Architects have already committed to years of education. But it’s not over after graduation, not by a long shot. Continuing education is a lifelong, or at least career-long, pursuit. Most state professional licensing boards require architects to earn CE courses at regular intervals, and the American Institute of Architects has standards as well.
But the need for continuing education runs deeper than fulfilling requirements to maintain credentials. The bigger picture is that the courses, workshops, conventions and hands-on experiences that earn credits also help to enrich your career and every project that you take on.
Staying up-to-Date with the Industry
Architecture is a rapidly-changing industry where new standards emerge and old ones are revised with regularity. Just imagine the changes in green building guidelines alone over the past several years. What was once more of a fringe concept is now relatively mainstream. Every architect needs a level of familiarity with green standards that makes it practically second nature.
Keeping up with industry changes is perhaps the most prominent reason for continuing education. When a client wants LEED certification, you’re the go-to source who can help make it happen. When accessibility is an issue, your current knowledge ensures compliance. And beyond that, professional development hours also exposes you to the newest and most interesting elements of architecture.
Protection for Clients and the Public
Although architects perform work directly for clients, oftentimes those projects also affect the public. Professional development ensures your work not only meets the client’s desires but also protects the client and everyone who will ultimately use the building.
School design with an emphasis on safety in case of terrorism was not an issue for generations past. But now it’s an important factor, and you can earn CE credits in this niche area. Building code changes frequently, too. And that’s another way that your education protects countless individuals.
Keep Training and Skills Fresh
Architects have so many different jobs. It’s not unusual for a skill set that you developed early in your career to go dormant, at least in the office, if you don’t use it every day. But through continuing education, you’re less likely to forget what you learned in college and what you set aside from one job to the next.
Your portfolio might be filled with projects that seem so long ago that technology has changed tenfold. But skills never go out of style. Certainly, one type of technology might replace another. But the fundamentals of your skill set, even the areas that are underused, form the knowledge base that is your career. With continuing education, you can keep relevant skills hones sharp, even if you haven’t needed them in years.
The work of architects reaches far and wide, sometimes affecting entire cities. So however you get credits, they all help make you a more valuable member of the architect community and of society.
Your professional development hours might take many different forms. Association meetings and conventions expose you to continuing education opportunities with cutting edge technology and standout influences throughout the industry. Volunteer projects might be another avenue for earning the credits that you need.
Through PDH Academy, you get hassle-free self-study that meets AIA standards. And we report CE credits on your behalf. It couldn’t be simpler. To learn more about what we offer, check out our courses for architects.