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Design Architect Salary

Pay for Design Architects in the United States sits in the ballpark of $58K per year. Total cash compensation to Design Architects varies from $40K to $98K; higher pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $10K each. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the company, but career length and location are influential factors as well. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and roughly one-half collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction for Design Architects is high. More than half of Design Architects (67 percent) survey respondents are men. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$40,418 - $93,912
(Median)
$40K
$58K
$94K
MEDIAN: $58,399
10%
50%
90%

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$15.01 - $45.42
(Median)
$15
$24
$45
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
$40,418 - $93,912  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,815  
Profit Sharing
$394.53 - $9,787  
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).
)
$39,917 - $97,864  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,041
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
$15.01 - $45.42  
   
Overtime
$16.57 - $45.04  
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 - $9,815  
   
Profit Sharing
$394.53 - $9,787  
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).
)
$39,917 - $97,864  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 692
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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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Design Architects sometimes assume positions such as Senior Project Architects. That role pays $85K per year on average. Design Architects go on to become Architects more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $57K. Design Architects who move into a Project Architect role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $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. Those at Chief Architect can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $110K. Also paying near the top of the field are Perkins Eastman Architects P.C. at $77K, Hks, Inc. at $71K, and NBBJ, where Design Architects annually earn $69K.

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. Perkins and Will, Rtkl Associates, Inc., and Gensler also rank near the bottom for pay, handing out $55K, $55K, and $58K-paychecks on average.

Popular Skills for Design Architect


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their 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 10 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and 3D Rendering. AutoCAD is a skill commonly found among those who know Adobe Photoshop.

Pay by Experience Level for Design Architect

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


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Design Architects. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $47K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $58K. Design Architects see a median salary of $73K after reaching one to two decades on the job. 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


For Design Architects, working in the bustling city of Dallas has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Design Architects will also find cushy salaries in Minneapolis (+8 percent), Atlanta (+5 percent), Denver (+4 percent), and San Francisco (+4 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 15 percent south of the national average, can be found in Miami. Employers in Portland and Philadelphia also lean toward paying below-median salaries (10 percent lower and 5 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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

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United States (change)


Comp Managers: Start Here »

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

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 947 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
27%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 81% dental benefits Dental: 51%
vision benefits Vision: 38% employee benefits None: 18%
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