As an architect, there is a lot of study that goes into earning your license. However, it is important to realize that you will have to renew it periodically. Many states have Continuing Education requirements in place as a term of that renewal. Even if your state doesn’t require further education, the AIA does.
Because of the need for education put in place by AIA and individual states, there are many courses out there. However, since state and AIA requirements are not always in line, it is vital that you check what courses would and would not be acceptable for your particular situation. We have put together a brief guide recapping the basics of what the AIA requires, to help you get started with your research.
Health, Safety, and Welfare
The AIA requires a minimum of 12 hours of Health, Safety and Welfare (HSW) learning each year. This is also a requirement of most states that have continuing education requirements. To satisfy the requirements of AIA, the Health, Safety, and Welfare courses would have to meet all three of these criteria:
- Meet the definition of HSW – This means that the course must be about how the building or its integrity would impact the health and well-being of the occupants. The reason for this is to protect the public.
- Must fall into certain topic areas – Appropriate topic areas include contract administration, documents, environmental, legal, materials or methods, pre-design, preservation, or building systems.
- At least 75%, of course, must relate to HSW – The 75% calculation can be based on timing or learning objectives.
General Education Topics
In some cases, states require a set number of learning hours each year based on general architectural education. While the state may have specific topics set, they will be focused on the categories of building science, design, and practice.
There are many resources available for continuing education in the architectural world. The key is to make certain the education provider that you choose meets the requirements put in place by the AIA and those of your state too.
- AIAU – AIAU is the AIA’s own online-based continuing education center. This is a great resource to make certain the classes you choose meet the requirements put in place by the AIA. Plus, when you work with the AIAU, the transcripts are updated for you, making documentation even easier.
- NCARB – Another AIA-approved provider is NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards). All courses, which include many varied topics, for this provider are completed online.
- Other Providers – There are other AIA-approved providers. You can check out an up-to-date list on the AIA website.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about when it comes to staying up to date with your architectural education. The most important thing is to make certain you are choosing approved courses. The last thing you want to do is waste time with a course that will not meet all of your requirements.