Principal Architect Salary

Principal Architects in the United States can look forward to a sizeable six-figure salary — around $120K per year on average. Total cash compensation for Principal Architects runs from $81K to $191K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $38K and profit sharing that can reach almost $27K. Geographic location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. The majority of Principal Architects claim high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$77,009 - $158,460

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$31.01 - $148.99

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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
$77,009 - $158,460  
   
Bonus
$515 - $38,483  
Profit Sharing
$1,163 - $26,910  
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).
)
$81,019 - $191,230  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 383
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
$31.01 - $148.99  
   
Overtime
$24.50 - $72.50  
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
$515 - $38,483  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,163 - $26,910  
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).
)
$81,019 - $191,230  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 10
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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

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

Common Career Paths for Principal Architect


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As Principal Architects transition into upper-level roles such as Senior Project Architects, they may actually see their salaries decline sharply. The average Senior Project Architect earns a much lower $85K on average. Principal Architects most often move into positions as Design Architects or Architecture Project Managers. Design Architects actually earn $77K less on average, however, and Architecture Project Managers earn $67K less per year than Principal Architects do.

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Popular Skills for Principal Architect


Survey results show that Principal Architects use a fair number of skills. Most notably, facility with Service Oriented Architecture, Java, and Software Architecture are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 21 percent, 11 percent, and 8 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Project Management and Design. Most people who know Design also know Software Architecture.

Principal Architect Reviews

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

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Experience Affects Principal Architect Salaries



National Average
$132,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 16%

Skills That Affect Principal Architect Salaries

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
up arrow 21%

Java
up arrow 11%

Software Architecture
up arrow 8%

Software Development
up arrow 6%

National Average
$132,000

Design
up arrow 4%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 78 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
1%
5-9 years
5%
10-19 years
44%
20 years or more
50%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 90% dental benefits Dental: 74%
vision benefits Vision: 61% employee benefits None: 8%
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