AA architects: the numbers 2015


Since 2010, I have been tracking the number of licensed African-American architects to understand how this group is faring along their professional paths. My analysis is based on the numbers that are reported by the Directory of African American Architects.**

Last year was a banner year with 66 AA architects reporting that they received their initial license. CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who achieved this great accomplishment! This is a three-fold increase from 2014. The last time the count was in the 60s was in 2009.

Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Men 33 30 25 16 41
Women 14 13 14 12 25
Total 47 43 39 28 66

There are lots of factors that could be contributing to the increase.

US GDP 2005-15_Screen Shot 2016-08-15_CROPAccording to the World Bank, US GDP is recovering. Architecture follows economic cycles. When there is more money in the economy, people build more and hire more architects. Firms may also be more willing to support staff getting licensed. On the opposite side, more people may be looking to venture out on their own and need to be licensed to make that leap.

Exam changes
When the exam undergoes a big change, we also see spikes. In 2016, NCARB will release ARE 5.0. Many people who have been slow to take their exams may be trying to finish before that transition. [I did this in 2010 before the change to ARE 4.0.] NCARB also saw increases according to their By The Numbers report. They reported a 2% increase in licensed architects and a 17% increase in ARE completions at the end of 2014. The report also clearly shows that the profession’s racial diversity has grown over the last seven years.

IMG_4132Writing this post later in the year, has allowed me to think about the numbers in context of all the work that National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) chapters have been doing around the country to encourage youth, especially minority and underserved, to learn about architecture. Under the umbrella of Project Pipeline, numerous NOMA chapters around the US are organizing summer camps. This introduces architecture to kids who may have never heard of the profession, open their eyes and gives a name to a new possibility for their futures.

Are you working on your license? Are you mentoring a professional who is trying to get licensed? What do you think contributes to the growth in 2015? Leave your comments below.

NCARB by the Numbers, trends of internship, exam, and licensure

Previous annual posts:
2014 | 20132012 | 2011 | 2010

**Note: listings in the directory are self-reported and continuously updated. Check the website for current totals.

4 Responses to “AA architects: the numbers 2015”

  1. 1 Mann, Dennis (mannda)

    Well done Katherine. Can you post this on the NOMA website?

    Dennis ________________________________

  1. 1 AA architects: the numbers 2016 | Katherine Williams

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