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Architect Glossary


Residential Architects > Hiring an ArchitectGlossary

illinois home designed by frank lloyd wright Are you wondering about the meanings of all those letters after your architect's name?  Here is a list of common letters and names, and what they mean.
  • AIA:  American Institute of Architects.  The use of this acronym implies that the architect is registered and licensed.
  • AIT:  Architect in Training.  In some states, this acronym is used to indicate an individual who has completed all training requirements and some of the Architectural Registration Examinations, but is not yet registered to practice as an architect.
  • Architect:  Professional title that means the individual is licensed to practice architecture in a given state.
  • Decorator or Interior Decorator:  Unregulated titles used interchangeably with interior designer in areas where interior designers remain unregulated.
  • Interior Designer:  Sometimes used interchangeably with interior decorator, but more often used as a lawful designation of a person who is registered and licensed to perform interior design services.
  • NCARB:  Acronym for National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.  If an architect is registered with NCARB, it means he or she is licensed to practice architecture in at least one state.  Sometimes, the architect can qualify for reciprocal registration in other states.
  • RA:  Acronym for registered architect.  These letters may only be used by licensed professionals.
  • RLA:  An acronym used for registered landscape architect, used only for a person or firm licensed to practice landscape architecture services.
  • SARA:  Society of American Registered Architects.  Membership is open to registered and licensed architects in all states of the USA.
  • TF:  Stands for Taliesin Fellow, and means that the person is a current or former member of the Taliesin Fellowship who apprenticed at Taliesin between 1932 and 1986 or graduated from the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

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Architect Glossary - Architect Acronyms