How much do architects make is an amazing question you would like to search. Money is important for livelihood and you have to plan for your livelihood or future according to given circumstances. However, architects make a handsome amount while working in the field.

Architecture is an exciting and amazing field with wider scope for creativity and innovation. Moreover, you have more chances for growth. An architect designs and develops plans for construction and public infrastructure. This guide will help you decide whether pursuing a career in architecture is good for you or not. You will get salary figures, job information such as roles and duties, and factors affecting the salary. Moreover, we will also discuss tips to increase your salary.

How much an architect earns in USA?

Generally, you think about how much do architects make according to your imagination. You may think and imagine them as a figure who only designs and draws buildings or interiors. Certainly, this is a misconception and is an important point that translates your mind into deciding wrongly about the architect’s job and wage. Moreover, there are many things to consider while deciding about the pay and earnings of an architect. These include education, experience, skills, location, and type of company. Furthermore, professional licensing and strong credentials also help. All these factors play an important part in how much do architects make and variations in earnings across the profession.

You may expect handsome pay but it all depends upon individual performance and especially where you are performing- the size of the company. On average, the United States offers USD 107,945 per year with a range from USD 130,826 – USD 151,388 per year. Most professionals earn between these ranges. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2020, the average salary of an American Architect was USD 89,560. Different states offer salaries according to their work. For example, they can make USD 65,140 in Idaho, which is less than the national average. Certainly, these types of surveys are useful, but they consider the architect as a single figure. They are not distinguished by different factors as discussed above.

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Factors Affecting How Much Money Do Architects Make

There are different factors affecting how much money do architects make. Below are some of them:

i. Job Outlook

The job outlook is an important factor and it is likely to grow 8% from 2018 to 2028 and will create more jobs. But these roles are for sustainable architecture. They require specialization in sustainable architecture. However, the coming years will see their high demand. You can expect to find a job building eco-friendly infrastructure.

Tip: Architects are one of the most important people in the real estate sector which is the largest sector in any economy. Therefore, you must use your full potential to earn maximum.

ii. Type of Job

Earnings vary according to the job role and duties. An architect can work on different jobs and perform duties according to responsibilities. Architectural BIM services provide these types of services. It includes:

  • Design residential and commercial infrastructure such as roads and spaces
  • Design factories, production facilities
  • Draw and draft plans for energy-efficient and environmentally feasible structures
  • Create plans and drawings for parks, playgrounds
  • Work in a team for designing boats, ships, and other engineering structures

iii. Educational Credentials

Usually, a bachelor’s degree is a requirement for entry-level positions to kick-start your career. However, it is a start, you can pursue a master’s and doctorate. The National Architectural Board accredits such degree programs and requires an internship for 3 years. During this internship, you will work under a licensed architecture firm and will be paid. You can advance your career onwards. Moreover, after the experience, they must pass the registration examination to get the certification. This is the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards certification which allows them to work. However, each state may require additional effort to renew licenses after two years to include industry advancements.

iv. Position or Skill Level

How much do architects make depends upon experience and skills. Unlicenced and entry-level can earn USD 53000 and the CEO or senior most professional can earn USD 137,000. Not only licensing, but other factors are also important to grow and earn more.

v. Location

Pay rates are often according to living costs. Great opportunities and large job potential lie within large cities where the cost of living is much more. Metropolitan areas often pay more to an architect.

vi. Firm Size and Type

Large firms and companies earn more revenue and pay employees more for loyalty. More profits results in large paychecks but smaller firms and studios are also not paying less. Managing themselves can lead to higher earnings. Moreover, small firms often specialize and create an impact. However, how much do architects make directly relates to firm size and capabilities to manage themselves.

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Tips for Increasing Salary

There are so many tips and ways to improve your earnings. How much do architects make depends upon ways to climb and grab opportunities along their career path. Here are some tips to increase your pay or earning:

  • Getting a license to get more recognition and work in different cities.
  • Consider specialization such as project management to focus on a single area and earn more. Sustainable architecture is one of the most sought areas.
  • Develop professional skills such as interpersonal, leadership, problem-solving, and documentation skills.
  • Design projects and work on them in time so that your deadlines are not over. Moreover, a timely project saves cost and completes within budget. They can generate more profits.
  • Move to different states to work with big firms to increase your paycheck.
  • Ask for a salary increase with proper request and justification. Moreover, you can consider opening your independent firm to increase your earnings. You can provide services as a freelancer as well.

Tip: You must consider moving to a location where you will be paid more. Project managers can earn USD 91,000 on average but metropolitan areas offer USD 97,370 and small cities offer up to USD 65,760.

Final Thoughts

How much do architects make depends upon their qualifications and the type of work they are doing in the firm. Skills and experience also matter but location and company size is also crucial for growth and how much do architects make. There are several methods to increase your paycheck and earning. You can get a license, specialize in a specific field, improve your skills, and ask for a salary increase. However, you can also provide your services out of your company and can run an independent firm. Once you grow in your career, you will get more. Therefore, being an architect is an amazing and rewarding career.


Landscape architect, preservation architect, architectural designer and technologist are some of the highest paid.

Architects are well paid and this career is rewarding. They build designs for infrastructure where people live and spend time.

It depends upon experience and speciality. They can make upto $240. Norman Foster is currently highest paid architect.

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