How to Become an Architect in India | The Complete Career Guide

Do you want to become an Architect? If yes, this article will be of help to you. This guide has been crafted keeping the needs of architecture aspirants and enthusiasts in mind. This step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about becoming an architect in India. 10+2 passed students and Diploma (in relevant fields like Architecture, Civil Engineering and Interior Design) holders may make use of this guide and set career goals!


Before heading to the meat of the matter – how to become an architect in India – let us check out some basic details about Architecture courses and profession. In the next section, you’ll find answers to questions like- “Who is an architect?”, “What are his/her tasks?”, “Which are the popular Architecture courses available in India?” etc.


Architecture: An Introduction

Architecture deals with design, planning, construction, maintenance and restoration of buildings, physical structures and built environment in general. Architecture has elements of art, science, mathematics, technology and aesthetics in it!


Most of us reside in cozy flats and houses. Who designed these living spaces? Yes, architects are behind the design and construction of our living spaces. Architects not only build houses, they are also capable of designing and constructing other physical structures. They are also capable of making changes to built environment, as per our needs.

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An architect is a professional who offers services in connection with the design, planning and construction of buildings, physical structures, or built environment. Architects are knowledgeable about areas like Design, construction management, project management, material management, cost estimation & legal matters related to architecture.


Here are some of the common tasks performed by an architect –

  • Making design. Planning.
  • Communicating with client.
  • Cost estimation
  • Procuring raw material and man power
  • Project management
  • Looking after legal aspects (obtaining permissions from authorities, getting plans approved etc).
  • Site work/supervision


To thrive in this profession, you must possess the following skills and qualities –

  • Sound technical knowledge (architecture, geometry, material science and mathematics).
  • Creativity.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Management skills (man and resource management).
  • Drawing and sketching skills.
  • Visualization skills.
  • Quick thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Eye for detail.


Let us check out the course details and eligibility criteria now –


Architecture Course details and eligibility criteria

In India, CoA is the body responsible for maintaining the quality of architecture education and institutes. CoA stands for Council of Architecture. To become a professional architect in India, one must be registered with the CoA.


B.Arch. is the Architecture Degree course recognized by the CoA. B.Arch. is the most popular and widely recognized architecture education course in India.


B.Arch. Degree from an institute recognized by the CoA will help you become an architect. Come, let us check out the steps involved in becoming an architect in India –


How to Become an architect: Step-by-step guide

In the above section, you read about B.Arch. course. It is the most widely recognized architecture education course in India. The first step involved in becoming an architect is to satisfy B.Arch. course’s eligibility criteria.


1 Meet the requirements (eligibility criteria) of B.Arch. course

Refer the table provided below for basic details about B.Arch. course –


Name of the Course: B.Arch. (Bachelor of Architecture)
Duration: 5 years
Eligibility Criteria: 10+2 Science stream passed or equivalent. Minimum marks required is 50%
Entrance Tests: NATA, JEE & Institute-wise entrance tests


CoA came up with a new mandate highlighting new rules regarding B.Arch. course admission. According to the new rules, the minimum qualification required to pursue B.Arch. course is- 10+2 Science stream passed with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics subjects or equivalent qualification. Minimum aggregate marks required is 50% marks.


Equivalent qualification covers relevant Diploma programs (10+3 type Diploma courses). It is necessary to have Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics subjects during the Diploma examination.


If you meet the above mentioned requirements, proceed to step 2.


2 Secure admission

Reputed institutes rely on merit based admission process. To secure admission, a candidate must appear for relevant entrance test(s) and score valid marks in such test(s). Some popular entrance tests for B.Arch. admission are- NATA, JEE & institute-wise entrance tests.


3 Complete the academic program

B.Arch. course is 5 years long. The program consists of 5 academic years. To earn B.Arch. Degree, a student must pass main exam held at the end of each academic year. On completing the course successfully, a candidate will be awarded B.Arch. Degree!


4 Register with the CoA

It is time to register with the CoA now! To become a professional architect in India, it is necessary to register with the CoA. CoA has a register of architects offering professional services in India. To become a professional architect, it is necessary to get your name into this register!


These are the steps involved in becoming an architect in India. Wait, there’s another method too! Have you heard about the IIA? It stands for Indian Institute of Architects. IIA conducts IIA exams, which are basically IIA Associate examinations. This qualification provided by the IIA is deemed equivalent to B.Arch. qualification. Find more details in the next section –


Candidates holding relevant Diplomas (Civil Engineering, Architectural Assistantship, or Interior Design) and architectural work experience (working under a CoA registered architect) are eligible to register with the IIA.


After registration, candidates have to appear for IIA exams. On clearing all the exams, successfuly candidates are awarded the IIA associate title. This qualification is treated equivalent to B.Arch. Degree.


But I’ve read about disputes between CoA and the IIA. There have been instanced where CoA has refused to recognize the qualification and aptitude of IIA associates. Considering this fact, it is safe to say that they best way to become an architect is by pursuing and completing B.Arch. course.

Arun Kallarackal
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