Principal Architect Salary

Compensation for Principal Architects in the United States is generous, with average pay surpassing six figures annually ($121K). Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $38K and $27K, respectively — total cash payment to Principal Architects can bottom out near $80K or peak near $193K depending on individual performance. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Work is enjoyable for Principal Architects, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$76,458 - $159,271
(Median)
$76K
$120K
$160K
MEDIAN: $120,962
10%
50%
90%

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$31.01 - $148.99
(Median)
$31
$70
$150
MEDIAN: $70
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$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$76,458 - $159,271  
   
Bonus
$964 - $38,334  
Profit Sharing
$1,521 - $27,274  
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).
)
$80,171 - $192,634  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 376
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$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$31.01 - $148.99  
   
Overtime
$24.50 - $72.50  
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$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$964 - $38,334  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,521 - $27,274  
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).
)
$80,171 - $192,634  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 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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Principal Architects may actually experience a considerable salary drop if they transition into a Senior Project Architect position. Pay for Senior Project Architects averages $85K per year. Many Principal Architects go on to become Design Architects or Architecture Project Managers despite the fact that median compensation in those roles is reportedly $78K lower and $68K lower, respectively.

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Popular Skills for Principal Architect


Principal Architects report using a wide range of professional 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, 10 percent, and 7 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Project Management and Design. Those proficient in Design are, more often than not, also skilled in 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.

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Experience Affects Principal Architect Salaries



National Average
$133,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 16%

Skills That Affect Principal Architect Salaries

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
up arrow 21%

Java
up arrow 10%

Software Architecture
up arrow 7%

Software Development
up arrow 6%

National Average
$133,000

up arrow 5%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 79 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
51%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 73%
vision benefits Vision: 61% employee benefits None: 8%
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