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.

$40,741 - $97,612
$41K
$59K
$98K
MEDIAN: $59,285
10%
50%
90%

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$15.41 - $49.87
$15
$24
$50
MEDIAN: $24.36
10%
50%
90%

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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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$40,741 - $97,612  
   
Bonus
$489.96 - $9,916  
Profit Sharing
$103.91 - $10,093  
Commission
$4,500  
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).
)
$40,177 - $100,951  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 2,239
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$15.41 - $49.87  
   
Hourly Tips
$15.55  
Overtime
$20.43 - $48.33  
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
$489.96 - $9,916  
   
Commission
$4,500  
Profit Sharing
$103.91 - $10,093  
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).
)
$40,177 - $100,951  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 409

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United States (change)

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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.

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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


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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

National Average: $59,517

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that 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).

Design Architect Reviews

Q: 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

Key Stats for Design Architect

Gender

Female
37 %
Male
63 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 243 votes.
035
Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
15%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Design Architect Salaries




National Average
$60,000


Skills That Affect Design Architect Salaries

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 243 votes.

Gender

Female
37 %
Male
63 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 80%
dental benefits
Dental: 53%
vision benefits
Vision: 40%
dental benefits
None: 19%
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