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Does any body know what sort of salary range should a registered architect with 10 years experience should be on in this economy? Also should the employer be paying for their training courses for the Continue Professional Education points and annual registration renewal or should the architect pay for those themself? Just wanted to get an idea.
when a person says '10 years experience' does that generally imply after licensure or is after graduation or do you include interships?
let me make it more clear....the architect recently became licensed.. like 1 year. 10 years experience in total including intership and all. I know salary can change depending on the economy. What i'm more interested is does companies pay for their architect's CPE points and annaul registration. People tell me different things.
Location, location, location.
Let's just say its new York
@hys316: "People tell me different things."
That's because different firms have different policies. Some firms pay for these things; some don't. There's no universal answer.
continuing ed should be free shouldn't it? go to ron blank or one of those online sites and just knock them out. i would think a firm should pay for license renewal, but then again it's not my firm and not my decision. my company won't pay aia membership dues. i'm pretty sure it's my company's opinion that having registered architects on staff is in their interest, but having aia members is not. they also don't do much at all to help with continuing ed.
Great thread - I'm being sarcastic because we are 6 or 7 posts down and no one has thrown out a number. I would say it varies by firm size, what they do, and the city COL. For one with a professional degree, a license, and relevant experience to that firm's project base, I'm going to toss out between $65K to $85K, in this economy. Someone please correct me If I'm off on this. Also keep in mind, that a large firm which is known for high design may pay less than a large firm that does more institutional work, because the latter isn't as much of a destination employer.
"Great thread - I'm being sarcastic because we are 6 or 7 posts down and no one has thrown out a number."
OK fine. I'm in my mid 30's, NYC, make around $80K and feel grossly underpaid for what I do, yet feel grateful to be employed at all. It's frigging tough. NYC is insanely expensive. I don't know how anyone can start a career out here. Job security is shit, and expectations unrealistic. Everyone I work with looks sad and beaten down. I put on a smile and act like I mean it. Sometimes it works.
I wasn't speaking to you, specifically, nor was I encouraging personal specifics. I was answering the initial question. This is yet another problem with the field. There is no empowerment of the employee via general knowledge of normal pay levels. Only more recently have compensation levels become more well-known. I remember when wrapping up school, the local AIA had very upscale booklets with listings of firms and similar booklets for compensation. And newly minted grads would have to buy them. They have stopped doing that, dumbed down the presentation, and made it available to everyone who requests it, or for a much more reasonable fee.
As for the earnings, for that market, it does not make for a high QOL. We all know that, of the professions, architecture is the lowest paid. Then, the problem becomes bigger if they are able to milk overtime at that rate of pay, or whether they will extend overtime pay and/or comp time. Being New York, one has to ask themselves if they would rather work on Wall Street or Madison Avenue, which are probably higher paying, but also even more unsavory work environments and/or work which someone may not find interesting.
At my firm (which is a very reputable one), a licensed architect with 10 years of experience should expect roughly 70-80k (depending on your skill-set and area of expertise).
And if it were me, I'd shoot for more in the ballpark of 80.
Wow I Guess being lisensed doesn't make much of a difference in terms of pay then. Surely someone with 10 years experience and not lisensed are on more than that. Its shocking to know that accountants with 5 years experience earn more than that.
Great information about the 10 year experienced architect but i would like to ask about the charges taken through such people. So can any one tell me about it?
^ how about this.. my younger brother who studied computer engineering got paid 80K in his first job out of university. I mean.. literally got hired before he graduated and started working within 2 weeks after he completed his 4 year undergrad degree.
architecture sucks xDD
but yeah.. it doesn't matter how long you've worked in the industry, or whether you have your masters and are licensed. I've seen people get promoted very quick all because they're good at what they do, can manage and lead others. While there are people who log in so much hours and have worked years in the firm but still don't go anywhere.
I agree totally. We should be ont he same field with other professions in terms of pay.
In reality by the '10 years of experience mark,' a licensed architect should earn no less than 120K a year. Too bad all the clowns from the older generation messed it all up and expected people to work free for the "honor" of being an employed under their holiness.
@med: "Too bad all the clowns from the older generation messed it all up and expected people to work free for the "honor" of being an employed under their holiness."
Maybe it's just me, but this mentality seems to totally ignore the realities of the true economics of professional practice - at all levels.
@med: "We should be on the same field with other professions in terms of pay."
By this logic, firm principals should also be on the same earnings level as senior partners at law firms. They're not - because the money just isn't there.
med - as I recall, you're licensed. Why don't you strike out on your own and show the "older generation" how it should be done? We'd really like to learn the secret to unlocking the untold riches hidden in the practice of architecture.
"Maybe it's just me, but this mentality seems to totally ignore the realities of the true economics of professional practice - at all levels."
We have sold ourselves short. And consequently in the grand scheme of things buildings cost a tremendous amount of money with a lot of money going around. We completely shut ourselves out of the toom with the guys at the table dividing up the piece of pie.
"By this logic, firm principals should also be on the same earnings level as senior partners at law firms."
Yeah, why not? Is what we do any less difficult and important in what they do?
"med - as I recall, you're licensed. Why don't you strike out on your own and show the "older generation" how it should be done? We'd really like to learn the secret to unlocking the untold riches hidden in the practice of architecture."
I'm an architect and I take pride in our work and the importance of our profession. If I wanted to do work all based on how much I earn, I would have abandoned my aspirations in being an architect all together. There is great respect for our work and great need based on a brighter society. No one else can do what we do and maintaining this mentality is where we can change things in the future.
The profession is wide open really and it is up to all of us to ensure that we get better fees.
if you have unique skills and are more valuable to a company, then you should get paid more.
if you are MORE readily replaceable then you should be paid less.
In the end though, everyone is replaceable.
At the end of the day, "architecture" is really a luxury. It does not save lives, it only comes to fruition when there is an excess of money. But for the amount of work and thought put it, and sometimes even creativity, we do not get paid much.
Architects are not at the top of the food chain. The developer is..basically you are just the developers little bitch helping him make money 10 fold while you get your standard salary. The client also has the final say on what you can and cannot do as he is paying you. Basically, the client is your boss..some dude who might have a college diploma from willy wonka's culinary school telling you WHAT TO DO, WHAT TO DESIGN and, telling you what's good and bad. Truly, unless you reach the threshold of a "stararchitect" where you become gucci or prada, you are just someone's little bitch making pretty things that are not "necessary". It is a "great" thing to have..this thing called architecture..don't get me wrong.
@access - you are right but architecture don't suck, the client of this profession suck. They are happy to pay surveyors thousands to give them levels and locate a few trees on their site and maybe jog down a few services here and there with a disclaimer saying that they will take no responsibility in the survey but whinge about how much they pay architects even though what we charge are peanuts compared to the amount of work involved.
@comb - "solution?" do u think maybe start with architects stop cutting each other short to win jobs? AIA should enforce a set/ standard fee/ hour rate for all licensed firms. Also the government should enforce that all major projects will need to be signed off by a licensed firm. This will help stop all the un-qualify drafty who take on side jobs to undercut the profession. Also the tender process should be fixed too. You don't see lawyers and doctors tender against each other to win jobs but in this field it is like a dogs breakfast. Clients and developers are allow to freely go around to 5 - 10 architects to get quotes and 95% of the time the cheapest one gets the job. If there is a set fee then nobody can undercut nobody. One person can't fix this. We all need to work together.
@med - I agree with the $120k mark, that sounds about fair in this economy. It's just sad to know that in reality the owner of the firm barely afford to pay themselves that much.
@nappy - i think u hit the nail in the head with that one. It's harsh what u say but u have a point.
I see young graduate in town planning working for councils telling architects and engineers to fix up their design otherwise they will not approve things.
We used to share office with an engineer and he employed a recent engineer graduate to work for him. The graduate got fired after 3 months because his boss didn't think he was proficient and knowledgable, he was also very unproductive. 1 year later he got a job through a friend working for the council and he is in charge of the engineering section assessing and approving works from applicants. This is the engineer who failed to work in a real practice. 3 years later he's on $120k, works 9 to 5 and stress free. Sometimes people with shit skills gets higher pay and better working conditions when they have the right contacts. It's BS
Also the economy seems like a convenient excuse to under pay staff.
@hys316: " I agree with the $120k mark, that sounds about fair in this economy. It's just sad to know that in reality the owner of the firm barely afford to pay themselves that much."
@hys316: "the economy seems like a convenient excuse to under pay staff"
Please reconcile these two irreconcilable statements.
The economy is what it is -- the poor economy further erodes the already poor economics of professional practice. We have little, if any, influence over the economy.
When you write "architects [should] stop cutting each other short to win jobs" I fear that you are completely ignoring the fact that we do not practice in a vacuum -- what happens to us each day is driven by the [low] demand for our services and the [high] supply of architects available to provide such services. This has the inevitable result of most participants in the profession being unable to earn what we truly feel we are worth.
@stone. let me explain. Those two statements does seem contradictive when you put them together like that. What I meant was 120K seems fair for this economy but in a better economy it should be more for someone with 10 years experience and also licensed. However 80K is what's offered and the economy is a convenient excuse to take it down to that. When I say it's sad that owners of the firm barely afford to pay themselves that much reflects on the value of the profession in our time.
what happens to us each day is driven by the [low] demand for our services and the [high] supply of architects available to provide such services <--- This is true amongst many other factors why this profession is under value today compared to what it used to be like 3 decades ago.