wikiHow to Become an Architect in Canada

Different countries may have different requirements to qualify for a licensed profession such as architecture. Here is the process to become an architect in Canada.


  1. Image titled Become an Architect in Canada Step 1
    Study architecture at a college (or university) and obtain a bachelor's degree or master's degree. Education is an important factor for becoming an architect. Make sure your chosen program of study has been approved under the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) before you enroll.
    • Complete the Syllabus Program offered by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) as an alternative way to become an architect.
  2. Image titled Become an Architect in Canada Step 2
    Gain 5,600 hours of work experience. Experience in architecture received from work done outside of Canada may be considered to help fulfill this requirement.
    • Apply for the Internship in Architecture program. This 3-year program is available through architects associations in each Canadian province. If accepted, the program will help you gain architecture experience in Canada and ease the transition between school and work.
    • Find a mentor and complete the Canadian Experience Record Book as a required part of being an intern architect. The record book serves as a way to make note of your internship role and the work experience you gained during that time.
  3. Image titled Become an Architect in Canada Step 3
    Pass an examination to qualify for a license, either at the provincial or territorial level. A new exam called the Examination for Architects in Canada (ExAC) has recently been developed to test an architecture intern's competency.
    • Take the older, computerized Architect Registration Examinations (ARE) to get reciprocal licensing for architects who wish to work throughout North America. The ARE is administered by the U.S. National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
  4. Image titled Become an Architect in Canada Step 4
    Receive your license and certificate to practice architecture in a Canadian province or territory.


  • Check with the CACB to determine that you can get reciprocal certification of your education if you received a degree in architecture from an accredited college (or university) outside of Canada.
  • Use the Canadian Handbook of Practice for Architects as a study resource.
  • Depending on the provincial or territorial association you are getting your license from, you may need to fulfill other licensing or registration requirements in addition to passing the ExAC or ARE before you can get your license and certificate.
  • You may need to get professional liability insurance if you intend to practice architecture in Canada and are certified to do so.


  • Experienced architects from outside of Canada seeking to become licensed in the country must provide a portfolio of their work and professional references from past employers and clients. Proof of being licensed in their home country must also be given.
  • If you attended school outside of Canada, you or your college (or university) must provide certain documents to help the CACB decide if your education meets Canadian requirements. An application form for the CACB must be filled out and a fee must be paid. The evaluation of your education takes a minimum of 2 months. You may also need to be interviewed by the CACB.

Things You'll Need

  • Bachelor's or master's degree in architecture
  • Internship
  • Work experience
  • Architect license
  • Certificate of Practice
  • Liability insurance

Article Info

Categories: Canada | Architecture and Design Occupations