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      Facts, Figures, and the Profession

      AIA Membership

      There are currently just over 83,000 members of the AIA. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) estimates the number of architects licensed in the United States at 105,847. Licensure is the highest form of professional regulation, and all 50 states require an individual to be licensed in order to call him or herself an architect. Each state establishes its own professional standards for architect licenses, and architecture registration boards in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories, require that candidates satisfy those standards for education, training, and examination.

      Of all architect members:

      • 74% practice in architecture firms (includes sole practitioners and multidisciplinary with architecture as lead discipline)

      • 1% practice in universities/colleges/associations

      • 2% practice in government

      • 2% practice in the corporate sector

      • 1% practice in construction

      17% are in unknown practice

      Gender and ethnic diversity continues to grow as 17% of all AIA members are female compared to 9% in 2000, and ethnic minorities now represent 10% of all AIA members compared to 7% in 2000.

      The Industry

      In 2011, the 17,500 architecture firms owned by AIA members grossed billings of $26.0 billion.

      Nationally, architects' revenue can be linked to project type as follows:

      • 53% is new construction

      • 47% is renovations, rehabilitations, additions, historic preservation, or other projects

      The Firms

      Architecture firms employ approximately 158,000 people in the United States (Bureau of Labor Statistics). The employees at architecture firms break down according to these percentages:

      • 36% of employees are licensed architects (includes principals/partners)

      • 16% of employees are intern architects (on licensure path) or students

      • 13% of employees are nonlicensed graduates (graduates of accredited architecture programs not currently on licensure path)

      • 22% of employees are other design and nondesign professionals (engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, planners)

      13% of employees are technical and nontechnical staff (includes nonbillable technical and administrative staff)

      Firm Size

      • Sole practitioners make up just over one-quarter of firms (26%)

      • About three-quarters of firms have 2 to 49 employees

      Firms with 50 to 99 employees make up 2% of firms and 1% of firms have 100 or more employees

      In dividing industry billings:

      • Firms with 100 or more employees account for more than one quarter of the profession's total billings

      • Sole practitioners account for 2% of total billings

      The Clients

      In comparing firm billings, as reported by AIA members, by client types:

      • 22% are from business, industrial, commercial, or other companies

      • 25% are from state or local government

      • 14% are from developers and construction companies

      • 16% are from nonprofit institutions

      • 12% are from private individuals

      • 7% are from the federal government

      4% are from other architects, engineers, and design professionals

      Firm revenues can also be divided among building types nationwide:

      • 25% are from the design of educational facilities

      • 8% are from the design of retail, food services, warehouses

      • 17% are from the design of health-care facilities

      • 9% are from the design of office buildings

      • 8% are from the design of multifamily residences

      6% are from the design of single-family residences

      (Source: The Business of Architecture: 2012 AIA Survey Report on Firm Characteristics, Copyright 2012, The American Institute of Architects)


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