The Institute has been advancing the value of architects and architecture for more than 135 years through AIA member resources and as the collective voice of the profession. Here is a sampling of specific benefits that enhance the professional and competitive position of AIA members and their chosen profession, architecture:
1. Professional Network.
As an AIA member, you’re part of a powerful network that extends across the country. It’s a network that is ever growing and allows you to take advantage of numerous opportunities to meet with colleagues from around the United States to share ideas and exchange information specific to your locale, professional interests, or business practices. Development seminars; national, state, and local meetings; and electronic communication to AIA members through AIAOnline allow you to build invaluable business relationships and tap into informative resources that might otherwise not be available.
2. Professional Interest Areas (PIAs).
Tailored into 22 specifically targeted practice and career needs, PIAs provide access to in-depth information, services, and a network of knowledge on topics such as health-care facilities, the environment, historic resources, interiors, housing, educational facilities, building codes and standards, young architects, and international practice.. The PIA manages pertinent information, historical and current events, and networks of professionals and represents just one of the ways the AIA is helping members successfully cope with the extraordinary amount of data available in this information age.
3. Government Affairs.
Speaking with a united voice, the AIA represents architects in government decisions that affect professional practice and the quality of our lives. Including over 300 state and local chapters, the AIA constantly monitors legislation and regulations from federal, state, and local policy makers and uses its collective power to ensure that architects’ concerns are heard.
The electronic information network designed specifically for architects–enables members to communicate and share ideas with colleagues across the country and directly with the AIA through iTalk bulletin boards and e-mail. The e-Architect section of AIAOnline (you’re there now!) provides access to Institute resources, databases, and directories 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Project lead sources, including Commerce Business Daily, and F.W. Dodge give members a competitive edge in business development. All databases have search capabilities, allowing you to pinpoint information quickly. For example, you can query the ProFile directory of architecture firms to identify potential joint-venture partners or consultants with experience in a particular building type. Each of the AIA’s professional interest areas has a specific area of the network dedicated to it. Search the AIA National Calendar for events in your area.
5. Library and Archives.
This valued AIA resource is the nation’s preeminent source in the United States for information on the practice and profession of architecture. Trained professionals are available as a personal resource to help you locate the information you need when you need it. These services and an extensive range of information–including books, slides, and videotape loans and research by request–can be accessed on-site or via telephone, AIAOnline, fax, or mail. In addition, national and international information sources and databases, including full-text document retrieval services, can be accessed electronically.
6. Liability Resources.
Committees and their staff work to ensure that contracts and insurance are available for all AIA members. For example, the AIA now offers a small-firm professional liability insurance program and small-project contract documents. And AIA staff is always available to help you get answers to legal and insurance questions.
7. Professional Development Courses.
Aimed at improving members’ skills and profitability, the AIA sponsors seminars, workshops, and audio- and videocassette programs, available from members’ national, state, and local offices.
8. State and Local Programs.
Every member has access to AIA resources at all three levels of the Institute–national, state and local. At the state and local levels, participation offers an invaluable source of professional resources, access to the current events of the building industry as it pertains to architectural concerns, an opportunity to influence legislative and regulatory decisions that will directly affect your daily practice, and an opportunity to enhance your community’s appreciation for architects and architecture.
9. Contracts and Forms.
Contract documents developed and revised by the AIA are the model for the design and construction industry. Documents and forms are available through local components and the national AIA products hotline, 800-365-ARCH 800-365-ARCH .
10. Peer Review Program.
In conjunction with the American Society of Consulting Engineers, the AIA sponsors a program in which noncompeting peers examine your firm’s operations and give an objective, confidential assessment of how you’re doing.
11. Institute Awards.
The AIA recognizes excellence and cultivates an ever-growing audience for good design through the AIA awards program. Members gain public and peer recognition for notable contributions in achievement and service to the profession and public.
12. Intern Development Program (IDP).
The AIA and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) developed this program to ensure that intern architects are well rounded in their training leading up to the licensing exam. IDP is now a requirement for licensure in over 35 states. The AIA continues to represent its members in the ongoing review of the training and practicing requirements for the profession.
13. AIA Designation.
Each member represents the integrity and the professionalism of The American Institute of Architects. By proudly displaying “AIA” after their names, the client public easily identifies members as the leaders in the profession.
14. Firm Management.
The AIA offers a wide range of products, programs, and services to assist in better managing architecture firms. Choices include self evaluations, workshops, books, convention programs, and more on topics such as financial management, small-firm management, starting a firm, ownership transition, and contract administration.
15. Member Bookstore.
Imagine an entire bookstore dedicated to books, contract documents, cards, posters, toys, apparel, and much more–all related to architecture. The AIA/Rizzoli Bookstore, now online, does just that, and members receive substantial discounts. For added convenience, you may order by mail or call (202)-626-7475 (202)-626-7475 .
Members receive a subscription to Architectural Record magazine and AIArchitect, the monthly AIA newspaper, which contain news of the latest developments affecting the building industry, the architectural profession, and the Institute, along with special reports from the annual convention and Grassroots, the annual leadership conference.
17. Business Service Discounts.
AIA members are eligible to take advantage of membership discounts on a wide range of products and services, including long distance telephone rates, car rentals, overnight deliveries, office equipment, and an AIA Gold MasterCard.
18. Group Insurance Programs.
Specifically designed and exclusively available for members and their employees, the AIA Trust program features major medical, long-term disability, and travel/accident insurance, with comprehensive coverage for members at low group rates.
19. International Link.
The AIA interacts with its counterparts worldwide to track developing markets and keep abreast of new techniques, technologies, and designs. In addition to the International Practice PIA, the AIA also supports chapters of members living and working overseas.
20. Public Awareness.
The AIA is continually promoting architects and architecture to the public and, specifically, client groups. On behalf of the profession, the AIA conducts research to determine not only the best advertising message, but also steps to enhance the value of architects in the industry. The results of research projects are translated into public relations and advertising campaigns to support architects in their professional practices.
21. Future Job Markets.
As society’s needs change and architects find new and greater demands placed on the profession, career specialization will change as well. To meet these challenges, the AIA is researching new job markets and expanding the architectural body of knowledge, which will be vital to successfully securing the jobs of tomorrow.