Regions with Highest and Lowest Number of Registered Architects


Nikko Wedding Chapel in Guam

Regions with Highest and Lowest Number of Registered U.S. Architects

Through its annual Survey of Architectural Registration Boards in June 2020, NCARB found that California leads the country with the highest number of total architects (both resident and reciprocal licensure-holders) with 21,528 people. While the number of architects continues to grow, the smallest number of architects practicing today is in Guam (99) and the Northern Mariana Islands (39).

RIM Architects is fortunate to have registered architects in each of these regions (California, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands) as well as Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

RIM’s Guam Office Is Very Active

In an article written for the Marianas Business Journal, Maureen Maratita, Journal Staff, wrote: “There are not many businesses that prosper in Guam and are then able to export their skills to elsewhere in the U.S. RIM Architects is one of them, with offices in Guam, Hawaii, Alaska and California. CEO David L. McVeigh, who is based in Anchorage, Alaska, was in Guam from 1988 to 2000, and at the forefront of the group’s development.”

McVeigh commented, “We started the company in 1986 and I was one of the original hires. In Guam — where Brent L. Wiese is the managing principal — all staff have been with RIM for more than a decade. Close to 40% of its total staff have been with RIM for more than a decade. “We’ve been really fortunate to have staff that believe in us, that like our culture, our work environment; they stay with us quite a while—particularly in Guam.”

The Guam office has always had a lot of resort work, he added. “We’ve probably touched most of the hotels on Tumon Bay.” Most recently, RIM was the Guam Partner of Record for the Tsubaki Tower and heavily involved. “We worked with the architect [in Japan] to do all the design drawings and the construction administration, and to get it permitted.” McVeigh said. “It’s a beautiful building and a great first-class addition to Guam’s inventory,” he said.

RIM Architects is the Architect of Record for The Tsubaki Tower. – Photography: Mike Arty

“Top Guam projects include the $44-million design-build MACC task order awarded in early August to the Black Construction Corp.-Tutor Perini joint venture for ordnance facilities at Naval Base Guam; the $180-million Tsubaki Tower in Tumon in Guam, for which RIM was the Architect of Record; and Isa Villas affordable housing on Capitol Hill in Saipan.

Other work in the Mariana Islands includes school retrofits and additions in Saipan and two projects in Guam and one in Saipan for the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints.

Bank Pacific Guam – Photography: Mike Arty

RIM has also acted for off-island companies who are unfamiliar with Guam. “You can’t undervalue the importance of having boots on the ground, particularly in places like Guam where anything from logistics to the design environment itself – when you get companies that are from somewhere else — they don’t always understand that it’s the little things that make a big difference. Some of the difference is cultural, he said. “Some of it is the way the entitlements work and development works. … It’s always wise if they hook up with somebody local.”

Architectural rendering of Soka Gakkai Buddhist Center in Guam, by RIM Architects

McVeigh said he is proud of his time in Guam. “I feel it had a lot to do with where I am today.”

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