Architectural Ellipsis

... Intern Architect ...

  • anchor

    2017 AIA Compensation Report

    Everyday Architect
    Nov 6, '17 4:40 PM EST

    The 2017 AIA Compensation Report is out. I don't have a copy of the report myself, as I haven't needed to purchase it yet to get a look inside. My office gets it, but the last time I asked HR for it, they wouldn't let me look at it. So, like last time, I'll contact the local AIA to see if I can look at it in their office one of these days after work. Failing that, I'll ask around and see if I have a friend that has access to it. Worse case scenario I'll just pony up the money to pay for it myself. It's expensive, but would pay for itself if I'm able to negotiate a raise. I'm not sure if this was always the case, but I did notice they have a reduced price if you only want to purchase the report for a particular region.


    If you don't care about getting that detailed of a picture of where you might stand compared to others for compensation, you can check out the online salary calculator which has been updated per the 2017 numbers. It provides you with broad information about the region or firm size you select. For some that might be enough. For me it has been better to see the more specific breakdown by city and firm size in the full report rather than the averages available online.

    Even then, looking at the averages for my region, I should be making quite a bit more than I am right now. I suspected this, and I've been waiting for this year's numbers to come out before asking for a raise, even after receiving my license. My firm likes to stay close to the numbers in the report as a benchmark and I didn't see any point in having the discussion if the firm was just going to try to hold me to numbers that were out of date.

    Anyone else expecting to use this to get a raise?

    P.s.: Hat tip to the AIA for changing the position names to get away from calling aspiring architects interns. The online salary calculator lists "emerging professional on the path to licensure [#] (formerly intern [#])" as the new position title. Interestingly enough it seems even the AIA decided not to follow their own position statement where they advocate for the titles "design professional" and "architectural associate" for those formerly known as interns. More on that here and here.


    • b3tadine[sutures]

      I used this to answer my salary question.

      Nov 20, 17 11:58 pm  · 

      what was the answer?

      what was the question?

      Nov 29, 17 1:54 pm  · 

      I stated pretty clearly, based on my experience, and based on the median salary from the report, and in order to demonstrate my value to clients, I had to value my own worth correctly. So I asked for what my experience and city stated in the report.

      Nov 29, 17 4:30 pm  · 

      Thanks for the link @Everyday !!

      Nov 29, 17 11:11 am  · 

      Alright, I'm [comparitively] well-paid!

      Dec 1, 17 4:41 pm  · 

      Depressingly enough, my city's numbers are worse than the region's after I looked them up in the full report. This wasn't the case in the 2015 report. 

      Mean and median compensation values are somewhere around $10k - $15k less per the city specific report than the region depending on position. It sucks to find out you're in one of the lower paid areas in your region. 

      Here's hoping it works out better for the rest of you.

      Dec 22, 17 12:46 pm  · 

      Life has been so busy for me lately I forgot to post an update to my last salary negotiation. I was a little worried going in because I'd seen a few people leave the firm to go elsewhere, and while they assured me that is wasn't based solely on salary ... the majority of them had asked for modest raises and been turned down in the previous year. 

      When I went in to the negotiations I was debating between asking for what I felt they would give me (around 10%-15% raise) and what I felt was appropriate for my position (around 20% raise). On top of that I was also thinking that I should try to shoot for the moon based on some generous reading of the AIA Salary Calculator numbers (25% raise) to then settle on something between 10% and 20% when they inevitably negotiated down from that number. 

      In the end, I settled on not really stating a number, but instead presenting the information I had available concerning the AIA Salary Calculator, the position descriptions and my role and responsibility with the firm. I don't really fit into one of the predefined positions the AIA has outlined, but I pointed out the descriptions and the types of tasks I do and the responsibility I take on and how they correlated. I also pointed out that their cost of living raise they were offering me was not even close to what the AIA says I should be making. They took that information and came back with what they were able to offer me ... just under a 20% raise ... the whole time apologizing that they couldn't offer me more. 

      Apr 26, 18 8:06 pm  · 

      Block this user

      Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?


      This is your first comment on Archinect. Your comment will be visible once approved.

    • Back to Entry List...
  • ×Search in:

About this Blog

An ellipsis [...] is used to signal an omission, an unfinished thought, aposiopesis, or brief awkward silence. Architectural ellipses are those aspects of the profession we (perhaps intentionally) omit, gloss over, or let dwindle in silence. Generally applied this blog should encompass many aspects of the profession. Yet, as an intern architect (now architect) I'll focus primarily on the architectural ellipses that occur in the internship process (and beyond).

Authored by:

Recent Entries