Architects are responsible for designing the homes we live in, the places where we work and all the other buildings where we spend time. Architects create the look and structure of a building and spend many years in training to perfect their craft. The average salary for an architect varies widely depending on employer, experience and other factors.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the mean salary of the approximately 101,630 architects employed in 2009 was $78,880 per year, or $37.93 an hour. The highest 10 percent of architects earned $58.96 an hour, or $122,640 per year, while the lowest 10 percent earned $42,320 per year, or $20.34 an hour.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also measured how much architects earned based upon the industry in which they were employed in 2009. Architects employed in the offices of real estate agents and brokerages earned the highest average salary of $51.14 an hour or $106,360 per year. Those employed in the scientific research and development services sector had the lowest of the top five highest-paying industries with an average salary of $42.83 an hour or $80.090 per year.
The top five highest-paying states for architects in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, were Vermont, Nevada, California, Connecticut and New Jersey. Architects in the highest-paying state, Vermont, earned an average of $95,840 per year or $46.08 per hour, while those in New Jersey earned an average salary of $40.89 per hour, or $85,050 per year.
Architect salaries also differed widely by the metropolitan area in which they were employed. The top five highest-earning metropolitan areas in 2009 were Bradenton, Florida; Salinas, California; Gary, Indiana; Sacramento, California and Bakersfield, California. Aechitects in Bradenton earnd an average salary of $53.50 an hour, or $111,290 per year, while those in Bakersfield earned an average of $50.62 an hour, or $105,280 per hour.