What is an Architect

From designing to planning, architects have a hand in houses, factories, office buildings and other structures. Working from an office, architects spend their days developing plans for such structures and meet with clients to ensure their dream is being carried out.

While it all sounds like fun and games, you do need a good amount of education and experience to be able to become an architect. A bachelor's degree is step one. Then you need experience through a paid internship. Before accepting a job offer, you even need to pass the Architect Registration Examination.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an architect. For example, did you know that they make an average of $36.06 an hour? That's $75,007 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 11,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Architect Do

There are certain skills that many architects have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, communication skills and creativity.

Learn more about what an Architect does

How To Become an Architect

If you're interested in becoming an architect, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 67.2% of architects have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 21.2% of architects have master's degrees. Even though most architects have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an architect. When we researched the most common majors for an architect, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on architect resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an architect. In fact, many architect jobs require experience in a role such as senior software engineer. Meanwhile, many architects also have previous career experience in roles such as consultant or architectural internship.

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Average Salary for an Architect

Architects in America make an average salary of $75,007 per year or $36 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $105,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $53,000 per year.
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Architect Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an Architect. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an Architect Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Architect resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Architect Demographics

Architect Gender Statistics


70.6 %


22.6 %


6.8 %

Architect Ethnicity Statistics


68.2 %


16.0 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.9 %

Architect Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics


41.6 %


12.9 %


6.0 %
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Architect Education

Architect Majors

Architect Degrees


67.2 %


21.2 %


6.2 %

Top Colleges for Architects

1. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
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Online Courses For Architect That You May Like

GCP Professional Cloud Architect: Google Cloud Certification

Become a GCP Cloud Architect. Architect Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Solutions. 2021 MAY - Includes New Case Studies...

PL/SQL by Example - Beginner to Advanced PL/SQL

Using PL/SQL learn how to combine the efficiency of SQL & Procedural Language(PL) to build a powerful PL/SQL Application...

Google Cloud Certified Professional - Architect - Bootcamp

Bootcamp to prep your for the Google Cloud Platform Architect exam...

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Top Skills For an Architect

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.0% of architects listed cloud on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.


Best States For an Architect

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an architect. The best states for people in this position are Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Nebraska. Architects make the most in Massachusetts with an average salary of $96,866. Whereas in New Hampshire and Virginia, they would average $93,581 and $91,470, respectively. While architects would only make an average of $87,467 in Nebraska, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Massachusetts

Total Architect Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Virginia

Total Architect Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Texas

Total Architect Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Architects

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Top Architect Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ architects and discovered their number of architect opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Tata Consultancy Services was the best, especially with an average salary of $65,133. IBM follows up with an average salary of $90,586, and then comes Infosys Public Services with an average of $94,602. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an architect. The employers include Huron Consulting Group, VMware, and Equifax

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Architect FAQs

Do architects get paid well?

Yes, architects get paid well. While architects earn high annual salaries, their exact pay is dependent on their educational credentials, licensing, work experience, job position, employer, industry, and job location.

On average, architects in the United States earn around $107,945 per year. However, some architect salaries in the United States can range from $130,826 - $151,388 per year. Architects get paid the most in these states:

  • California

  • Pennsylvania

  • Washington

  • Texas

  • New Jersey

  • New Hampshire

  • Minnesota

  • Iowa

  • Delaware

  • Connecticut

Experienced architects with in-demand specializations will earn the highest salaries in the industry. Architects with training in Building Information Modeling management, for instance, are top salary earners. Sustainable design and urban planning are two other well-paying areas for architects.

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How do I get started as an architect?

To get started as an architect, you will need to earn a bachelor's degree. In the United States, architects are required to attain their architectural licensure before practicing or soliciting business.

Although certain prerequisites may vary by state, the general requirements for licensure include education, experience, examination, and registration.

Typically, a bachelor's degree program educational requirements includes courses that cover topics such as:

  • Architectural history and theory

  • Building design with an emphasis on computer-aided design and drafting (CADD)

  • Structures and construction methods

  • Professional practices

  • Mathematics

  • Physical sciences

  • Liberal arts

Many people earn their Master's Degree in architecture, which may take one to five additional years. The time required to earn a Master's in architecture depends on the extent of the student's prior educational background and architectural training.

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How long does it take to become an architect?

It takes at least four years to earn a bachelor's degree to become an architect. To become an architect, you'll need to meet your jurisdiction's education requirement with a bachelor's degree program.

As per the BLS, 35 states currently require that architects hold an undergraduate degree in architecture from one of the 122 schools accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

If you're interested in learning how to attain your architectural license and become a licensed professional architect, there are certain factors you should be aware of when pursuing your education.

Besides being proficient in mathematics with a flair for innovation, a successful licensed architect typically possesses a variety of other core skills, such as:

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Is architect a good job?

Yes, being an architect is a good job. Architecture is a respected career, and an architect typically earns higher than average salaries. Large firms are looking for fresh talent and new ideas so that you can make a lot of money working as an architect.

If you are looking for a sought-after, high-income profession, becoming an architect is a good choice.

Architects can improve the lives of other people, designing adapted spaces that meet their needs and allow them to lead a more easy and comfortable life. For this reason, Architecture is one of the most admired professions.

The architect's work has a high percentage of creativity. Many architectural works throughout history are considered art, showing the vision of the architect.

Architecture gives you the freedom to use the creative part of your brain. It's an art that works with science to design places and buildings where people can live, interact, work and play. You get a lot of opportunities to showcase your creativity and art while designing structures.

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Is it hard to become an architect?

Yes, it is hard to become an architect. To become a licensed architect, students must earn their first professional degree in architecture.

A first professional degree is a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Typical NAAB accredited degrees include a 5-year undergraduate degree or a 3-year graduate degree.

Depending on the curriculum and length of the program an architect chooses to enroll in as a student, school for an architect can take anywhere from 5 to 7 years.

In addition to a rigorous and time-investing education track, the path to obtaining an architectural license also requires relevant hands-on experience accredited by NCARB and several exam credentials.

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What is an architect's job?

Architects design structures such as houses, apartment complexes, shopping centers, office buildings, and factories. In addition to considering their physical appearance, they also make sure these structures will be functional, safe, economical, and suit the needs of the people who will use them.

The majority of the time, architects work in an office. They meet with clients, draft plans, work on cost estimates, file permit applications with municipal building departments, and help clients set up agreements with contractors.

Architects also visit construction sites to check the progress of projects and make sure contractors are building them according to their plans.

When creating designs, architects use advanced computer programs such as 3D software programs, BIM (Building Information Management and AutoCAD (computer-aided design), and cloud-based technologies.

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What is the main role of an architect?

The main role of an architect is to create designs for new construction projects, alterations, and redevelopments. Their role is important in every stage of the building's construction, from the initial concept to the opening ceremony when the building is complete.

Beyond completion, an architect often remains involved in a project as buildings evolve to incorporate new surroundings and ideas.

The aspects of work can be split into three main roles or phases:

  • Design

  • Documentation

  • Construction

There is a need to comply with building and safety regulations, local planning regulations, and restrictions. Depending on the project, there may be laws surrounding preserving the local environment or any historical parts of a building.

Regular client meetings are important to establish requirements and discuss detailed design proposals. Also important to head up the team of other professionals who will work on this stage of the project, including engineers, designers, and financiers.

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