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Design Architect Salary (United States)

For Design Architects, yearly average wages total $57K annually. Overall cash earnings of Design Architects stretch from $40K near the bottom to $97K at the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $10K each from bonuses and profit sharing. While the specific employer and location impact pay for this group, career length is the most influential factor. Most enjoy medical while just over a half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to over a third. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Design Architects. The majority of Design Architects (67 percent) who took the survey are men. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Design Architect Salary (?
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.
)
$40,162 - $93,243
(Median)
40K
57K
73K
93K
MEDIAN: $57,447
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Design Architect Salary (?
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.
)
$14.89 - $44.84
(Median)
15
19
24
30
45
MEDIAN: $23.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
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
$40,162 - $93,243  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,847  
Profit Sharing
$398.22 - $9,993  
Commission
$0.00 - $6,000  
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).
)
$39,623 - $97,461  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 3,582
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
$14.89 - $44.84  
   
Overtime
$15.41 - $43.27  
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 - $9,847  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $6,000  
Profit Sharing
$398.22 - $9,993  
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).
)
$39,623 - $97,461  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 641
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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 who go on to become Senior Associate Architects may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Senior Associate Architects is $85K annually. Becoming an Architect or a Project Architect is a common transition from a Design Architect role.

Design Architect Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Design Architect

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Llp, Gensler, Perkins Eastman Architects P.C., Hks, Inc., and Perkins and Will are all popular places to work. Design Architects flock to Perkins Eastman Architects P.C. for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $75K lead the pack in compensation; however, Perkins Eastman Architects P.C. also provides employees with a wide spectrum of compensation ranging from $46K at one end to $103K at the other end. Other big spenders include HMC Architects, Hks, Inc., and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Llp, top-paying firms where Design Architects see paychecks nearing $75K, $70K, or $61K.
Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Perkins and Will at $54K, and Gensler where $58K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Design Architects there earn up to $110K.

Popular Skills for Design Architect

Design Architects report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Project Management, Project Coordinating, Design, and AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 11 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and 3D Rendering. Most people who know AutoCAD also know Design, Autodesk Revit Architecture, and Project Management. Most people experienced in Adobe Photoshop also know Autodesk Revit Architecture.

Pay by Experience Level for Design Architect

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Design Architects with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $47K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $58K. On average, Design Architects make $72K following one to two decades on the job. 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 $88K.

Pay Difference By Location

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National Average
$58,000
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Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Design Architects, Minneapolis provides a pay rate that is 9 percent greater than the national average. Design Architects can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Atlanta (+8 percent), Dallas (+7 percent), Houston (+6 percent), and Denver (+5 percent). In Miami, salaries are 13 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Workers in Portland and Philadelphia earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (11 percent less and 9 percent less, 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

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Experience Affects Design Architect Salaries

National Average
$58,000

Skills That Affect Design Architect Salaries

up arrow 5%
AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite
up arrow 2%
AutoCAD Architecture
up arrow 1%
National Average
$58,000
Microsoft Office
up arrow 1%
Microsoft Word
up arrow 1%
Autocad 2000i
up arrow 3%
Autodesk Revit Architecture
up arrow 4%
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 1039 votes.

Gender

Female
33%
female alumni
 
Male
67%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 80% dental benefits Dental: 52%
vision benefits Vision: 38% employee benefits None: 18%