How to Become an Architect in Florida

If you’re looking to practice architecture in a place known for sunshine, oranges and theme parks, then there’s only one place for you — well, maybe two places, but we’re not talking about California today. This article is for those of you hoping to practice in the Sunshine State and carry on the legacy of Addison Mizner.

Before we look at exactly what getting your initial architectural license in Florida entails, let’s take a moment to identify the organization that regulates the process so you’ll know where to look if you want more information.

Architectural Registration Authorities

In Florida, the authority that oversees architectural registration is The Board of Architecture and Interior Design (“the Board”), which is a part of the Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR). In addition, the process is governed by The Florida Statutes, Title XXXII, Chapter 481, Part I

The Board provides a brief description of the application requirements on their website and the printable application can be reviewed to understand exactly how those requirements are administered in practice. Within the Florida Statutes, sections 481.213, 481.209 and 401.211 provide the basis of Florida’s requirements for licensure.

But don’t be intimidated by all the links to dense web pages, forms and statutes—--the reality of the process is actually very simple.

The Licensure Process

The Florida Statutes define a set of fairly open-ended requirements for education, experience and examination and then defer to the Board’s discretion to fill in the details. 

For each of those requirements, the Board adopts one of the standards established by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), and then the Board ultimately uses the submission of a complete NCARB record as the primary means of verifying that the licensure requirements have been met. Neither the Florida Statutes nor the Board imposes any additional requirements beyond those established by NCARB — with the exception of the application fee.

So if you’re hoping to get your initial architectural license in Florida, then it’s as easy as completing NCARB’s standard requirements for education, experience and examination, then filling out an application and paying the application fee.

To learn more about what it takes to complete NCARB’s requirements, check out “How to become an Architect”.