Design Architect Salary

Design Architects in the United States take home an average $59K annually. With some bonuses and profit sharing proceeds approaching $10K each, total incomes of Design Architects generally range from $40K to $99K depending on individual performance. The company is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure and location. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Male Design Architects who responded to the survey are more common than women; more than half (66 percent) are men. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and over one-half collect dental insurance. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$40,676 - $94,613
(Median)
$41K
$59K
$95K
MEDIAN: $58,958
10%
50%
90%

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$15.20 - $46.15
(Median)
$15
$25
$46
MEDIAN: $24.00
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$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$40,676 - $94,613  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,798  
Profit Sharing
$350.00 - $10,022  
Commission
$9,826  
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).
)
$40,096 - $98,714  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 4,664
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$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$15.20 - $46.15  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.02  
Overtime
$17.47 - $45.81  
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
$0.00 - $9,798  
   
Commission
$9,826  
Profit Sharing
$350.00 - $10,022  
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).
)
$40,096 - $98,714  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 795
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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

  • 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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At the upper end, Design Architects who move into a Senior Project Architect role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Senior Project Architects is a much higher $86K per year. Design Architects go on to become Architects more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $57K. Design Architects who move into a Project Architect role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $65K.

Design Architect Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Design Architect


Known for taking on a considerable number of Design Architects, Gensler, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Llp, Hks, Inc., Perkins Eastman Architects P.C., and Perkins and Will are leading firms in the industry. Chief Architect attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $110K. Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Llp., HMC Architects, and NBBJ are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Design Architects earning around $88K, $69K, or $67K at each firm, respectively.

Relative to other names in the field, compensation is very low at Callison Architecture, Inc. — the median salary comes to just $47K, less than half of the top paying company's rate. Perkins and Will, Rtkl Associates, Inc., and Smithgroup, Inc. also scrape the bottom of the pay scale, with median earnings hovering around $54K, $55K, and $57K.

Popular Skills for Design Architect


Survey results imply that Design Architects deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, skills in Project Management, Project Coordinating, Design, and Microsoft Word are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and 3D Rendering. AutoCAD is a skill commonly found among those who know Adobe Photoshop.

Pay by Experience Level for Design Architect

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


Design Architects who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $48K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $59K. Design Architects who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $73K. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $88K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $59,472

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

Boston is home to an above-average pay rate for Design Architects, 9 percent higher than the national average. Design Architects can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Dallas (+7 percent), San Francisco (+7 percent), Atlanta (+7 percent), and Houston (+5 percent). Miami is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 16 percent. Employers also pay below the national average in Portland (10 percent lower) and Chicago (4 percent lower).

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
$59,000


Skills That Affect Design Architect Salaries



Design
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Office
0%

National Average
$59,000

AutoCAD Architecture
up arrow 1%

AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite
up arrow 2%

AutoCAD
up arrow 4%

Autodesk Revit Architecture
up arrow 4%


up arrow 7%





Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 874 votes.

Gender

Female
34 %
Male
66 %

Years of Experience

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

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 81%
dental benefits
Dental: 53%
medical benefits
Vision: 39%
dental benefits
None: 17%
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