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Understanding the AXP

The Architectural Experience Program (AXP) is a crucial step for aspiring architects on their path to licensure. Developed and administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the AXP provides a structured framework for gaining professional experience in the field of architecture. This article, based on the AXP Guidelines, offers an overview of the program and its key components.

The Basics of AXP

The AXP comprises 96 tasks typically performed across six experience areas. These tasks, established by the 2012 Practice Analysis of Architecture, are considered essential for competent practice. The AXP is designed to prepare candidates to practice architecture independently upon initial registration.

The six experience areas include Practice Management, Project Management, Programming & Analysis, Project Planning & Design, Project Development & Documentation, and Construction & Evaluation. Most licensure candidates complete the AXP by reporting hours, with a minimum of 3,740 required hours under the six experience areas. However, experienced design professionals who put their licensure on hold can demonstrate their experience through an AXP Portfolio.

Establishing Your NCARB Record

To report experience for the AXP, candidates need an NCARB Record—a detailed, verified record of their education and experience. This record is used to establish qualifications for examination, registration, and certification. To create an NCARB Record, candidates must complete an application and submit payment on the NCARB website.

The AXP is a comprehensive program designed to equip aspiring architects with the necessary experience and skills to practice architecture independently. By providing a structured framework of tasks across key experience areas, the AXP ensures that candidates are well-prepared for the realities of architectural practice. Whether through reporting hours or preparing an AXP Portfolio, candidates can demonstrate their competence and readiness for licensure.


For a more in-depth review of the AXP, please read the AXP Guidelines.