Design Architect Salary

For Design Architects, annual average wages total $58K per year. Overall cash earnings of Design Architects stretch from $40K near the bottom to $98K at the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $10K each from bonuses and profit sharing. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the particular firm, but tenure and geography are influential factors as well. A large number enjoy medical while slightly more than half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to approximately two in five. Men make up the majority of Design Architects (67 percent) survey respondents. Most Design Architects report high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$40,475 - $94,139
(Median)
$40K
$58K
$94K
MEDIAN: $58,465
10%
50%
90%

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$15.05 - $46.19
(Median)
$15
$24
$46
MEDIAN: $24.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$40,475 - $94,139  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,827  
Profit Sharing
$397.32 - $9,740  
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).
)
$39,939 - $98,227  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,159
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$15.05 - $46.19  
   
Overtime
$16.96 - $45.74  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,827  
   
Profit Sharing
$397.32 - $9,740  
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).
)
$39,939 - $98,227  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 715
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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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There are some Design Architects — though it's uncommon — that transition into Senior Project Architects, where earnings are an average $85K annually. More often than not, an Architect role is the next step for Design Architects moving up in the field. Pay for Architects is usually $57K. Many Design Architects choose to take on a Project Architect role instead, where salaries are typically $64K.

Design Architect Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Design Architect


Gensler, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Llp, Hks, Inc., Perkins Eastman Architects P.C., and Perkins and Will are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Design Architects. Chief Architect leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $110K. Also paying near the top of the field are Perkins Eastman Architects P.C. at $77K, Hks, Inc. at $70K, and HMC Architects, where Design Architects annually earn $69K.

With a reported median salary of only $47K, Callison Architecture, Inc. easily takes the cake for lowest-paying firm in town; earnings are 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 results imply that Design Architects deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. 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 are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and 3D Rendering. Aptitude in Adobe Photoshop tends to also indicate an understanding of AutoCAD.

Pay by Experience Level for Design Architect

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


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Design Architects. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $47K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $59K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Design Architects with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $73K. Design Architects who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $87K.

Pay Difference by Location


Minneapolis offers some of the highest pay in the country for Design Architects, 8 percent above the national average. Design Architects will also find cushy salaries in Dallas (+6 percent), San Francisco (+5 percent), Houston (+5 percent), and Denver (+4 percent). Miami is the lowest-paying area, 16 percent south of the national average. Portland and Philadelphia are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 11 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%

AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite
0%

National Average
$59,000

AutoCAD Architecture
up arrow 1%

up arrow 5%




up arrow 8%




Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 920 votes.

Gender

Female
33 %
Male
67 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 80% dental benefits Dental: 52%
vision benefits Vision: 39% employee benefits None: 18%
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