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Working as a Design Architect

Architects are some of the most respected professionals in building and construction. In collaboration with engineers, they are responsible for creating remarkable structures like the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. A design architect's job is to create blueprints for a building project. But their job may often extend beyond that to managing teams of employees and communicating with clients. Occassionally, design architects may also oversee projects.

Architects often function as project managers to discuss client needs, ensure that the project is completed within time and budget, meet state codes, and many other concerns. A renowned architect has even been quoted saying that designing buildings is only 15% of his job.

As you can tell, design architects require a wide range of skills, including creativity, communication, teamwork, and of course, design. To become an architect, you'll need a bachelor of architecture degree as well as state licensing.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a design architect. For example, did you know that they make an average of $32.52 an hour? That's $67,642 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 a Design Architect Do

There are certain skills that many design 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a design architect, we found that a lot of resumes listed 15.0% of design architects included revit, while 8.8% of resumes included construction documents, and 5.5% of resumes included architecture. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the design architect job title. But what industry to start with? Most design architects actually find jobs in the technology and professional industries.

How To Become a Design Architect

If you're interested in becoming a design architect, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 50.0% of design architects have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 34.4% of design architects have master's degrees. Even though most design 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 a design architect. When we researched the most common majors for a design architect, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on design architect resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary$67,642
Job Growth Rate8%

Design Architect Career Paths

Top Careers Before Design Architect

Architect
21.0 %

Top Careers After Design Architect

Architect
20.3 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Design Architect

Design Architects in America make an average salary of $67,642 per year or $33 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $97,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $47,000 per year.
Average Salary
$67,642

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Boston, MA
Salary Range64k - 122k$89k$89,107
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range60k - 121k$86k$85,779
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range57k - 104k$78k$77,521
Arlington Heights, IL
Salary Range57k - 99k$76k$75,576
Richardson, TX
Salary Range56k - 100k$75k$75,352
New York, NY
Salary Range54k - 102k$75k$74,951
$40k
$122k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Web Design Architect
Web Design Architect
Robert Half
Robert Half
08/20/2020
08/20/2020
$120,00008/20/2020
$120,000
System Design Architect
System Design Architect
Honda Logistics North America, Inc.
Honda Logistics North America, Inc.
09/17/2019
09/17/2019
$80,90309/17/2019
$80,903
System Design Architect
System Design Architect
Honda Logistics North America, Inc.
Honda Logistics North America, Inc.
09/09/2019
09/09/2019
$80,90309/09/2019
$80,903
Design Architect 1
Design Architect 1
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.
08/21/2019
08/21/2019
$62,77408/21/2019
$62,774
Architect-Design Lead
Architect-Design Lead
Manhattan Associates, Inc.
Manhattan Associates, Inc.
07/31/2019
07/31/2019
$131,00007/31/2019
$131,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Design Architect Demographics

Gender

male

66.9 %

female

25.0 %

unknown

8.0 %

Ethnicity

White

68.6 %

Asian

15.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

49.4 %

Italian

7.2 %

French

6.0 %
See More Demographics

Design Architect Education

Degrees

Bachelors

50.0 %

Masters

34.4 %

Associate

6.0 %

Top Colleges for Design Architects

1. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

2. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

5. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

6. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

7. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

8. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

9. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

10. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Design 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, 15.0% of design architects listed revit on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

Best States For a Design Architect

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a design architect. The best states for people in this position are Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Arizona, and California. Design architects make the most in Massachusetts with an average salary of $88,884. Whereas in New Hampshire and Arizona, they would average $82,810 and $79,533, respectively. While design architects would only make an average of $79,306 in California, 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 Design Architect Jobs:
371
Highest 10% Earn:
$158,000
Location Quotient:
1.19
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. Arizona

Total Design Architect Jobs:
208
Highest 10% Earn:
$144,000
Location Quotient:
1.17
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 Design Architect Jobs:
880
Highest 10% Earn:
$131,000
Location Quotient:
1.19
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
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Top Design Architect Employers

1. IBM
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$79,297
Design Architects Hired: 
21+
2. Jacobs Engineering Group
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$60,810
Design Architects Hired: 
17+
3. NBBJ
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$67,606
Design Architects Hired: 
15+
4. Sears Holdings
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$123,247
Design Architects Hired: 
8+
5. Perkins and Will
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$63,928
Design Architects Hired: 
7+
6. AL.com
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$57,781
Design Architects Hired: 
6+

Design Architect Videos

Updated October 2, 2020