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Design Architect Salary

Median pay for Design Architects in the United States is around $58K per year. Including potential bonuses and profit sharing proceeds (more than $10K for each in exceptional cases) overall income bottoms out near $40K and hits $98K on the high end. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the specific employer, followed by tenure and geographic location. Men account for the majority of Design Architects who responded to the questionnaire — 67 percent to be exact. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and about one-half collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Design Architects. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$40,411 - $93,879
(Median)
$40K
$58K
$94K
MEDIAN: $58,339
10%
50%
90%

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$15.02 - $45.39
(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
$40,411 - $93,879  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,827  
Profit Sharing
$400.44 - $9,837  
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 - $97,903  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,978
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
$15.02 - $45.39  
   
Overtime
$16.48 - $45.09  
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
$400.44 - $9,837  
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 - $97,903  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 683

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United States (change)


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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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Though some Design Architects move into positions like Senior Project Architect (where the average salary is $85K), this progression is not the norm. Becoming an Architect is, more often than not, the most common role that Design Architects move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. A median salary for an Architect is $57K. Another frequent advance is for Design Architects to assume a Project Architect role; in this role, workers often take home $64K.

Design Architect Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Design Architect


Many Design Architects can be found at Gensler, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Llp, Hks, Inc., Perkins Eastman Architects P.C., and Perkins and Will, firms that are at the top of the field. Chief Architect offers the largest salaries in town — $110K on average. Other leaders in compensation levels are Perkins Eastman Architects P.C. at $77K, Hks, Inc. at $71K, and NBBJ, where Design Architects annually earn $69K.

Earnings fall especially short at Callison Architecture, Inc., where the median salary of $47K is the lowest in the field, less than half of the top paying employer's rate. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Perkins and Will at $55K, Rtkl Associates, Inc. at $55K, and Gensler, where $59K is the norm.

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 4 percent and 10 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and 3D Rendering. Competency in Adobe Photoshop frequently indicates knowledge of AutoCAD.

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. Design Architects bring in $73K after working for 10 to 20 years. 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


Home to some of the best pay for Design Architects, Minneapolis offers exceptional salaries, 8 percent above the national average. Design Architects will also find cushy salaries in Dallas (+7 percent), Atlanta (+6 percent), Denver (+4 percent), and San Francisco (+4 percent). With compensation 15 percent below the national average, Miami is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Employers pay around 10 percent less in Portland and 6 percent less in Philadelphia, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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)

Experience Affects Design Architect Salaries



National Average
$59,000



Skills That Affect Design Architect Salaries



Design
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Word
0%

National Average
$59,000

Microsoft Office
up arrow 1%

AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite
up arrow 1%

AutoCAD Architecture
up arrow 1%

Autodesk Revit Architecture
up arrow 4%

up arrow 5%



up arrow 8%




Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 952 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: 80% dental benefits Dental: 51%
vision benefits Vision: 38% employee benefits None: 18%
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