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Learn » Architecture Concepts » How Much Do Architects Make? and The Average Salary of An Architects

How Much Do Architects Make?

Are you an aspiring architect evaluating your career options?

If so, this article is definitely going to help you make your choice.

A large part of today’s population is choosing a career in architecture because of their passion. However, with the growing concerns of limited housing and the overall job outlook, they tend to divert their attention to a perceived high-paying profession such as healthcare, finance, etc.

Let us start by sharing our personal experiences.

An entry-level licensed architect with a distinguished vision, passion for the craft, and innate sense of high standards of living makes an average annual salary of $46560 at least. This figure is, of course, subject to escalation the further along you are I your career.

The Median salary of an architect is anywhere between $82,320 on a national average as per the BLS government website. The salary you choose to charge can also be on an hourly basis. The average annual salary is then influenced by your hourly rates. Several architects choose to charge anywhere between $35 – $45 per hour based on their years of experience, building information modeling for the project, and the requirements of the client.

Read also – How Much Do Interior Designers Make?

the average salary of architect

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An architect is a dream maker…

If you are wondering why an architect should be paid the highest salaries in this job market then this is where things get interesting.

An architect’s job entails building people’s dreams.

A lot of people are investing in high-end real estate to either sublet, sell, or live in these houses. An architect is a person who is responsible for building a home to meet the city code while designing the structure to its glory.

You will be the one who decides what is best for your client when developing their dream home. This is not only a position of power but one with extreme responsibility.

You see, most homeowners have a vision of what their home should look like. This is where they will make beautiful memories with their family and loved ones. Therefore, it is your job to bring their vision to light with the most incredible design to fulfill their dream.

Read also – 12 Best 3D Architecture Software

What influences an average architect’s annual salary?

Bluntly speaking, the average salary of an average architect is predominantly based on their skills and creativity, aside from their ability to follow the building codes of any city or state in the United States of America.

An entry-level architect with a bachelor’s degree and a certification from the Architect registration examination can make a substantial amount to support the cost of living in any major city. This, of course, depends on how well they are able to advertise their services and acquire clients, so focus your attention on some business classes as well.

A mid-level architect job offers anywhere between $50000 and $80000. This is mainly because not only do they hold a certification from the National Council of architectural registration boards but also have a few years of experience under the belt.

architect salary

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A senior-level licensed architect working at a full-time job at an architectural firm or working on contracts on a freelance basis makes a whopping $70,000 to $100,000 a year. Needless to say, not only do they have a lifetime of experience but also understand the value of keeping up with trending design plans and sometimes hold a master’s degree.

Based on how well they can translate the homeowner’s requirements and incorporate smart technology to keep up with the evolution of mankind, the national average salary of architects is always pretty high.

The salary of an architect is also contingent on the area under progress. In suburban areas or for individual small houses, the area of construction and the design plans are pretty simplistic. Therefore, the average salary of an architect, regardless of their experience, might take a median curve. Unless, of course, the developer is highly established or planning to flip high-end properties.

For high-rise buildings with smart living facilities, the architect will be required to put in extra hours, thereby appraising their annual wage. The overall building information modeling calls for rigorous hours spent getting the structure up to code and delivering all amenities without hampering the design frame. It certainly calls for higher salaries, don’t you think?

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1. Do architects make a substantial living?

Yes, potentially architects make some of the highest salaries, as per the labor bureau of labor statistics and BLS reports. Given the increasing demand for personal properties in today’s era, people are always looking for experienced architects or entry-level licensed architects with a vision.

If you can advertise your services for maximum benefits or acquire an architect job at one of the top firms in your area, then you better believe that you will be making a substantial living year-round.

Read also – What Does An Interior Designer Do?

2. How much do architects make based on their practice in different regions?

Architect salaries differ based on various regions. This is strongly influenced by the standard and cost of living in said region, along with the requirements of the clients and the architectural landmine that surrounds it. It is also influenced by whether or not the area is largely suburban, township, or a city.

a) The average salary of architect in popular regions

Here is a list of what architects make in annual wage in some of the popular regions:

  • Massachusetts – $110,840
  • California – $124770
  • New York – $81950
  • Texas – $112600
  • Georgia – $ 100490
  • Minnesota – $56130 – $129450 as they are contingent on projects.
  • Alabama – $101820
  • Alaska – $64340 – $125880 as per availability of projects.
  • Arizona – $86335
  • Arkansas – $97320
  • Florida – $84240
  • Maine – $45,920 – $129,960 based on years of experience and marketing.
  • Utah – $115810
  • Colorado – $106710
  • Illinois – $107380
  • Kentucky – $10890
  • Mississippi – $66520 – $102010 based on the location of the project.
  • Montana – $41390 – $109240 depending on the housing demand and structure of the building.
  • Nebraska – $50030 – $131730 depending on the region within the state.
  • West Virginia – $53800 – $135580 based on the popularity of the location and the size of the project.
  • Wyoming – $55020 – $16150 based on the development of the region and the type of project.
  • District of Columbia – $117310

As you can see, based on the popularity of the region, the size and structure of the project, the development of the state, and the cost of living, different regions call for different pay grades. Therefore, if you are contemplating a career in architecture, choose your location for the architect registration examination wisely.

That said, also keep in mind that several architects choose to travel to a high-paying location for better annual salaries. In the meantime, areas offering lower paygrades are experiencing a lack of good architecture. You can negotiate a higher pay scale due to the growing need and lack of skilled professionals.

Read also – 10 Best Interior Design Career Paths To Become An Interior Designer

3. What are the factors that influence the annual wage of an architect?

Simply put, the following factors play an important role in the architect’s annual wage, for contracts as well as architect jobs:

  • Design Skills
  • Understanding of building codes
  • Qualification
  • License and Certification from the national council of architectural registration boards
  • Development in the area of practice
  • National average contingent on the state of the economy in the country
  • Bylaws of the architectural firm
  • Availability of projects, both big and small
  • Years of experience as a professional architect and the overall experience of the firm
  • Marketing strategies employed to acquire new projects
  • Size of the architectural team

Read also – Best Architectural Tools and Software

4. Is architecture a viable career option in today’s economy?

Architects, even an entry-level one with a bachelor’s degree, make a higher salary as compared to their peers. They rank among the highest-paid professions alongside healthcare professionals, real estate tycoons, Wall Street brokers, and financial advisors.

You can easily run a household on an architect’s salary. This works best if you are hired at a firm during economic upheavals as a salary is promised rather than contingent on available projects for individual contractors.

In today’s economy, the highest bidders of architectural nuances are young millionaires and tech-savvy geniuses. If, as an architect, you can keep up with today’s trend and incorporate smart technology for security systems, amenities, or basically a smart-home in itself, then you are always going to have interesting projects to work on.

So, yes, in today’s economy, architecture is certainly a fruitful career.

Should I consider job opportunities in architectural firms or opt for individual contracts?

Honestly, an architectural firm will be able to spring for a number of ad campaigns and marketing options to attract more business. Therefore, you can expect a steady number of projects year-round.

On the other hand, if you can market yourself and hire a team of expert professionals to deliver high standards of work, then individual contracts are a better option as the profits are more.

Choose the option that best fits your profile, experience, and capabilities.

Read also – 10 Best Online Interior Design Courses


The life of an architect is predominantly joyous due to the love for their craft. If you are considering a career in architecture, then focus on learning the inner workings of the trade, get your license, and start designing.

If you are at a loss for ideas, or experience for that matter, consider using the Foyr Neo software and create 3D models for a portfolio. The app is a blessing to architects and interior designers alike as it allows you to navigate through various floorplans, design ideas, and creativity.

Pursue your dream and see where it leads you. Architects are bound to make good money so dedicate your efforts one hundred percent into your work and make a name for yourself. Who knows, you may be the next prodigy following in the footsteps of Antonio Gaudi and Santiago Calatrava.

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