AIArchitect | Can Intern Architects Work for Free to Get IDP Experience?
by Gregory Hancks, AIA
AIA Associate General Counsel
Employment opportunities are limited for recent architecture graduates who want to fulfill their Intern Development Program (IDP) training requirement. Some firms may be wondering if they can “do good” by giving intern architects work experience in unpaid positions. Generally speaking, federal employment law dictates that the answer is “no.”
The AIA last responded to this question in the early 1990s during another economic downturn. Then, as now, concerns were voiced about how the scarcity of paying jobs could force intern architects into other lines of work, never to return to the practice of architecture. As a result, an entire age group within the profession could be depleted. At the same time, concerns were voiced that intern architects can be exploited by firms because of the pressure on intern architects to obtain work experience for licensure.
NCARB’s 2010 Survey of Registered Architects
The 2010 survey of state architectural registration boards by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) indicates that there are currently 105,312 registered architects in the United States. Data was collected in August 2010 and reflects July 2009 through July 2010.
The 2010 survey also reveals that there are 116,340 reciprocal (out-of state) architects, for a total of 221,652 registrations. This means, on average, an architect is registered in at least two different jurisdictions. California has the highest number of resident architects (17,156) and the highest number of total registrations (21,276).
NCARB collects data for the survey from its 54 Member Boards, which includes all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB makes this information available annually as a service to the profession. For more information about the 2010 Survey of Registered Architects, contact NCARB at 202/783-6500.
Click on the download to see the state by state breakdown.