Principal Architect Salary

Principal Architects in the United States can expect to earn a very generous salary, with average salaries (in the ballpark of $138K) surpassing six figures annually. Total cash earnings of Principal Architects range from $98K on the low end to $198K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $36K and $20K, respectively. Geography and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. Work is enjoyable for Principal Architects, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$92,136 - $178,700
$92K
$140K
$180K
MEDIAN: $137,543
10%
50%
90%

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$40.45 - $87.50
$51
MEDIAN: $51.13
50%

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$0$198K
Salary $92,136 - $178,700
Bonus $4,884 - $35,691
Profit Sharing $-0.49 - $20,189
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).
)
$98,426 - $198,095
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 280
Hourly Data $0$87
Hourly Rate $51.13
Overtime $66.50
Annual Data $0$198K
Bonus $4,884 - $35,691
Commission $7,500
Profit Sharing $-0.49 - $20,189
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).
)
$98,426 - $198,095
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 9

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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As Principal Architects make advancements in their career path, their salaries may not change right away. For example, the higher-level Senior Principal Architect position pays around the same amount as the Principal Architect job on average. A lot of Principal Architects advance their careers by becoming Design Architects and Architects. However, those positions offer $91K less and $89K less per year on average.

Principal Architect Job Listings

Popular Skills for Principal Architect


Survey results suggest that Principal Architects use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Lucky workers who know Enterprise Solutions can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 30 percent above average. System Architecture and Cloud Computing are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 16 percent and 30 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Design, Project Management, and Software Development. Most people familiar with Design also know Software Architecture.

Pay by Experience Level for Principal Architect

Pay by Experience for a Principal Architect has a positive trend. An entry-level Principal Architect with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $134,000 based on 9 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Principal Architect with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $144,000 based on 31 salaries. An experienced Principal Architect which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $144,000 based on 161 salaries. A Principal Architect with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $148,000 based on 148 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $147,017

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

For Principal Architects, San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 20 percent greater than the national average. Principal Architects will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+14 percent), Boston (+11 percent), Chicago (+2 percent), and Dallas (+2 percent). The lowest-paying market is Irvine, which sits 20 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Workers in Washington and Houston earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (14 percent less and 11 percent less, respectively).

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
10 %
Male
90 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 47 votes.
1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
4%
10-19 years
40%
20 years or more
54%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Principal Architect Salaries

▲1%

National Average
$147,000

▼2%

▼2%

Entry-Level
▼9%

Skills That Affect Principal Architect Salaries

Enterprise Solutions
▲30%

System Architecture
▲16%

Cloud Computing
▲16%

Java
▲13%

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
▲9%


National Average
$147,000


Software Development
▼5%

▼8%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 47 votes.

Gender

Female
10 %
Male
90 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
2%
5-9 years
4%
10-19 years
40%
20 years or more
54%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 91%
dental benefits
Dental: 82%
vision benefits
Vision: 73%
no benefits
None: 7%
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