Design Architect Salary

The average Design Architect in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $59K annually. Total cash compensation to Design Architects varies from $40K to $99K; higher pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $10K each. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the specific employer, though experience level and location have a (lesser) impact as well. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The majority of Design Architects (66 percent) survey respondents are male. Most enjoy medical while over one-half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to nearly two in five. This report is based on responses to the PayScale 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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Design Architects who transition into a Senior Project Architect role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $86K per year. The most common career progression for Design Architects leads to becoming an Architect, where pay is typically $57K. However, many Design Architects also opt to become Project Architects, a position that pays $65K on average.

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. Design Architects seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Chief Architect, where the average salary comes to $110K. Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Llp., HMC Architects, and NBBJ also offer top salaries for Design Architects. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $88K, $69K, and $67K, 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. Employees at Perkins and Will, Rtkl Associates, Inc., and Smithgroup, Inc. can also expect below-average earnings of $54K, $55K, and $57K.

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. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and 3D Rendering. Experience with Adobe Photoshop is often linked with knowledge of AutoCAD.

Pay by Experience Level for Design Architect

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


For many Design Architects, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. The average inexperienced worker's salary is approximately $48K, and people with five to 10 years of experience bring in more at around $59K on average. Design Architects who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $73K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $88K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $59,472

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

For Design Architects, busy Boston offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 9 percent above 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. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include 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.

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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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