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Become A Lead Architect

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Working As A Lead Architect

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $95,737

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead Architect Do

Architects plan and design houses, factories, office buildings, and other structures.

Duties

Architects typically do the following:

  • Meet with clients to determine objectives and requirements for structures
  • Give preliminary estimates on cost and construction time
  • Prepare structure specifications
  • Direct workers who prepare drawings and documents
  • Prepare scaled drawings, either with computer software or by hand
  • Prepare contract documents for building contractors
  • Manage construction contracts
  • Visit worksites to ensure that construction adheres to architectural plans
  • Seek new work by marketing and giving presentations

People need places to live, work, play, learn, shop, and eat. Architects are responsible for designing these places. They work on public or private projects and design both indoor and outdoor spaces. Architects can be commissioned to design anything from a single room to an entire complex of buildings.

Architects discuss the objectives, requirements, and budget of a project with clients. In some cases, architects provide various predesign services, such as feasibility and environmental impact studies, site selection, cost analyses, and design requirements.

Architects develop final construction plans after discussing and agreeing on the initial proposal with clients. These plans show the building’s appearance and details of its construction. Accompanying these plans are drawings of the structural system; air-conditioning, heating, and ventilating systems; electrical systems; communications systems; and plumbing. Sometimes, landscape plans are included as well. In developing designs, architects must follow state and local building codes, zoning laws, fire regulations, and other ordinances, such as those requiring easy access to buildings for people who are disabled.

Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and building information modeling (BIM) have replaced traditional drafting paper and pencil as the most common methods for creating designs and construction drawings. However, hand-drawing skills are still required, especially during the conceptual stages of a project and when an architect is at a construction site.

As construction continues, architects may visit building sites to ensure that contractors follow the design, adhere to the schedule, use the specified materials, and meet work-quality standards. The job is not complete until all construction is finished, required tests are conducted, and construction costs are paid.

Architects may also help clients get construction bids, select contractors, and negotiate construction contracts.

Architects often collaborate with workers in related occupations, such as civil engineers, urban and regional planners, drafters, interior designers, and landscape architects.

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How To Become A Lead Architect

There are typically three main steps to becoming a licensed architect: completing a professional degree in architecture, gaining relevant experience through a paid internship, and passing the Architect Registration Examination.

Education

In all states, earning a professional degree in architecture is typically the first step to becoming an architect. Most architects earn their professional degree through a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree program, intended for students with no previous architectural training. Many earn a master’s degree in architecture, which can take 1 to 5 years in addition to the time spent earning a bachelor’s degree. The amount of time required depends on the extent of the student’s previous education and training in architecture.

A typical bachelor’s degree program includes courses in architectural history and theory, building design with an emphasis on computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), structures, construction methods, professional practices, math, physical sciences, and liberal arts. Central to most architectural programs is the design studio, where students apply the skills and concepts learned in the classroom to create drawings and three-dimensional models of their designs.

Currently, 34 states require that architects hold a professional degree in architecture from one of the 123 schools of architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). State licensing requirements can be found at the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). In the states that do not have that requirement, applicants can become licensed with 8 to 13 years of related work experience in addition to a high school diploma. However, most architects in these states still obtain a professional degree in architecture.

Training

All state architectural registration boards require architecture graduates to complete a lengthy paid internship—generally 3 years of experience—before they may sit for the Architect Registration Examination. Most new graduates complete their training period by working at architectural firms through the Intern Development Program (IDP), a program run by NCARB that guides students through the internship process. Some states allow a portion of the training to occur in the offices of employers in related careers, such as engineers and general contractors. Architecture students who complete internships while still in school can count some of that time toward the 3-year training period.

Interns in architectural firms may help design part of a project. They may help prepare architectural documents and drawings, build models, and prepare construction drawings on CADD. Interns may also research building codes and write specifications for building materials, installation criteria, the quality of finishes, and other related details. Licensed architects will take the documents that interns produce, make edits to them, finalize plans, and then sign and seal the documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states and the District of Columbia require architects to be licensed. Licensing requirements typically include completing a professional degree in architecture, gaining relevant experience through a paid internship, and passing the Architect Registration Examination.

Most states also require some form of continuing education to keep a license, and some additional states are expected to adopt mandatory continuing education. Requirements vary by state but usually involve additional education through workshops, university classes, conferences, self-study courses, or other sources.

A growing number of architects voluntarily seek certification from NCARB. This certification makes it easier to become licensed across states, because it is the primary requirement for reciprocity of licensing among state boards that are NCARB members. In 2014, approximately one-third of all licensed architects had the certification.

Advancement

After many years of work experience, some architects advance to become architectural and engineering managers. These managers typically coordinate the activities of employees and may work on larger construction projects.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Architects must understand the content of designs and the context in which they were created. For example, architects must understand the locations of mechanical systems and how those systems affect building operations.

Communication skills. Architects share their ideas, both in oral presentations and in writing, with clients, other architects, and workers who help prepare drawings. Many also give presentations to explain their ideas and designs.

Creativity. Architects design the overall look of houses, buildings, and other structures. Therefore, the final product should be attractive and functional.

Organizational skills. Architects often manage contracts. Therefore, they must keep records related to the details of a project, including total cost, materials used, and progress.

Technical skills. Architects need to use CADD technology to create plans as part of building information modeling (BIM).

Visualization skills. Architects must be able to see how the parts of a structure relate to each other. They also must be able to visualize how the overall building will look once completed.

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Lead Architect Jobs

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Lead Architect Career Paths

Lead Architect
Technical Project Manager Program Manager Senior Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Chief Architect Director Of Enterprise Architecture
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager & Leader Solutions Architect Senior Manager
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Technical Manager Operations Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Technical Manager Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Chief Architect Vice President Of Engineering Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager & Leader Business Analyst-Consultant Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Director Of Product Development Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Principal Consultant Senior Manager Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Principal Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Development Manager Information Technology Consultant Information Systems Manager
Senior Manager-Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Chief Technology Officer Senior Project Manager Contractor/Consultant
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Chief Technology Officer Chief Information Officer Senior Project Manager
Senior Technical Program Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Technical Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Development Manager Software Development Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President, Software Development
11 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Technical Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Lead Architect?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Chief Architect 3.5 years
Architect Manager 3.5 years
Architect 2.9 years
Senior Architect 2.8 years
Lead Architect 2.0 years
Top Employers Before
Architect 8.6%
Consultant 6.3%
Developer 5.1%
Manager 2.0%
Top Employers After
Architect 12.6%
Consultant 5.6%
Manager 2.7%

Do you work as a Lead Architect?

Lead Architect Demographics

Gender

Male

84.5%

Female

12.3%

Unknown

3.2%
Ethnicity

White

42.8%

Asian

31.2%

Hispanic or Latino

11.0%

Black or African American

8.5%

Unknown

6.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

20.4%

Japanese

10.2%

French

10.2%

Chinese

8.2%

Arabic

8.2%

Sami

4.1%

German

4.1%

Italian

4.1%

Carrier

4.1%

Dakota

4.1%

Mandarin

4.1%

Hindi

4.1%

Cornish

2.0%

Navajo

2.0%

Marathi

2.0%

Inuktitut

2.0%

Russian

2.0%

Korean

2.0%

Afrikaans

2.0%
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Lead Architect Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

8.2%

University of Texas at Austin

6.8%

More Tech Institute

6.2%

Illinois Institute of Technology

5.5%

Arizona State University

5.5%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.5%

University of Washington

5.5%

New York University

4.8%

Villanova University

4.8%

George Washington University

4.8%

Boston University

4.8%

Drexel University

4.8%

University of Alabama

4.1%

University of California - Berkeley

4.1%

Ohio State University

4.1%

Texas A&M University

4.1%

George Mason University

4.1%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.1%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.1%

Indiana Institute of Technology

4.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

28.8%

Business

10.4%

Computer Engineering

9.1%

Electrical Engineering

7.6%

Computer Applications

6.1%

Engineering

5.3%

Computer Information Systems

4.8%

Information Technology

3.9%

Architecture

3.4%

Information Systems

2.8%

Mechanical Engineering

2.6%

Mathematics

2.2%

Management Information Systems

2.1%

Management

2.0%

Finance

1.9%

Accounting

1.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.6%

Project Management

1.5%

Computer Networking

1.0%

Information Sciences

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.3%

Masters

40.4%

Other

10.5%

Doctorate

3.1%

Associate

1.7%

Diploma

1.7%

Certificate

1.3%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Lead Architect Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Product Architect Chain Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 09, 2016 $200,000
Lead Architect Bot Home Automation, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Apr 27, 2016 $185,000
Digital Architect Security Lead Jpmorgan Chase & Co. Jersey City, NJ Oct 19, 2015 $175,000
Lead Dell Identity Architect Icsynergy International, LP Plano, TX Sep 22, 2015 $170,000
Lead Architect Rebel Mouse, Inc. New York, NY Apr 30, 2015 $170,000
Lead Mdms Architect Innovative Systems Group, Inc. Glen Ellyn, IL Oct 31, 2015 $166,400
Lead Architect Kodiak Networks, Inc. Plano, TX Jan 03, 2016 $161,782
Lead Architect Barclays Bank Delaware Wilmington, DE Dec 19, 2016 $160,000
Architect Lead Jpmorgan Chase & Co. Jersey City, NJ Aug 22, 2016 $160,000
Lead Quality Assurance Architect E8 Security, Inc. Redwood City, CA Jan 12, 2015 $160,000
Lead Architect LM Group Inc. Cerritos, CA Jul 30, 2015 $159,390
Technical Lead-Architect Turnberry Solutions, Inc. Philadelphia, PA Dec 19, 2016 $155,000
Lead Architect Airwatch, LLC Atlanta, GA Mar 12, 2015 $104,437
Lead Architect IBM India Private Limited Dallas, TX Feb 10, 2016 $104,041
Lead Architect Savvis Communications Corporation Saint Louis, MO Feb 10, 2016 $103,688
Architect Lead Wipro Limited San Ramon, CA Sep 21, 2015 $103,210
Architect Lead Wipro Limited San Ramon, CA Jan 06, 2016 $103,210
Lead Architect IBM India Private Limited Englewood Cliffs, NJ Aug 02, 2015 $102,840
Lead Test Architect Aristocrat Technologies, Inc. Las Vegas, NV Dec 15, 2016 $101,234 -
$121,949
Lead Architect Qwest Corporation D/B/A Centurylink QC Minneapolis, MN Dec 29, 2016 $92,331
Architect Lead Wipro Limited Boston, MA Jun 18, 2015 $92,019
Architect Lead Wipro Limited Lexington, MA Jun 26, 2015 $92,019
Architect Lead Wipro Limited Quincy, MA Jun 18, 2015 $92,019
Architect Lead Wipro Limited Englewood, CO Jun 23, 2016 $91,915
Architect Lead Wipro Limited Englewood, CO Jul 29, 2015 $91,915

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Top Skills for A Lead Architect

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  1. Web
  2. Architecture
  3. Pl/Sql
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed a variety of integration projects for o Developed a variety of other web applications for other customers.
  • Coordinate with application teams for Application architecture and design and deploy the correct right Technical architecture for Functional components.
  • Involved in writing New Stored Procedures or modifying existing Stored Procedures per the requirements using Oracle SQL & PL/SQL.
  • Maintained project strategy and developed resource distribution plan and Data warehouse architecture change.
  • Designed and instituted new Windows platform vulnerability analysis and remediation process using SCCM.

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Top Lead Architect Employers

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Jobs From Top Lead Architect Employers

Lead Architect Videos

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