The day has finally come. After 10 years of professional practice and 5 years of exams I have taken and passed all 7 sections of ARE4.0.



Construction Documents and Services: PASSED
Building Design and Construction Systems: PASSED
Building Systems: PASSED
Schematic Design: PASSED
Site Planning and Design: PASSED
Structural Systems: PASSED
Programming, Planning and Practice: PASSED

All that is left is to make sure NCARB sends my information to my state board for final approval and issuance of my first license – Florida Registered Architect.

To describe to you just how I felt when I saw the final “PASS” at the end of a very long list of exam sections would require a mastery of the English language that I simply don’t possess. A weight was lifted. I felt instantly free. It just felt RIGHT. Suddenly the sacrifices of time and money that I’d made over the last 5 years, and mostly over the last 15 months, were worth it. The nights spent studying instead of canoodling my wife, the saturdays spent in the corner of coffee shops buried under stacks and stacks of study materials instead of hiking, camping and fishing with my children were major sacrifices to make, but at the end of it all I’ve now got my life back.

And, interestingly enough, at the very same time that first weight was lifted from my shoulders I recognized a new and possibly heavier weight take it’s place. I am now (or will be once the paperwork is finished) a licensed architect, a professional in the building sciences. When we talk to people and we say what we do, Architect, there is a weight to it, a profound responsibility. I’m no longer just an Intern. I’m no longer in a constant state of learning and preparation. I am now, in fact, in a position of teaching and leading. It’s terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. The last piece of this puzzle is to get that funny rubber stamp in my hand, smear some ink on it and press it down to a piece of paper that will become a building. A building with my name on it as “Architect of Record”.

So, if you need an Architect, call me.



Lisa Saldivar