examination. We provide various ways you can progress through each area to become a licensed, practicing California architect.

Licensees are also expected to be familiar with the Architects Practice Act, which includes the laws and regulations governing the practice of architecture.