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Classification & Qualifications General Schedule Qualification Standards

Architecture Series, 0808

Individual Occupational Requirements

Basic Requirements:

  1. Degree: architecture; or related field that included 60 semester hours of course work in architecture or related disciplines of which at least (1) 30 semester hours were in architectural design, and (2) 6 semester hours were in each of the following: structural technology, properties of materials and methods of construction, and environmental control systems.

    OR

  2. Combination of education and experience -- college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the arts and sciences underlying professional architecture, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the architectural principles, methods, and techniques and their applications to the design and construction or improvement of buildings. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by at least one of the following:
    1. Related Curriculum: Degree in architectural engineering may be accepted as satisfying in full the basic requirements, provided the completed course work in architectural engineering provided knowledge, skills, and abilities substantially equivalent to those provided in the courses specified in paragraph A. The curriculum for a degree in either architecture or architectural engineering covers function, esthetics, site, structure, economics, mechanical-electrical, and other engineering problems related to the design and construction of buildings primarily (but not exclusively) intended to house human activities. The courses required for a degree in architecture generally place emphasis upon planning, esthetics, and materials and methods of construction, while the courses for an architectural engineering degree place equal or greater weight on the technical engineering aspects such as structural systems, mechanical systems, and the properties of materials. Because of this difference in emphasis, persons with degrees in architecture may have a preference for work assignments that offer greater opportunities for them to express their artistic and creative abilities. As a result, they may be more concerned with planning and design aspects of architecture, and persons with degrees in architectural engineering may be more engaged in aspects emphasizing technical engineering considerations.
    2. Experience: An applicant lacking a degree in architecture must have had l year of experience in an architect's office or in architectural work for each year short of graduation from a program of study in architecture. In the absence of college courses, 5 years of such experience is required. This experience must have demonstrated that the applicant has acquired a thorough knowledge of the fundamental principles and theories of professional architecture.

Alternate Requirements for GS-7:

  1. Successful completion of a 5-year program of study of at least 160 semester hours leading to a Bachelor of Architecture or higher degree in an accredited college or university is qualifying for GS-7.
  2. Applicants with an architecture degree who have appropriate experience as a technician equivalent to grade GS-5 or higher may have such experience credited for grade GS-7 only on a month-for-month basis up to a maximum of 12 months.

(Note: These provisions also apply to graduates of architectural engineering curricula.)

Registration: Candidates registered to practice architecture by one of the State registration boards, using standards in compliance with the basic minimum provisions recommended by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, are recognized as meeting the full requirements for eligibility at GS-11.

Nonqualifying Experience: The following kinds of experience are not acceptable as professional architectural experience: professional landscape architecture work consisting mainly of the layout, design, construction, or maintenance of land areas and landscape features, including ground and water forms, vegetation, roads, walks, incidental structures, and other landscape features; experience in the application of artistic embellishment to practical design such as the decoration of interiors, including the construction, layout, and selection of furniture and furnishings that do not alter the basic architectural design of the interior; city and community planning work that relates to the broad social and economic growth and development of such community services and facilities as industry, commerce, transportation, streets, utilities, and parks.

Architectural Registration as a Selective Factor: Registration as a professional architect is an appropriate selective factor for appointment to certain, typically high-level, architect positions. The key consideration is that registration must be essential for acceptable performance of the work of the position to be filled. Accordingly, it is an appropriate requirement for positions with duties and responsibilities that satisfy one of the following criteria:

  • Responsibility for final approval of design standards and criteria for designs of major buildings and related structures involving public safety where such compliance with State laws meets an essential need of the architectural organization to provide objective evidence to agency management and the public that the work is performed by architects of proven competence.
  • Responsibility for architectural determinations concerning contract awards or other major aspects of design and construction work to be performed by architects in the private sector where registration is essential to have their full confidence and respect to achieve cooperation on critical architectural issues.

Some architect positions in the Federal service have duties and responsibilities that would support a requirement for registration. The position description should clearly document the basis for the registration requirement. It would not be appropriate to require that candidates be registered for positions with less responsibility than that indicated above, for positions that involve responsibilities and functions such as research, or for the sole purpose of improving the "image" of architects in the Federal service. Because of the importance of registration for those positions where it is an appropriate requirement, such positions have been characteristically filled by registered professional architects. If a currently filled position is newly identified as requiring a registered architect, the requirement for registration should be waived for the duration of the employee's incumbency.

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