An architect association can be comprised of many things, with members given opportunities for career advancement, continuing education, and the prestige of working under a well known name. New professionals may be given the chance to network with more experienced architects at association functions, and the association may also work to educate the public about architecture. As a whole, an architect association is a group of architects who come together to promote the progression of the field and of each architect as an individual.
One of the main benefits of joining an architect association, especially early in one's career, is being able to learn from more experienced leaders in the field. Association publications may be offered to members to offer tips and strategies, and occasional seminars and networking functions may be available. These functions allow novice architects to speak face to face with leaders in the industry.
Being part of an architect association also gives members the chance to market themselves as a member. There is a certain level of prestige offered to those who are counted among the ranks of top professionals in the field, and joining an association provides young professionals the chance to do this. Most associations require some sort of fee to join, and some may require specific professional credentials, including graduation from an accredited school or the passing of certain exams.
Many architect associations also provide members with ongoing training and educational opportunities. Seminars, classes, workshops, and books can all be ways for an architect association to offer training and support for the development of new skills. Members can use these things to stay on top of industry trends and gain a competitive edge in the market.
Students who are studying architecture as a career choice may also benefit from various architect associations. Association websites and publications often offer articles and other valuable information that newcomers to the field can benefit from. They might include information on getting a good job, landing clients, building a portfolio, and design techniques. Students may also be able to ask questions to more experience architects to get information on specific topics.
There are many national and international architect associations, as well as localized branches in many metro areas. A search should bring up a selection of groups and associations in various areas as well as groups that may specialize in specific types of architecture. For example, a certain group may be comprised of architects who design houses.