Ways Firms Can Provide Continuing Education

Ways architects access continuing education through their firm.

You’ve achieved your AIA member status, and you want to hold on to it. That means fulfilling continuing education requirements each year. Your state licensing board could also require you to accrue some credits to renew your state license, so there’s an extra motivator for you to stay on top of your game. Stay current with your local licensing requirements, as they vary from state to state.

The AIA measures your continuing education in learning units, where one hour of education equals one learning unit. AIA Architect and International Associates have to complete at least 18 learning units each year. And there’s a caveat - the courses you take have to be AIA/CES approved, so look for that distinction. Additionally, 12 of those 18 learning units have to be in the topic of health, safety and welfare (HSW).

While the onus is on the individual architect to complete their learning units, there are plenty of ways firms can provide this support to their staffs. We list the avenues for reaching 18 learning units below and how firms can facilitate individual members in their quest to meet those requirements.


Browse the AIAU course catalog. Since this is coming directly from the AIA or AIA-approved providers, you don’t have to be suspicious about getting credit towards your learning unit minimum - these definitely suffice. Most of these courses cost money, so for firms to really encourage expansion and continuing education in the profession, covering the fees is a way to do that while ensuring their staff stays relevant and on their A-game.


Thousands of AIA-registered providers lead courses that dish out learning units as well, so use your preferred search engine of choice to find one that suits your interest and needs. Again, this is an opportunity for employers to relieve the burden of continuing education by footing the bill. Local AIA chapters frequently host sponsored courses, so firm leads and organizers can keep a bulletin of these upcoming events for their staff and provide encouragement and a flexible schedule to allow for attendance.


Who doesn’t love a good tour? Take a tour of an architectural landmark during the next in-person AIA Conference on Architecture and get some learning units that way. Hit your daily step goal, learn a bit about a historical site, and move your career forward - win, win win.

You’ve done the work, attended the courses, walked the tours - make sure you get the credit! Provide your AIA Member ID when you sign up and take the class, and maintain the transcript for proof. Check with your state licensing board to see if providing the transcript is a sufficient submission to receive credit.

Helping to facilitate continuing education isn’t the only service firms can provide their staff. If you’re looking to keep your team’s skills sharp with Software Learning tutorials or have a focus on career development and want to sponsor ARE Test Prep, see how Black Spectacles has the tools to help your staff thrive in their careers.

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