Design Architect Salary

Design Architects in the United States take home approximately $58K per year on average. Overall incomes of Design Architects generally bottom out at around $40K and peak near $98K; the final number can, in exceptional cases, include upwards of $10K each for bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. The company is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration and location. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. There are more male Design Architects than female among those who completed the questionnaire, making up 67 percent. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and just over a half collect dental insurance. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$40,325 - $93,895
(Median)
$40K
$58K
$94K
MEDIAN: $58,257
10%
50%
90%

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$14.97 - $45.09
(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
$40,325 - $93,895  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,824  
Profit Sharing
$395.48 - $9,863  
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).
)
$39,853 - $97,897  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 3,895
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
$14.97 - $45.09  
   
Overtime
$16.31 - $44.52  
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 - $9,824  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $6,000  
Profit Sharing
$395.48 - $9,863  
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).
)
$39,853 - $97,897  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 670

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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 sometimes assume positions such as Senior Project Architects. That role pays $85K per year on average. 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


Design Architects flock to Gensler, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Llp, Hks, Inc., Perkins Eastman Architects P.C., and Perkins and Will, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. The biggest paychecks can be found at Chief Architect — the median salary there is $110K. Also paying near the top of the field are Perkins Eastman Architects P.C. at $77K, Hks, Inc. at $72K, and HMC Architects, where Design Architects annually earn $69K.

Considering that the median salary at Callison Architecture, Inc. is a shallow $47K, it is not surprising that this employer ranks last in compensation relative to (and far behind) other companies in the same line of work — their median pay is less than half of the top paying employer's rate. Other low-paying employers include Perkins and Will at $55K and Gensler at $60K, though some Design Architects there earn up to $107K.

Popular Skills for Design Architect


Survey results imply that Design Architects deploy 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, with boosts between 3 percent and 10 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like 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 generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $47K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $58K. Design Architects who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $73K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $88K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Minneapolis is home to an above-average pay rate for Design Architects, 8 percent higher than the national average. Design Architects will also find cushy salaries in Atlanta (+6 percent), Dallas (+6 percent), Denver (+4 percent), and San Francisco (+3 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 14 percent south of the national average, can be found in Miami. Portland and Philadelphia are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 10 percent lower and 6 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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Design Architect Salaries



National Average
$59,000



Skills That Affect Design Architect Salaries



Design
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Word
0%

AutoCAD Revit Architecture Suite
0%

AutoCAD Architecture
0%

National Average
$59,000

Microsoft Office
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 984 votes.

Gender

Female
33 %
Male
67 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
27%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

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