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Can You Do an Apprenticeship in Architecture?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to gain practical skills and knowledge while earning a wage. However, you may wonder, “Can you do an apprenticeship in architecture?”

Architecture is an exciting and creative field combining artistic vision and practical design skills. If you’re passionate about shaping the built environment and have a keen eye for aesthetics, you may wonder if becoming an architect through apprenticeship is possible. 

This article will explore the journey of becoming an architect through apprenticeship, shedding light on the benefits, requirements, and steps involved. So, let’s delve into architecture and discover how you can build your dream architectural career through an apprenticeship.

Can You Do an Apprenticeship in Architecture

What is an Apprenticeship? 

An apprenticeship is a time-honoured approach to learning a trade or profession that combines practical on-the-job training with classroom instruction. It allows individuals to gain hands-on experience, learn essential skills, and earn a wage while working towards a recognised qualification. Apprenticeships have gained popularity across various industries, including construction, and offer an alternative route to formal education.

Becoming an Architect

The traditional path to becoming an architect typically involves completing a recognised university degree in architecture, followed by practical work experience and registration with a professional body such as the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). However, in recent years, apprenticeships have emerged as a viable and accessible route to pursuing a career in architecture.

Architectural Apprenticeships

The architectural apprenticeship scheme provides a structured and comprehensive pathway to becoming a qualified architect. It allows aspiring architects to learn and work alongside experienced professionals while earning a wage. The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) regulates the apprenticeship framework to ensure quality and industry relevance.

Requirements and Eligibility

To be eligible for an architectural apprenticeship, you typically need to meet the following criteria:

  1. Be at least 18 (though some apprenticeships may have different age requirements).
  2. Have the right to work in the United Kingdom.
  3. Possess a minimum of five GCSEs, including English, mathematics, and science, at grade C or above.
  4. Meet any additional entry requirements set by the apprenticeship provider or employer.

Apprenticeship Levels

The architectural apprenticeship program has different levels, each with its qualifications and responsibilities. The levels include:

  1. Level 3 (RIBA Part 1): Equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, this level focuses on the fundamental principles of architecture, design skills, and construction technology.
  2. Level 5 (RIBA Part 2): Equivalent to a master’s degree, this level delves deeper into design concepts, urban planning, sustainability, and professional practice.
  3. Level 7 (RIBA Part 3): This final level builds upon previous knowledge and prepares apprentices to become fully qualified architects by developing their expertise in project management, contract administration, and professional ethics.

Duration and Structure

The duration of an architectural apprenticeship can vary depending on the level and individual circumstances. Typically, a Level 3 apprenticeship lasts around three to four years, while Levels 5 and 7 can take an additional two to three years. The apprenticeship combines on-the-job training at an architectural practice with classroom-based learning, often provided by a university or college.

Benefits of Apprenticeship

Embarking on an architectural apprenticeship offers several advantages, including:

  1. Practical Experience: Apprenticeships provide real-world exposure, allowing you to apply theoretical knowledge to actual projects and gain valuable hands-on experience.
  2. Earning While Learning: As an apprentice, you will receive a wage for your work, enabling you to support yourself financially without the burden of student loans.
  3. Professional Networks: Working within an architectural practice exposes you to industry professionals and provides networking opportunities that can be invaluable for your future career.
  4. Recognised Qualifications: Completing an architectural apprenticeship leads to recognised qualifications and paves the way for professional registration as an architect.


Apprenticeships offer a viable and rewarding route to becoming an architect in England. By combining practical training, academic learning, and the guidance of experienced professionals, apprenticeships provide a well-rounded and industry-relevant education. So, whether you’re looking to kickstart your architectural career or seeking an alternative to traditional university education, an apprenticeship can be the perfect path to achieving your aspirations. So, seize the opportunity, follow your passion, and start building your dream career as an architect through an apprenticeship.

Updated on June 4, 2023

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