Design Architect Salary
The average Design Architect in the United States earns approximately $59K annually. Cash earnings of Design Architects can occasionally include $10K each in bonuses and profit sharing proceeds; this strong performance component causes pay grades to stretch from approximately $40K to almost $101K. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the specific employer, followed by tenure and geographic location. Medical benefits are awarded to a strong majority, and slightly more than half earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Male Design Architects who responded to the survey are more common than women; more than half (63 percent) are men. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Design Architect
Design architects generally design buildings or other structures such as statues and water fountains for their employer. They work on design projects from start to finish, consulting with clients, creating and editing draft designs, and monitoring project progress throughout construction. Design architects must keep their supervisors and other team members up to date on all updates to projects, and they may go to construction sites to monitor construction progress in person and help conduct troubleshooting as needed. Sometimes, design architects coordinate construction projects as well; this requires coordinating the work of a wide number of construction and design team members to ensure a project is completed successfully within project specifications, deadlines and budget.Read More...
A bachelor's degree in architecture is generally the minimum educational requirement for this position; additional education may be required or preferred. Previous experience in a related role and licensure are generally required or preferred as well. Design architects must have experience with relevant computer-aided design software such as AutoCAD, as well as basic computer programs such as the Microsoft Office suite. They must work effectively with other members of the design team, as well as on their own with minimal supervision; good communication skills are needed, as are the ability to multitask and mentor more junior staff members as required.
Design Architect Tasks
- Assist team in developing and implementing design concepts for both interior and building projects.
- Mentor younger staff to develop their design skills.
- Work with clients in the pre-design phase to generate designs.
Common Career Paths for Design Architect
Design Architects who transition into a Senior Project Architect role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $87K per year. Going from Design Architect to Architect is the transition that occurs most often in this field, and the average paycheck for Architects is $58K. Many others choose to work as Project Architects, where pay is typically $66K.
Design Architect Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Design Architect
Dominating the field, Hks, Inc., Gensler, Callison Architecture, Inc., NBBJ, and Smithgroup, Inc. are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Design Architects. Chief Architect attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $110K. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Llp., Perkins Eastman Architects P.C., and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Llp, top-paying firms where Design Architects rake in a respectable $87K, $77K, or $70K, respectively.
The lowest pay by far can be found at Callison Architecture, Inc. — this employer offers a median salary of $47K, less than half of the top paying company's rate. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Rtkl Associates, Inc. at $50K, and Gensler where $52K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Design Architects there earn up to $161K.
Popular Skills for Design Architect
Design Architects report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Project Management, Project Coordinating, Design, and Microsoft Word are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include 3D Max, Adobe Illustrator, and 3D Rendering. For most people, competency in Adobe Photoshop indicates knowledge of Design.
Pay by Experience Level for Design Architect
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Design Architects with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $50K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $61K. Design Architects claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $75K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $92K.
Pay Difference by Location
Design Architects will find that Dallas offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 17 percent. Design Architects can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+17 percent), Washington (+11 percent), Baltimore (+11 percent), and Boston (+10 percent). Trailing the national average by 12 percent, Miami is the market with the smallest paychecks. Below-median salaries also turn up in Chicago and Portland (8 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).
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