Guidelines for Work Experience Used to Obtain Educational Credit

The following guidelines apply to work experience used to meet the educational requirement:

  • Candidates may satisfy the entire five year educational requirement through work experience under the direct supervision of a licensed architect with a valid, current license to practice in the jurisdiction where the work experience was obtained or where the project was located.
  • Candidates may not receive educational credit for work experience obtained under the direct supervision of a US registered civil or structural engineer, US licensed landscape architect, California licensed general building contractor, or California certified building official. If such experience is obtained prior to meeting the educational requirement, the candidate may receive credit for it after he or she has met the five year educational requirement.
  • Candidates who work on the property of the US federal government (e.g., US Department of Housing and Urban Development, US Army Corps of Engineers, branch of the US Armed Forces, etc.) will be granted work experience credit as long as the experience is obtained under the authority of a licensed architect, registered civil engineer, registered structrual engineer, or licensed landscape architect.
  • Work experience obtained as a required part of a degree program for which educational credit is earned is not granted separate work experience credit.
  • Independent, non-licensed practice or experience regardless of claimed coordination or liaison with licensed professionals is not considered.

Work Experience Defined

"Work Experience" may refer to experience that candidates use to meet the educational requirement or the additional three years of experience required prior to a candidate being eligible to take the CSE. For most candidates, the additional three years of experience is obtained while fulfilling the AXP requirement.


The examination aspect of licensure is satisfied by successfully completing both the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) and the California Supplemental Examination (CSE). Detailed information is available about each examination in their respective section of this website.