Architect’s Salary – How Much Architects Actually Make in 2021


What's the average architect's salary?

Which countries offer the highest architect’s salary?

What is the future of this field of employment?

If you’re interested in learning more, then stick around.

Architects Salary Illustration

The scope of an architect’s work is nothing but dull and simple. Architects design buildings, create and oversee countless projects and bring those projects come to life. They are also required to keep up with the ever-changing currents of architectural styles, all the while thinking outside the box.

There are different types of architects, from landscape architects, interior architects, residential architects to urban designers. With just a pencil, a ruler and sheer imagination, you’d be amazed what an architect could come up with. So, how much is their work worth?

If you’re thinking of pursuing this career, but you’re not sure about some of the details and technicalities, then you have come to the right place.

Let’s take a look at an average architect’s salary in different countries all around the world. 


Architect’s salary in North America

Architect's salary in America

When it comes to recruitment and sky-high salaries, the States and Canada are definitely at the top of our list. The States alone offer a multitude of job opportunities. This business-friendly environment is the ideal place to begin your architectural career.

With regards to architects’ salary, it fluctuates between $40,000 and over $150,000 per annum, depending on the state and the architect’s area of specialization. That’s precisely why this financial hub is the place to be for the budding architect.

According to a survey conducted in 2019, the average architect’s salary is around $68,486 per annum in the United States. However, there are certain states that might not give you what you’re looking for, and some that are a true architect’s paradise. Let’s take a look.

New York 

Architect's salary in New York

Photo Credit: Terabass

Starting right at the top, New York is a dreamland for architects, with the average salary of $99,019 a year, according to Indeed.com. The number can vary from approximately $40,036 to $148,624 per annum.

Some of the best companies looking to hire architects are IDC Technologies, Spectrum, IBM, Wipro, etc. In this state, architects are constantly in demand. Therefore, you will be sure to find a job, especially in the Big Apple.

Apart from New York City, some of the best cities for architects in New York State are White Plains, Rochester, Long Island, Albany, and so on. According to another study, New York, along with California and Texas, have a track record for hiring the greatest number of architects in the whole US. 

Massachusetts

Architect's salary in Massachusetts

Right after New York, the average yearly salary for architects in Massachusetts is around $93,920. Depending on the position and the architect’s experience, the salary can go from $56,600 to sometimes around $169,000, comprising 20% of all architects’ salaries in this state.

Apart from the first-rate salaries, the job also comes with plenty of benefits, health insurance and remuneration packages. Some of the highest paying cities in Massachusetts are Quincy, Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Andover, etc.

The types of architects that receive the highest salaries are commercial and residential architects, landscape architects and naval architects. Taking all these factors into account, one might concur that Massachusetts is definitely an option worth considering. 

California 

Architect's salary in California

Photo Credit: Dirk Beyer / CC BY-SA 3.0

Another favorite state for architects, California is the focal point for practically any job hunt. To be more precise, the median architect’s salary goes up to $87,180 on an annual level. The lowest salaries usually start from $52,990 and can rise up to $147,700, according to CareerExplorer.

The Californian cities where architects can earn the most money are San Jose, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sunnyvale, Glendale, Sacramento, and so on. The employment market is expected to only grow in the foreseeable future, especially in the following 10 years.

Furthermore, some of the top rated architectural companies are Cisco, Cognizant Technology Solutions, HP, Wells Fargo, AT&T, etc. All of these companies offer the best compensation, focus on career growth and are culture-driven. 

Canada

Architect's salary in Canada

Photo Credit: Saffron Blaze / CC BY-SA 3.0

Traveling north, we come to Canada, another country rich with opportunities. Here, architects are paid an average amount of $83,685 per year. Beginners usually start with $39,000 and professionals can earn up to $142,000, according to Indeed.com.

Just like with all other locations, the salaries vary according to the architect’s skill set and experience, as well as the company and region. When it comes to architect’s salary per region, some of the top-paying cities are Nunavut, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, etc.

Some of the best architecture firms in Canada include Two by 4 Ventures, Jackpine, Gh3*, ZAS Architects + Interiors Inc, MGA, and so on. Canada never seems to be short of employment opportunities for architects. 

Architect’s salary in Europe

Architect’s salary in Europe

In 2018, a study pioneered by the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) was conducted to establish the number of architects in Europe, along with some other employment details. The overall number of architects was estimated at 562,000. The results stipulate that this profession is on the rise in Europe, and predict that architects will be in even greater demand in the future.

It is difficult to determine the average architect’s salary of the entire continent, due to the varying economic, national and cultural circumstances. In addition to these factors, one must take other aspects into consideration, such as field of employment, experience, as well as the age profile.

Let’s put all of these statistics aside for a moment, and recall why Europe is an attraction unlike any other, not only career-wise. It has to offer unique and breath-taking architecture, all the while embracing a variety of different architectural styles.

Let’s take a look at some European countries that give architects opportunities to build their careers from the ground up.

The United Kingdom 

Architect’s salary in UK

Photo Credit: Fuzzypiggy / CC BY-SA 3.0

No surprise here, the United Kingdom is one of the countries we will focus on first. Apart from its rich and diverse history and culture, the UK is also a well-known cosmopolitan center that enjoys its fast-paced lifestyle and business environment.

The average architect’s salary is estimated at £67,500, according to CWJobs. Some of the locations that offer the highest salaries are London, Reading, Northampton, Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow and many more.

According to another study from 2019, the types of architects that earn the most money are partners, directors and sole principals, as well as salaried partners, followed by associates. Some of the best architectural companies in the UK are SHH, Zaha Hadid Architects, WilkinsonEyre, Heatherwick Studio, David Chipperfield Architects, and so on. 

Switzerland

Architect’s salary in Switzerland

Photo Credit: MadGeographer / CC BY-SA 3.0

Another country that welcomes architects with open arms, Switzerland is known for its business-friendly and startup potential. The median architect’s salary in Switzerland is estimated at approximately $173,933 per year. The lowest salary for an architect is $85,283 and the highest can go up to $270,000 per annum.

However, there are many factors that determine your salary. For example, years of experience and age are both imperative aspects. If you have 5-10 years of experience, then your salary will be estimated at $179,500 per year. In fact, if you have 10 years of experience, then your salary will be twice as high as your beginner salary.

When it comes to education, a Bachelor’s degree can get you $126,000 per year, while a Master’s degree raises your salary by 60%. 

Germany

Architect’s salary in Germany

Photo Credit: dronepicr / CC BY 2.0

The average architect’s salary in Germany amounts to $64,979 on an annual level. Beginners usually start at $30,000 and work their way up to $103,409 per year. Your salary can vary according to your education, responsibilities, skills, experience and so on.

Some top architectural studios in Germany include HENN, Kere Architecture, DIA, Archimedia Lab, Behnisch Architekten, SOMAA, Steimle Architekten, etc. Most of these firms are well-established and handle countless projects during the year.

Some of the top locations to search for employment in Germany are Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Dresden, etc. Any of these places would be a great option for your architectural career. 

Architect’s salary in Asia

A combination of the ancient and the contemporary, Asia is filled with awe-inspiring architecture. It encompasses numerous different cultures, traditions and ethnicities. Not only that, but Asia, Eastern Asia to be more precise, is home to some of the most impressive state-of-the-art technological advances.

Stating the average architect’s salary of the entire continent would not be feasible, due to the substantially contrasting factors and circumstances of different parts and regions of Asia. Therefore, we will only focus on countries where architects have the greatest chance of prospering.

Finding your place here as an architect starts with deciding exactly where you want to go. Let’s take a look at some countries that might make you curious.

China 

Architect’s salary in China

The median architect’s salary in China is estimated around $50,000 per year. The lowest salary you can earn amounts to $24,000 and the highest is approximately $94,000 a year. This, of course, depends on what type of architect you are, as well as your experience and knowledge.

According to SalaryExplorer, 75% of the people employed in the field of architecture are currently earning less than $80,990 while 25% are earning more. The types of architects that are paid the most are architectural managers ($94,000), facilities and project managers ($91,000), architecture consultants ($88,000), design managers ($84,000) and landscape architects ($72,000).

China’s capitals and the most developed cities are where you should head, for example Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Wuhan, etc.

Japan 

Architect’s salary in Japan

Photo Credits: Morio / CC BY-SA 3.0

Another mixture of traditional values and modern lifestyle, Japan is famous for its advanced technology and its amazing architecture.

The average architect’s salary in Japan is around $57,400 a year. Beginner architects usually get paid $27,600 a year, and senior architects earn $105,200 a year.

Some of the leading architecture companies in Japan are Kengo Kuma & Associates, Tadao Ando Architects & Associates, Shigeru Ban Architects, Toyo Ito & Associates, SAANA, and many more.

When it comes to the best cities for architects for work, we recommend Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama, Fukuoka, and so on. What is great about Japan is the culture that embraces the new and the progressive, but still cherishes the old and the traditional. 

United Arab Emirates 

Photo Credit: Wadiia / CC BY-SA 4.0

According to SalaryExplorer, an architect makes an average salary of $65,000 in the United Arab Emirates on a yearly basis, especially in Dubai. The lowest annual salaries usually amount to $30,000 and the highest salaries for architects rise up to $127,600 per year.

The types of architects that earn the most money in UAE are architectural managers ($126,000), architecture consultants ($125,000), facilities and project managers ($122,000), design managers ($121,000) and assistant architectural managers ($118,000).

Some of the top architect firms in UAE are EDGE Architects, Archidentity, ANK Architectural Consultants, HOK, AEDAS, and so on. If you can withstand the humid weather, this place might be what you have been looking for. 

FAQ

  • What type of responsibilities do architects usually have?

We all know the basic jobs an architect usually performs, such as design buildings, residential homes and various structures.

But there are actually quite a number of things architects do, depending on their specialization.

They also draw and outline plans and models in great detail, while using technology and computer-aided drafting systems to help them.

They must meet the requirements their clients set, while closely communicating with engineers, urban planners, interior designers, construction managers, other architects, etc.

  • How many hours are architects usually required to work?

Of course the working hours depend on the company and the area of specialization, but architects are usually known as hard workers who tend to go overtime.

According to one survey, one in five architects work longer than 50 hours a week. Apart from the standard office time and surviving the deadlines, sometimes they even have to work through the night, and during the weekend.

But, as we said, the schedule depends on many factors.

  • What types of architects are there?

Traditionally, there are 8 types of architects, depending on the kinds of structures they work on.

Firstly we have commercial architects, who design building projects that are usually non-residential properties.

Then we have residential architects, who work on providing houses and buildings.

The next type of architect is sustainable or green design architect, they design buildings that are environmentally-friendly.

Next we have industrial architects, who usually create huge properties, such as factories and warehouses.

Conservation architects specialize in restoring historical landmarks and protected buildings.

Landscape architects work with outdoor design, for example parks, public gardens and walkways.

The following category is urban designers, who are involved in city planning.

And finally, we have interior architects who design indoor space.

  • How can you progress as an architect?

There are many things you can do to work your way up the career ladder.

The first thing is to get licensed - obtaining a licence will certainly increase your chances of getting your dream job.

You might also want to consider opting for a specialization, whether it is project design, landscape architecture or interior architecture.

Another useful skill to have is to be familiarized with architectural software, as using technology and design programs is a must if you want to do your work thoroughly.

  • Do architects travel for work?

Whether you need to travel for your job or not depends on your position and your firm.

But given the fact that architects constantly meet up with clients and visit potential building sights and various locations, it usually is a part of the job.

On the other hand, some architects often travel abroad, if they work on international projects or if they work in a multinational firm.

About the Author

Dušan Cvetković is a professional architect from Serbia with international experience in the industry. Collaborated with numerous clients all around the world in the field of architecture design, 3D modeling and software education. He's been teaching Rhinoceros3D to thousands of architects through How to Rhino community and various social media channels.