Title Usage for Emerging Professionals: Noun or Adjective?

By Cathy L. Hendricks, RID
Executive Director
Texas Board of Architectural Examiners

Design professionals care deeply about title usage for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is to ensure the good name of the profession in the eyes of the public. Both TBAE and registered professionals take title usage very seriously, for those reasons.

For emerging professionals, it can be a bit confusing to know and remember which title is allowable by law, and which isn’t. One easy way to jog your memory: use the adjective before you earn your TBAE registration, and the noun after.

TBAE rules state that an intern may call him- or herself an architectural intern (adjective), but not an intern architect (noun). Please note that in order to use the “architectural intern” title, you must be enrolled in the Intern Development Program (IDP).

Only a registered Texas architect may use the noun, “architect!” Only an intern, who is already doing his or her IDP, is permitted to use the adjective, “architectural intern.”

If one is not in IDP, then the use of the adjective is prohibited.