Newsletter | Jul/Aug 2012

Notes on Getting Licensed in California
by Eliza Hart

Claire Axley has been an OWA member for one year. She earned an MArch from Yale in 2008, and writes to announce she has completed the exams and is a licensed architect in California. She writes:

The licensing was a long process, taking me approximately 3 years to complete the 7 NCARB and 1 California Supplemental Exam. During those three years my normal life was inevitable marching forward with such events as meeting my husband, getting married, buying a house and getting pregnant! So, in order to balance work life and exams, I intermittently reserved power-weekends to study.

I was lucky to be a part of the new generation of California architects who now take the California Supplemental Exam in a multiple-choice format in lieu of the now-defunct oral version. This new format seems to have encouraged many of my peers (at least in my office) to go ahead and complete the process. I would encourage other members of OWA and especially young female aspiring architects to get their licenses. It's one of the ways we can demonstrate our knowledge and commitment to the profession. In my own office, it's an easy way to distinguish oneself, as many colleagues do not make it a priority and may lose out in being part of proposals or relationships with clients because they are not licensed.