Principal Architect Salary

Principal Architects in the United States can look forward to a sizeable six-figure salary — around $133K per year on average. Overall cash earnings for Principal Architects stretch from $98K on the lower end to $192K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $37K from bonuses and $20K from profit sharing. Location and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. There are far more male Principal Architects survey respondents than women, making up 88 percent. Almost all enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. For the most part, Principal Architects enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$91,269 - $172,525
$91K
$130K
$170K
MEDIAN: $132,816
10%
50%
90%

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$39.66 - $98.26
$50
MEDIAN: $50.25
50%

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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$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$91,269 - $172,525  
   
Bonus
$4,077 - $37,308  
Profit Sharing
$48.48 - $20,107  
Commission
$7,500  
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).
)
$97,634 - $191,751  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 278
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
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$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$50.25  
   
Overtime
$60.00  
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$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$4,077 - $37,308  
   
Commission
$7,500  
Profit Sharing
$48.48 - $20,107  
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).
)
$97,634 - $191,751  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 8
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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Job Description for Principal Architect

Principal architects are the subject matter experts for information technology projects, helping guide these projects to completion. They must be able to handle multiple projects, be innovative, and be able to communicate effectively across multiple departments in different degrees of technical detail. When dealing with software, they code new projects, maintain existing ones, and ensure information technology policies are adhered to. They serve as a team leader and are the main point of contact for many major architectural issues. For subordinates, principal architects provide guidance, support, and discipline as needed.

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Principal Architect Tasks

  • Responsible for all architectural design aspects of large or complex projects.
  • Ensure project deliverables are met on time and on budget.
  • Delegate work and provide oversight of group work plans.
  • Manage an architectural team of junior and senior architects as well as administrative personnel.

Common Career Paths for Principal Architect


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Principal Architects sometimes move into a Senior Principal Architect role, where the salary is similar. Principal Architects most often move into positions as Design Architects or Architects. Design Architects actually earn $89K less on average, however, and Architects earn $87K less per year than Principal Architects do.

Principal Architect Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Principal Architect


Survey results imply that Principal Architects put a diverse skill set to use. Lucky workers who know Enterprise Solutions can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 32 percent above average. System Architecture and Cloud Computing are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 18 percent and 32 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Design and Project Management. It is often found that people who know Design are also skilled in Software Architecture.

Pay by Experience Level for Principal Architect

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


Even the relatively untested can score weighty six-figure salaries; survey participants with less than five years' experience report earning a median of $134K per year. Principal Architects claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $144K. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $148K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $144,451

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

Principal Architects will find that San Francisco offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 22 percent. Principal Architects will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+16 percent), Boston (+13 percent), Chicago (+4 percent), and Dallas (+3 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Irvine, 19 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 12 percent less in Washington and 9 percent less in Houston, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Principal Architect Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Principal Architect?

Principal Architect in Santa Clara:
`"$Principal architect of an IT Services company."`
Pros: Help you to get a broader knowledge on technology solutions, running an account, manage your team and many challenges to meet with.
Cons: Have to play with constraints of your budget and resources. Frustrating when interacting with multiple teams and unrealistic deadlines.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Principal Architect

Gender

Female
12 %
Male
88 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 41 votes.
1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
5%
10-19 years
42%
20 years or more
52%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Principal Architect Salaries

▲3%

▼0%

National Average
$144,000

▼1%

Entry-Level
▼7%

Skills That Affect Principal Architect Salaries

Enterprise Solutions
▲32%

System Architecture
▲18%

Cloud Computing
▲18%

Java
▲15%

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
▲11%


National Average
$144,000

Software Development
▼3%


▼6%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 41 votes.

Gender

Female
12 %
Male
88 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
5%
10-19 years
42%
20 years or more
52%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 91%
dental benefits
Dental: 79%
vision benefits
Vision: 71%
dental benefits
None: 7%
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