Design Architect Salary

The average Design Architect in the United States earns approximately $58K per year. Including potential bonuses and profit sharing proceeds (more than $10K for each in exceptional cases) overall income bottoms out near $40K and hits $98K on the high end. The specific employer is the main element affecting pay for this group — tenure and geographic location are driving factors as well. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and just over a half collect dental insurance. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Male Design Architects are more prevalent than women among those who took the survey — 66 percent of professionals. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$40,562 - $93,672

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$15.12 - $45.13

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$40,562 - $93,672  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,794  
Profit Sharing
$397.77 - $9,732  
Commission
$0.00 - $10,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$40,018 - $97,922  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,224
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$15.12 - $45.13  
   
Overtime
$17.08 - $45.44  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,794  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $10,000  
Profit Sharing
$397.77 - $9,732  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$40,018 - $97,922  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 723
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Job Description for Design Architect

Design architects need to be creative, systematic thinkers that can create and adapt computer modeled or hand-drawn designs for buildings and everyday objects. Design architects primarily work with 3D rendering, AutoCAD, and other graphic arts software to produce designs. Proficiency in these areas is a must. In addition, design architects must know the building code and construction documentation processes in order to properly create designs. Despite the tech-heavy requirements of the job, design architects also supervise construction sites to confirm that the construction is on track, so design architects can plan to work both indoors and outdoors, and they will need good people skills in order to effectively supervise sites. Design architects will frequently follow one project from start to finish, designing it, presenting it to their superiors, and supervising its completion. Design architects also occasionally coordinate construction projects, leading consultants, contractors, fabricators, specification writers, and design team members. Design architects usually work a standard 9-5, five-day-a-week work schedule, though it can be dependent on the firm. Most companies require a Bachelor of Architecture degree minimally; additional architecture/engineering education is usually a plus, sometimes a requirement. Many architecture firms require 5-10 years of industry-related experience.


Design Architect Tasks

  • Work with clients in the pre-design phase to generate designs.
  • Mentor younger staff to develop their design skills.
  • Assist team in developing and implementing design concepts for both interior and building projects.

Common Career Paths for Design Architect


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Though some Design Architects move into positions like Senior Project Architect (where the average salary is $85K), this progression is not the norm. An Architect role is the most common promotion for Design Architects moving up the ladder. Pay for this role tends to be $57K per year. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Design Architects is a Project Architect position, where earnings are usually $64K.

Design Architect Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Design Architect


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Design Architects include Gensler, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Llp, Hks, Inc., Perkins Eastman Architects P.C., and Perkins and Will. For Design Architects, comfortable salaries can be found at Chief Architect; in fact, median earnings sit around $110K, the highest in the area. Soaring salaries can also be found at Perkins Eastman Architects P.C., Hks, Inc., and HMC Architects, where earnings of $77K, $70K, or $69K are standard for Design Architects.

Relative to other names in the field, compensation is very low at Callison Architecture, Inc. — the median salary comes to just $47K, less than half of the top paying employer's rate. Other low-paying employers include Rtkl Associates, Inc. at $54K and Perkins and Will at $55K, though some Design Architects there earn up to $103K.

Popular Skills for Design Architect


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Project Management, Project Coordinating, Design, and Microsoft Word are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 9 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and 3D Rendering. Experience with Adobe Photoshop is often linked with knowledge of AutoCAD.

Pay by Experience Level for Design Architect

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For many Design Architects, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $48K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $59K on average. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $73K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $87K.

Pay Difference by Location


Design Architects will find that Minneapolis offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 7 percent. Design Architects will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+6 percent), Dallas (+5 percent), Denver (+5 percent), and Atlanta (+4 percent). With compensation 16 percent below the national average, Miami is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers in Portland and Philadelphia also lean toward paying below-median salaries (10 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

Design Architect Reviews

What is it like working as a Design Architect?

Design Architect in San Francisco:
Pros: Critical thinking is required on a daily basis and every project is a new experience.
Cons: Some of the tasks become tedious and repetitive.

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Experience Affects Design Architect Salaries



National Average
$59,000



Skills That Affect Design Architect Salaries



Design
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
0%

Microsoft Word
0%

National Average
$59,000

AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite
up arrow 1%

AutoCAD Architecture
up arrow 1%

up arrow 5%




up arrow 8%




Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 897 votes.

Gender

Female
34 %
Male
66 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 81% dental benefits Dental: 52%
vision benefits Vision: 39% employee benefits None: 18%
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