In a survey of architect salaries conducted in 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics collated wage data from over 100,000 individual practitioners working across the United States. It calculated that the average yearly income for the occupation was $78,880. This is equivalent to a monthly income of $6,573 and an hourly rate of $37.93. The bureau also reported that those architects among the top 10 percent of earners received an average of $122,640 per year, while their contemporaries in the bottom 10 percent earned an average of $42,320.
Architects are responsible for how the buildings we live and work in look. They design new buildings and update old ones, drawing up the designs for adding extensions and making alterations. They may also work on the restoration of dilapidated properties. Some architects also design the landscape around buildings as well. Architects work closely with their clients to ensure a building meets the client's needs, is affordable, and adheres to building regulations. They also liaise with builders and engineers during the construction of a property. An architect's salary will vary depending on factors such as experience.
Salary by Industry
The vast majority of architects work within the architectural, engineering and related services sector of the industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, as of 2009, the average annual salary for this sector was $78,660. This is slightly higher than the average in nonresidential building construction, at $77,730, and residential building construction, at $76,340. Higher salaries were available in management, scientific and technical consulting services, with an average of $94,740, and federal government agencies, where the average was $88,930.
Salary by Experience
PayScale.com, a salary analysis website, surveyed architect salaries as they related to experience. It found that the accrual of experience increased wage levels for a practitioner. The average salary for an architect with less than 12 months in the profession was listed as a range between $33,233 and $44,522 as of 2011. An individual with one to four years of experience earned between $39,127 and $50,462, while five to nine years brought rewards of between $48,22 and $61,331. An architect who had spent between 10 and 19 years as a professional was likely to receive between $56,608 and $77,080.
Salary by Location
The geographical location in which an architect practises his profession is likely to influence the salary he achieves. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that across all industry sectors an architect would find the best wage rates in Vermont, an average of $95,840. In contrast, Colorado was listed at $77,180. At the scale of metropolitan districts, the Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice area of Florida scored highly -- $111,290 -- while Charlottesville, Virginia offered just $69,950. Wage comparison website SalaryExpert.com surveyed architect salaries in some major cities and found that Houston, Texas, and New York, New York, were among the locations with the best pay rates -- $79,556 and $73,823 respectively. Indianapolis, Indiana, however, was listed at just $57,357.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Architects, Except Landscape and Naval
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages - Architects, Except Landscape and Naval
- PayScale: Architect's Salary by Years Experience
- Career Planner: Architect Jobs and Job Description
- Salary Expert: Registered Architect Salaries
- Photo Credit Architect Drawings image by Chad McDermott from Fotolia.com
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