Here you can find resources on how to apply for jobs, resources about being a design professional, and opportunities to work towards licensure while you're here at the BAC.
- How to find a job
- PracticeLab: the BAC's online job posting board
- Career Services at the BAC
- Learning Resource Center
- What kind of jobs count for Practice hours?
All programs at the BAC require some amount of Practice hours in order to graduate. Make sure you understand what your program requires, so that you're searching for a job in a way that makes sense for your program requirements and your career and learning goals
Finding a job is a process that's different for every person and every situation - there's no set process, and no magic formula. That said, there are many things you should be doing to look for a job. The most important thing you can do is to do well in your classes - employers are looking for motivated, dedicated individuals who will work hard for their firm, and showing evidence of that in your classwork, especially studio, is imperative.
Before you begin applying for jobs, you should put together a resume, cover letter, and work sample pages. If you're curious about what those are, or want some help in putting those things together, please contact the Learning Resource Center or the Pratice Department to set up a meeting.
When you're ready to apply for jobs, you can check the following resources for potential jobs:
- PracticeLab - the BAC's own job posting board. New positions posted all the time - keep checking!
- Boston Society of Architects job listings
- Friends and family - do some networking!
- Read over our list of suggested work settings, below. Don't limit yourself to design firms...
PracticeLab is an online job board where local employers post full-time, part-time, paid and unpaid jobs for BAC students. All positions posted on PracticeLab are assigned a Skill Level, and only students who are at the appropriate Skill Level or one higher or lower, are able to apply for the position. All current degree students have access to PracticeLab as well as BAC alumni. New students will be contacted after the start of their first semester with a username and password for logging into the system.
For assistance with your account, please contact the Practice Department. Please note that your PracticeLab login information is different from your Self Service login information.
Staff members are available to meet with students for individualized job search advisement and career counseling, including resume, cover letter, and portfolio critique. We are also available to work with students prior to interviews and to help them prepare through mock interviewing. We encourage students to schedule appointments with Practice to gather information about licensure, Practice educational reviews & requirements, departmental policies & procedures, and/or transcript issues relating to Practice hours. Schedule an appointment today!
The Mentoring Program connects current BAC students with alumni, staff, academic & Practice faculty, advanced students, board members, and overseers. These relationships help students adjust academically, personally, and in professional practice. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, your Academic Advisor is always available to meet with students to assist them with academic and academic related issues, like courseload, course scheduling, time management, curriculum guidance, or other things related to students' experience here at the BAC. If you don't know your assigned advisor, email email@example.com for more information or to set up an appointment.
The Learning Resource Center is a place for students to get one-on-one tutoring assistance with resume and cover letter writing, software skills, or support for any class they're taking at the BAC. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Many students want to work in a design firm right away, and are frustrated by not being able to get that kind of work right away. We encourage students to look beyond traditional firm employment to the wide array of design-related professions that not only prepare students for work in a design firm, they often become assets to a student's unique development as a designer. Many students find that their work in "related" settings is what sets them apart from other applicants when they later apply for work in a design firm.
As is the case in any Practice employment setting, hours will be granted on the basis of a student's ability to document and articulate both graphically and through supporting narrative the value and meaning of the work in terms of lessons learned and skills acquired that inform and increase understanding and abilities. If students are unsure of whether a particular job or setting will meet the requirements for approved Practice hours, they should contact Practice prior to accepting the position and commencing work. Failure to do so may result in denial of a student's petition for Practice hours
Related settings include, but are not limited to:Related design fields
- Graphic and web design
- Urban Planning and Design
- Site and traffic planning and design
- Production and set design
- Kitchen and bath design/retail stores
- Design/Build firms
- Lighting design firms
- Industrial/product design firms
- Exhibit design
- Upholstery/textile design
- Environmental Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- MEP/Mechanical Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- General contracting
- Plumbing/Electrical/HVAC subcontracting
- Cabinet building
- General construction
- Landscape contracting
- Construction project management
- Cost estimating
- Home inspection firms
Development and Real Estate
- Property appraisal
- Real estate development
- Project Financing
- Community development corporations
- Real estate "staging"
- Real estate agencies
- City and regional planning agencies
- Public officials [municipal, state, federal]
- Economic and urban development agencies
- Housing authorities
- Transit authorities
- Port authorities
- Municipal planning and zoning
- Apartment Management Firms
- Facilities & Asset Management
- Nursuries/garden centers
- High-end furniture retail
- Design centers
- Lumber yards/building supply centers
Why become a licensed architect? From NCARB's website: "To be an architect, you need to be licensed. Architects are responsible for protecting the public health, safety, and welfare, so the demanding academics, years of internship, and professional exam are designed to prepare you for meeting the great responsibilities of the profession. In both good and bad economic times, licensure gives you a competitive edge. With a license you're positioned to take on a greater role with clients and projects, which increases your value to a firm. More architects on staff can enhance a firm's marketability with prospective clients and may even lower its liability insurance costs-two more reasons to hire you, if you're licensed. Licensure can also be a ticket to higher earnings, especially as you progress in your career.With a license, you are legally empowered to practice architecture. You can start your own firm; seal, stamp, or sign your own drawings; and turn your ideas into reality. As an architect, you'll have a seat at the table and more power over your career. Without a license, you'll nearly always have to seek out the services of an architect to complete a building project."
To become a licensed Architect, a candidate must have earned an accredited professional degree of architecture, completed the Internship Development Program [IDP], and passed the seven parts of the Architecture Record Examination [ARE]. As a student in the B. Arch or M. Arch program, you're on your way to earning a professional degree. Additionally, as a student of the BAC, you are eligible to register with IDP as soon as you enroll. The IDP requires that participants complete about three years of work in architecture firms and related settings - which can be the same hours you earn as a student here at the BAC to satisfy your Practice requirements. When both your degree and your IDP requirements are complete, you are eligible to sit for the ARE to become licensed.
This means that if you carefully manage your time here at the BAC, you can graduate completely ready to take your licensing exams - which is a significant advantage of going to the BAC!
There are many rules about when and what kind of hours you can submit for IDP, and they are all outlined here in this guide from NCARB. Additionally, NCARB's website is a helpful resource for learning more about licensure and IDP. Read through these carefully!
PLEASE NOTE: Though we provide support to students pursuing IDP, the BAC and the Practice Department DO NOT administer IDP, and are not responsible for students' successful completion of all IDP requirements. We're happy to help direct you toward resources available from NCARB, but it's up to you to make sure you're fulfilling all of IDP's requirements.
ALSO NOTE: It is illegal and unethical to call yourself an "architect" before you are licensed, or to use the letters RA or AIA after your name before you are licensed.
As in other regulated professions, licensure in Interior Design is based on fulfilling specific requirements in three steps: Education, Experience, and Examination. Certification and licensure are meaningful distinctions in the interior design profession, and are the end result of this three-step process. There are several ways to meet the Education requirement, but the most prevalent route is a bachelor's or first-professional master's degree from a CIDA-accredited institution.
The Experience required to take the examination administered by the NCIDQ [National Council for Interior Design Qualification] depends on which degree the student has earned. NCIDQ has identified several paths to exam eligibility.
All Examination candidates are encouraged to participate in IDEP [Interior Design Experience Program]. IDEP is a monitored, documented experience program administered by the NCIDQ to help entry-level professionals obtain a broad range of quality professional experience. IDEP requires 3520 hours of qualified work experience, of which 1760 hours must be earned after the completion of your education. The details of qualifying work experience can be found here: Qualified Work Experience
Successful completion of the Examination results in NCIDQ Certification. The NCIDQ Certificate is the desired credential in the interior design profession. In order to become licensed in any of the 27 states that have laws regulating the practice of interior design, you must first earn the NCIDQ Certificate.
As of Spring 2013 you can you can apply to take one of three sections of the NCIDQ exam, the Interior Design Fundamentals Exam (IDFX) as soon as you have completed your education, regardless of how much experience you have. Once you have completed the IDFX and the necessary work experience, you can come back to NCIDQ and apply to take the remaining two sections of the exam to earn your NCIDQ Certificate.
At this time, the American Society of Landscape Architects [ASLA] does not allow practice experience gained while in school to count towards professional licensure. Students are encouraged to visit ASLA's website and research the requirements for licensure, or contact the Landscape Architecture department for more information.
BAC students make great employees! If you are looking for part-time or full-time help at your firm, in any design or related discipline, we invite you to post on our online job posting board, PracticeLab. Here, BAC students will see your job posting and can respond directly to you. If you have any questions about how to set up your posting, please contact the Practice Department.
Keep in mind that you as an employer are a crucial piece of a BAC's student's education. Over the 125 years of the BAC's existence, BAC students have worked in hundreds of firms in the Boston area, often becoming valued members of their firms beyond their years as a student.
If you're a non-profit, neighborhood group, or government agency, and interested in having a group of students work on a project for you in a volunteer capacity, please see our Gateway Program, which has served over 80 non-profits in the Boston area with pre-design, design, and build services.