A Guide to Average Architect Salary

Find Out How Much You Can Earn as an Architect

Explore Typical Architect Salaries

Meta description: Find out how much you can earn as an architect. Secure your future with professional liability insurance.

Architects design structures and buildings, including residential complexes, single and multi-family houses, commercial spaces, office complexes, hospitals, and sporting venues. The architect is involved in all aspects of the project, from conceptualization of design to finishing the construction. These professionals work closely with clients to develop the design and goals for the project while also being responsible for hiring contractors and supervising their work.

Architects are held to higher standards by clients, given the fact that architecture is a highly specialized profession. These professionals are not only liable for any errors or omissions they allegedly or actually make but can also be held responsible for any negligence on the part of the contractors or suppliers they hire. There are many instances where even reputed architect firms have faced negligence lawsuits for mistakes a contractor or a third party committed. 

Whether you are working as part of a large architect firm or freelancing, one of the important aspects to pay attention to is on purchasing professional liability insurance. Also known as Errors and Omission (E & O) insurance, professional liability insurance offers financial protection in case of unfortunate negligence or malpractice claim. Even when you have not made any mistakes, fighting alleged negligence can place a huge burden on your financial health with the huge amount of legal/court fees involved. Before you embark on a career in architecture, securing your future with professional liability insurance is one of the best decisions you will ever make. Check here for more information.

Educational requirements

The average salary an architect earns depends on qualification, experience, and the type of project handled. The practice of architecture is regulated in all states in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is mandatory for architects to have a bachelor's degree in architecture from an accredited institution, although many architects also earn master's degrees. After completing a three-year internship, architects are eligible for the Architect Registration Examination, after which they can apply for licensure.

Average architect salary

As per the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary that architects earn is $88,860, while the hourly pay is $42.72. The annual median wage is $79,380, while hourly pay is $38.16. The average salary of architects is 102 percent higher as compared to the average annual median wage for all jobs.

According to BLS, architects in the highest ten percent bracket earn a salary of more than $138,120, while the lowest ten percent earn below $48,020 annually.

Average salary based on the job title

Entry-level architects are those who have recently graduated and are working or interning in firms. Their job titles and salary depend on how close the professionals are to licensure. Level 1 architects help create designs under direct supervision by an experienced and licensed architect. 

Level 1, 2, and 3 architects

Level 1 architects have a minimum of five years of experience and work more independently, and earn $67,920 on an average annually. Level 2 architects who have eight years of experience earn $80,280 on an average as they supervise teams, approve finished plans and construction.

Licensed architects who have ten years or more of experience earn $99,360 on an average annually.

Senior project manager

Senior project managers have more than ten years of experience and oversee the entire project, project managers, and other aspects, including documents, client management, scope, plans, contracts, and estimated fees. These professionals earn $107,740 each year on an average.

Average architect salary in different states

According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly and annual salaries for architects in different states are as below:

In New York, the hourly pay is $43.60, while the annual salary is $90,68. In Massachusetts, the average hourly salary is $43.24, and the annual pay is $89,938.

Hourly salaries in New Hampshire and Maryland are $42.52 and $40.63, while annual salaries are $88,451 and $84,504, respectively.

The hourly pay in many states, including Nebraska, North Dakota, Alaska, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, California, Washington, and Vermont, is $39.84. The annual salaries for architects in these states vary from $82,864 to $83,000. 

The average hourly salary is slightly less at $37.78 in many states such as Arizona, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Jersey, Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Annual salaries in these states range from $76,970 to $ 79,000.

North Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Alabama, and New Mexico have the least hourly wages, which range between $30 and $35, while the annual salaries average at $72,000.

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