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Working As A Senior 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

  • $100,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Senior Architect Career Paths

Senior Architect
Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Director Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Manager Controller Information Technology Manager
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Manager Office Manager Practice Manager
Practice Director
12 Yearsyrs
Manager Information Technology Manager Director Of Technology And Services
Vice President Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Manager Information Technology Manager Delivery Manager
Senior Delivery Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Manager Chief Technology Officer Chief Architect
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Technical Manager Development Manager Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Manager Development Manager Manager Applications Development
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Solutions Architect Information Technology Project Manager Enterprise Project Manager
Enterprise Program Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Data Architect Senior Database Administrator Business Intelligence Manager
Business Intelligence-Senior Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Program/Project Manager Solutions Manager
Senior Solutions Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Manager Technical Support Manager Information Technology Operations Manager
Senior Manager Infrastructure
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Solutions Architect Information Technology Project Manager Engagement Manager
Client Partner
11 Yearsyrs
Project Analyst Senior Software Engineer Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Chief Architect 3.6 years
Architect Manager 3.3 years
Systems Architect 3.2 years
Architect 3.1 years
Senior Architect 3.0 years
Lead Architect 2.5 years
Top Careers Before Senior Architect
Architect 17.0%
Consultant 7.6%
Developer 3.2%
Top Careers After Senior Architect
Architect 15.7%
Consultant 6.5%
Principal 2.9%

Do you work as a Senior Architect?

Average Yearly Salary
$100,000
Show Salaries
$72,000
Min 10%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Median 50%
$140,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Virtusa
Highest Paying City
Quincy, MA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does a Senior Architect make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Architect in the United States is $101,066 per year or $49 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $72,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $141,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Senior Architect Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Quantitative Library Architect Bloomberg, LP Jan 22, 2015 $335,000
Architect (Senior Principal Engineer) Yahoo! Inc. Feb 11, 2015 $205,000 -
$225,000
Senior Architect Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. Jul 11, 2016 $200,000
Senior MTS, Architect Paypal, Inc. Jun 01, 2015 $200,000
Senior Architect Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. Jul 11, 2016 $200,000
Senior Full Stack Architect Netflix, Inc. Oct 01, 2015 $190,000
Senior Architect Futurewei Technologies, Inc. Dec 19, 2016 $190,000
Senior Architect Futurewei Technologies, Inc. Dec 19, 2016 $190,000
Senior Program Architect Salesforce.com, Inc. Dec 03, 2015 $187,459
Senior Engineering Services Architect Ca, Inc. Apr 18, 2016 $185,000
Senior Architect Kohl's Department Stores, Inc. Mar 10, 2016 $185,000
SR. Architect Nvidia Corporation Dec 01, 2016 $185,000 -
$198,211
Senior Architect, Engineering Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. Aug 09, 2016 $183,920
Senior Architect SLK America Inc. Dec 30, 2015 $95,243
Senior Automation Test Architect O2 Technologies Inc. Aug 29, 2016 $95,000
Senior Architect Prodigo Solutions, Inc. Feb 24, 2016 $95,000 -
$115,000
Senior Cloud Architect Column Technologies Inc. Jan 25, 2016 $95,000
Senior SAP Techno-Functional Architect Dolphin Enterprise Solutions Corporation Jun 23, 2016 $95,000 -
$115,000
Senior Architect Flexagon, LLC May 19, 2016 $95,000 -
$125,000
Senior Cloud Architect Column Technologies Inc. Jun 13, 2016 $95,000
Senior Architect Virtusa Corporation Mar 10, 2015 $95,000
Architect Senior Wipro Limited Jan 06, 2016 $75,733
Architect Senior Wipro Limited Dec 14, 2015 $75,733
Architect Senior Wipro Limited Jul 09, 2015 $75,733
Architect Senior Wipro Limited Jul 21, 2015 $75,733
Architect Senior Wipro Limited Sep 30, 2015 $75,733
Architect Senior Wipro Limited Sep 11, 2015 $75,733
Architect Senior Wipro Limited Oct 12, 2015 $75,733
Architect Senior Wipro Limited Sep 01, 2016 $75,733

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Top Skills for A Senior Architect

  1. Architects
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Infrastructure
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Experience working with a team of architects and civil engineers engaged to provide quality architectural projects and construction administration services.
  • Created nightly process to vastly simplify report creation and consistency of critical reports to business customers utilizing PL/SQL and materialized views.
  • Provided customers with thought leadership for RFID technologies and guidance on implementation and integration of RFID solutions into existing infrastructure.
  • Created data models and technical design documentation to support the integration of system interfaces into the data warehouse and operational databases.
  • Devised needs assessment/recommendations/action plan for both Network Fault & Performance Monitoring tools, & Application Performance Monitoring of key application platforms.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Architects

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Texas
  3. New York
  4. Arizona
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Vermont
  7. Hawaii
  8. Rhode Island
  9. California
  10. Virginia
  • (1,288 jobs)
  • (2,858 jobs)
  • (1,849 jobs)
  • (587 jobs)
  • (565 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)
  • (44 jobs)
  • (190 jobs)
  • (4,787 jobs)
  • (1,897 jobs)

Senior Architect Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,553 Senior Architect resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Senior Architect Resume

View Resume Examples

Senior Architect Demographics

Gender

Male

82.5%

Female

11.8%

Unknown

5.7%
Ethnicity

White

51.5%

Asian

18.9%

Hispanic or Latino

12.7%

Black or African American

10.7%

Unknown

6.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

24.3%

French

11.4%

Arabic

8.6%

German

7.1%

Mandarin

5.7%

Portuguese

5.7%

Chinese

5.7%

Greek

4.3%

Japanese

4.3%

Cantonese

4.3%

Sami

2.9%

Hindi

2.9%

Carrier

2.9%

Swedish

1.4%

Turkish

1.4%

Cherokee

1.4%

Marathi

1.4%

Dutch

1.4%

Korean

1.4%

Russian

1.4%
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Senior Architect Education

Schools

More Tech Institute

8.8%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

7.5%

University of Texas at Austin

6.8%

New York University

6.1%

Harvard University

5.4%

Purdue University

5.4%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.4%

Northeastern University

5.4%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.8%

George Washington University

4.8%

University of Pennsylvania

4.8%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.8%

Columbia University

4.8%

Texas A&M University

4.1%

Cornell University

4.1%

University of Cincinnati

3.4%

North Carolina State University

3.4%

Ohio State University

3.4%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.4%

California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

3.4%
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Majors

Architecture

24.3%

Computer Science

21.9%

Business

8.9%

Electrical Engineering

6.4%

Computer Engineering

5.3%

Information Technology

4.2%

Computer Systems Security

3.2%

Computer Applications

3.0%

Environmental Design

2.6%

Urban Planning

2.5%

Management Information Systems

2.3%

Project Management

2.1%

Management

2.0%

Architectural Engineering

2.0%

Finance

1.7%

Computer Information Systems

1.7%

Mathematics

1.7%

Engineering

1.4%

Mechanical Engineering

1.4%

Graphic Design

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.0%

Masters

36.5%

Doctorate

4.2%

Associate

3.5%

Certificate

3.0%

Diploma

2.3%

High School Diploma

0.5%
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Updated May 18, 2020