Architects: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Architects plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, theaters, factories, and other structural property.

  • Prepare scale drawings or architectural designs, using computer-aided design or other tools.
  • Plan or design structures such as residences, office buildings, theatres, factories, or other structural properties in accordance with environmental, safety, or other regulations.
  • Direct activities of technicians engaged in preparing drawings or specification documents.
  • Prepare contract documents for building contractors.
Read more about what does an Architect really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$88860 per year

Average hourly wage
$43 per hour

Architects with little to no experience tend to make between $48020 and $61280 while the more experienced ones can earn over $104510 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
NY $53 $109,520
MA $50 $103,920
DC $48 $100,770
TX $48 $99,580
AZ $46 $95,220

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Architect is to move to a higher paying state like NY. Right now, the highest paying states for Architects are NY, MA, DC, TX and AZ.

However, a higher pay at NY doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at NY might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Architect is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s degree

We asked other Architects what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Environmental Design/Architecture
Architectural History and Criticism, General
Read more about how to become an Architect and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Architect.

Suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Suitable for people who wants independence and likes to work on their own and make decisions
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Very high salary (top 25% highest paid careers)
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

70% of Architects said they were satisfied with their job and 56% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

William Mandara, Jr. AIA
Mancini Duffy

Marvin Flax
OBM International

Tammy Chambless
Source: Quora

Avanthika Selvam
Source: Quora

Irfan Haider
Source: Quora

Paul Jurecka
Source: Quora

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Artists and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Learn more about Architects

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Related career information

Architects job description, Architects salary, Architects information, what is the job of an Architect like, pros and cons about Architects, colleges and universities for Architects, is Architects the right career for me, careers in Architecture and Engineering

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Architect, Architectural Designer, Architectural Project Manager, Architectural Superintendent, Building Architect, Building Architectural Designer, Building Consultant, City Designer, Commercial Green Building Architect, Commercial Green Building Designer

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