First off, I prefer that this question be answered by a researcher who
has either direct knowledge/experience in the fields of profession I
am discussing, or is well acquainted with someone in the architectural
design and/or real estate development fields.
Here goes: I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering from a 4-yr
ABET-accredited university. I am interested in crossing over/branching
out my structural design abilities into the architectural design
(private, not government) field. I have read a few online articles
about becoming a licensed architect, and they commonly state necessity
of completing a 4-yr undergraduate program in engineering or
architecture, and then (if I recall correctly) a 2-yr specialized
program in architectural design.
Can I work in any capacity (and with any credibility) as an
unlicensed architect, having at the least a PE (Professional Engineer)
license in the state in which I work? Now, I understand that licensing
is done in order to keep public safety intact from incompetent
designers, but if I have an educational background in structural
design (Finite Element Analysis, Advanced Mechanics of Materials, etc)
from a BSME and a PE license, can I even get my foot in the door with
firms that do construction projects with relatively unique
Also, any information about the profitability of creating and
selling complete architectural design prints/works is helpful.
-Are independent architectural designers/consultants successful financially?
Any insight about the usefulness/practicality of courses taken in a
graduate degree or post-graduate program in architectural design. Do
they focus more on synthesis/design of structures in an
engineering/physics context than on aesthetics? Are some of the
courses really "artsy"?
One last thing: Here are a few pages I skimmed over while examining
this career prospect:
So I am informed about the Architect Registration Examination (ARE)
and the National Council of Building Design Certification (NCPBD),
insofar as what those two webpages contain.
But, in all actuality, I am more interested in designing the
aesthetics of architectural works than doing the structural design
(which I have the knowledge to do).
If I didn't quite connect the dots as to how the preceding adds up
to my overall question, just say; please be specific in your
Clarification Request. Thanks.