Since the dawn of time, humans have constructed dwellings and created new environments. We call such building process as Architecture. Architecture is the imaginative blend of art and science used in the design of environments for people. In the world of architecture, architect is the word we use to describe the artists and engineers who design buildings and other structures.
The word "architect" is in fact coming from Latin architectus, which in turn derives from Greek arkhitekton (arkhi, chief + tekton, builder). Architect is the key person involving in the planning, design, and oversight of a building's construction. In other words, architect translates a user's requirement into a built environment. However, it was only in the twentieth century that architects were required to pass tests and be licensed. Today, the word "architect" refers to a licensed professional.
It is advisable to begin early if you are interested in a career as an architect. You can start by learning to observe buildings, spaces and their relationships. Be more sensitive to the effect of texture, color, shape and light. Try to feel the spaces and places when you are in particular buildings. Look for rhythm and pattern, simplicity and ornament, old and new in your own environment such as your home, school and community. At the same time, you can analyse and think about the design values expressed in such environment.
To develop your interest in architecture, do not hesitate to visit the design studios of architecture school. Participate in their summer program to get deep insight of architecture course might helps too. Besides, take changes to tour the offices of a local architecture firm to gain a broad understanding of the nature of an architect's work and the values of the profession. Talk to the architects, they are far more than happy to share their experience and knowledge with you. Read as many books and magazines as possible on architecture to witness the latest architectural design trend to date.
In the US, you must meet three requirements to become a licensed architect, education, experience and professional exam. First, you must earn a professional degree in architecture from an accredited higher-education architecture program. After graduation, you will need to complete a period of practical training or internship by working under the supervision of a licensed architect. Then only you are qualified to take the nine-part Architect Registration Exam (ARE). Upon passing all divisions of the ARE, you are officially a "licensed" architect to provide architectural services. The entire path could easily take you eight to ten years to complete.
What makes the profession worth practising? Problem-solving, decision-making, team leadership and creativity are key elements in making architecture. For architect, such intellectual stimulation and technical challenges lead to the tremendous excitement that comes from seeing a design idea become a physical reality. So, if you believe this profession suits you very much, go for it! Good Luck!