The following is the current AIA Public Policy Statement regarding titling:
“The AIA supports protecting the public by reserving the use of the term ‘architect’ and its derivative forms to those individuals licensed as architects. In addition, the AIA supports the use of ‘architectural intern’ or ‘intern architect’ for graduates of NAAB-accredited degree programs.”
In May 2015, NCARB announced its intention to remove the term “intern” from board rules and regulations. The AIA is continuing to work towards finding a suitable replacement term.
History of Intern Titling
Last year, AIA and the collateral organizations of architecture met for the 2014 Emerging Professionals Summit. Attendees advocated that now is the time to eliminate the term “intern” from the professional language of architecture in order to recognize the impactful work of architectural graduates. It’s important to note that in most firm settings, unlicensed designers are not called “interns;” rather, firms choose to recognize a graduate’s capabilities with other job titles that better convey aptitude. This change may advance the public’s understanding and awareness of the architecture profession by appropriately acknowledging the abilities of licensure and non-licensure track graduates and appropriately aligning these individuals with other esteemed professions.
In Phase 1 of the Intern Titling Survey the AIA asked for recommendations to replace the term “intern” – Phase 1 was an open-ended response survey. In order to better understand the profession’s perspective on the use of the word intern, the AIA conducted Phase 2 of the Intern Titling Survey. For the purpose of the survey, an “intern” is defined as “any person who by means of their education or experience has qualified to enter the IDP.” (IDP Guidelines, July 2014, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards)
Survey results of Phase 2 may be found in the results infographic (right).