What is the Value of an Architect?

Last week was the inaugural #NOMAchat on Twitter. The topic was on, Path to Licensure and it raised many interesting comments and questions. Based on the comments, some questioned is there really any value in being an “Architect”. Keep in mind in most States, if not all, one can only use or be considered an “Architect” if they are licensed/registered to do so. Another comment stated being licensed was only good if you were in an Architectural firm.

I am not sure what has happened, but I recall when I was coming up in the profession unless one was registered there was a clear ceiling in how much one could be paid as well as many positions were unavailable unless they were licensed/registered to practice Architecture. While some of those positions were in Architectural firms others were in public and private sector employment as well.

While I understand here in the US, the public as a whole has a lack of understanding about Architects and what services we actually provide; but was a little surprised by those who have an architectural education questioning the value in obtaining a license to practice architecture. I guess how can we expect the public to respect us and our opinions as professionals, if we don’t respect ourselves. I don’t believe we would seek the advice and expertise from the medical, legal, or even engineering professions unless they were licensed in their fields why should ours be any different. Perhaps our professions devaluation is due to us relinquishing a number of our services to others who are not architects.

Is there value in being an Architect? By that I mean being licensed? What are your thoughts?

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