- What's the average starting salary for an architect?
- Can an architect earn as much as a doctor or a lawyer?
- How is the economic slowdown affecting architects and other design professionals?
Job Outlook for Architects
Architecture, like many other fields, has been profoundly affected by the economic slowdown and the drop in real estate values. Between July 2009 and November 2009, employment at American architecture firms dropped from 224,500 to 184,600, according to the US Department of Labor. And yet the US Department of Labor predicts that over the next ten years, employment of architects will increase more rapidly than the average for all occupations. Projections about the job outlook for architects in the USA are published in the Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Salaries for Architects
Many factors influence the salary an architect earns. Income varies greatly according to geographic location, type of firm, level of education, and years of experience. While published statistics can be outdated, they will give you a general idea of the salaries, wages, income, and benefits for architects. According to May 2011 US Department of Labor statistics, architects in the USA earn between $44,030 and $119,410 a year. Half of all architects earn more than $73,340 and half earn less. The mean annual wage is $79,300 per year, and the mean hourly rate is $38.13.
For more employment statistics, check out the DesignIntelligence Compensation and Benefits Survey (Order Online). This report draws data from approximately 460 practices that offer design services such as architecture, design-build, engineering, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design, and industrial design. More than 25,000 full-time staff are represented in the survey.
According to the 2010-2011 edition of the DesignIntelligence Compensation Survey, architect income remains steady despite the economic downturn. Salaries for recent architecture school graduates are increasing. The mean salary for a graduate with a Bachelor of Architecture degree, for example, has risen from $39,333 in 2008 to $41,012 in 2009. The mean salary for a graduate with a Master of Architecture degree has risen from $42,985 to $47,263.
Professional architects with 20 or more years of experience earn an average income of $100,723. Twenty percent of the experienced architects earn up to $142,200, according to the DesignIntelligence survey.
An interior designer with 20 years' experience is most likely to earn $97,800, with the top 20 percent in making $145,333. Their bonus is 8.3 percent.
The DesignIntelligence Compensation and Benefits Survey is published every year and includes income projections, cost-of-living differentials, and information about benefits and perks. For the most current data, be sure to check the most recent edition.