Design Architect Salary

Pay for Design Architects in the United States sits in the ballpark of $58K per year. Incomes of Design Architects vary widely depending on performance components; bonuses and profit sharing that can occasionally exceed $10K cause paychecks to spread between $40K on the low end and $98K on the high end. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the company, followed by years of experience and geography. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Design Architects. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and just over a half earn dental coverage. Men make up the majority of Design Architects (66 percent) survey respondents. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$40,508 - $94,051
(Median)
$41K
$58K
$94K
MEDIAN: $58,475
10%
50%
90%

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$15.09 - $45.69
(Median)
$15
$24
$46
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
$40,508 - $94,051  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,830  
Profit Sharing
$398.66 - $9,714  
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).
)
$39,955 - $98,144  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,186
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
$15.09 - $45.69  
   
Overtime
$17.11 - $45.65  
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 - $9,830  
   
Profit Sharing
$398.66 - $9,714  
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).
)
$39,955 - $98,144  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 722
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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 do not often transition into Senior Project Architect roles. The role averages $85K 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 $57K. Many others choose to work as Project Architects, where pay is typically $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 among the top companies that take on many Design Architects. Chief Architect offers the largest salaries in town — $110K on average. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Perkins Eastman Architects P.C., Hks, Inc., and HMC Architects, top-paying firms where Design Architects rake in a $77K, $70K, or $69K, respectively.

Callison Architecture, Inc. reports the lowest median salary in the area by far — it's only $47K, less than half of the top paying employer's rate. Other low-paying employers include Rtkl Associates, Inc. at $54K and Perkins and Will at $55K, though some Design Architects there earn up to $103K.

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 Microsoft Word are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 9 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and 3D Rendering. Adobe Photoshop and AutoCAD are also commonly seen together.

Pay by Experience Level for Design Architect

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


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Design Architects. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $47K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $59K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $73K in this role. Design Architects who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $87K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Design Architects that is 8 percent greater than the national average, Minneapolis offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Design Architects will also find cushy salaries in Dallas (+6 percent), San Francisco (+5 percent), Houston (+5 percent), and Denver (+4 percent). Miami is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 16 percent. Below-median salaries also turn up in Portland and Philadelphia (11 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.

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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%

National Average
$59,000

AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite
up arrow 1%

AutoCAD Architecture
up arrow 1%

up arrow 5%




up arrow 8%




Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 917 votes.

Gender

Female
34 %
Male
66 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 80% dental benefits Dental: 52%
vision benefits Vision: 39% employee benefits None: 18%
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