Earn a Six Figure Salary As an Architect

Earning a six-figure salary is an admirable and achievable goal for architects. Both newly registered and established architects want to reach this milestone in their career, even if they don't run their own firm. This article explains how any ambitious can reach this significant architecture salary, with the help of an employer.


Building Your Skills

  1. Start early. If you've just graduated from design school and landed your first job as an architect, it is unlikely you'll salary will be six figures. Find out what the average salary of a new architect where you live usually is. To raise your income, you need to invest in yourself. Gain a lot of experience. Develop new skill sets. The richer your experience is, the better positioned you are in to command a higher salary at work.
  2. Develop your hard skills. For your employer to be enticed to increase your salary, you have to show them and offer them “hard skills” such as:
    • Design skill
    • Advanced knowledge of a new software
    • Code knowledge
    • Industry awareness
    • Improved hand drawing
    • Data analysis
    • Complete qualifications and trainings
    • Degrees
    • Foreign language skills
  3. Work on your soft skills too. Employers also promote architects who have excellent “soft skills”. Dedicate time every day at to improve a few of these skills. It will help you fast-track your career in the near future.
    • Communication skills
    • Leadership skills
    • Adaptability and flexibility
    • Problem-solving
    • Decision-making
    • Creativity
    • Team-working
    • Time management skills
    • Willingness to learn

Finding a Job

  1. Get a new job. Some architects find it hard to get substantial raises from their current employer despite the increasing costs of living. If this is you, it's recommend that you find a new job with a firm who agrees to give you a higher salary. If possible, open the idea of increasing your salary annually. Expect that you will apply all the new skills you've learned and expect to acquire more skills in the process.
  2. Reduce the stress of others by doing your work correctly. Avoid having your boss or colleagues fix your mistakes and fill in your shortcomings for you. As much as possible, do your job with minimal errors so you don't give them trouble and extra work. When you work like this, your colleagues will always want to work with you and, your boss will see you as a model employee.
  3. Develop a specialization, be indispensable, be the best.  One way for an architect to earn more money is through developing a specialization. Focus on designing a specific type of building and do it better than anyone else. Architects who know how to design energy-efficient and passive designed businesses are paid more. You can attend trainings and seminars that enhance your skills in designing this type of building.
  4. Initiate regular performance reviews. If you think about it, performance reviews are similar to job interviews - don't be scared of performance reviews. These assessments help you discuss your contributions with your supervisor. This is the time to tell them about the steps you do to improve your work too.

Building Your Income

  1. Take on more responsibility. This will mean more income. Not all people in the industry will entrust you with a responsibility. For you to excel, you need to go above and beyond what your firm expects you to do. Taking more responsibility means climbing up the corporate ladder and will translate to a higher income. However, this doesn't mean you have to work longer hours and double your work. Just be more efficient and productive. Lead projects that you can handle. Be the dependable architect in your firm.
  2. Get your license. This is a sure-fire way to earn a bigger salary. Ask the senior architects and designers in your firm. Also, the longer you hold a license generally the more you are worth in the marketplace. To be a licensed architect, you need to pass examinations and render the required hours of internship. It's recommended that you tackle this right after you finish architecture school or during the early years of your first job.
  3. Move to an urban area and do your practice there. This is the quickest route to six-figure income. The construction never stops in urban places. The demand for architects is constant and increasing too. Also, salary offers in architecture firms in the city are always higher compared to firms in rural communities.
  4. Develop multiple income streams. If you really want to reach a six figure annual salary, ensure you have multiple sources of income. Times are rough nowadays and the riskiest position to be is to work for only one firm. What if that company decides to lay-off some people and you're one of them? How can you keep up?
  5. Think about your skill sets. Identify which of skills you can do on the side to generate additional income. If possible, take on another architectural project as a sideline. Who knows? Your side projects may be more profitable than your day job.