odd salary questions


I was offered a job a couple days ago and have been negotiating salary.  I told the interviewer that AIA suggests 75k as the average for a project architect with 8-10 years of experience and that I expect at least that.  

Interviewer replied that that amount is heavily influenced by large firms that hire and fire as work comes and goes.  I personally believe that I should expect only incremental raises after this and that I am really looking for the hire end of the range, 80kish.  

I haven't been able to find good info on salaies for this experience level.  Can anyone chime in?


Apr 19, 17 8:53 am

Dont take the job. Let these firms die because they are giving the architecture profession a bad name. My friends who are graduating next month with maybe a 2 summers worth of internship experience landing jobs at 60k. YOU HAVE 8 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE?!?!?! and they are telling you that time of experience is only worth 15k????? what are they paying their new grads?, dont devalue your self and dont let them slap you around and tell you well the "large firms" are paying more because because because..... Look at small tech companies, they still stay competitive with google and faceboook paying their engineers just as much, they just lack the technology and the sweet perks. 

Apr 19, 17 10:55 am

Are you in NYC? I don't know anyone who came out of M.Arch with experience making 60k. Most were 45-55k.




Im from chicago as well, never new anyone when I was there making 60k out of school with basically no experience; agree most were making 40-50k


i didnt continue with gradschool but my friends at UIUC who did for last years grads and this years grads are making about 60k average.



Apr 19, 17 12:24 pm

shellarchitect: I've been retired for a while, so I haven't had the need to review the AIA's Compensation Survey for a few years. However, when I was involved in designing and administering past surveys we always collected and presented data that provided compensation information that was aggregated by firm size and location. 

Perhaps you have only seen a summary of the latest survey data - often available through the media. If you have not reviewed the full AIA survey, I recommend that you find a copy, frequently available at your local AIA office. 

While there are a number of different organizations that attempt to collect and distribute compensation data concerning our industry, the AIA survey is, by far, the most detailed, objective and reliable indicator of actual pay levels.

Good luck

Apr 19, 17 12:41 pm

Thanks, I requested a copy from my local aia, will hopefully see it today


those median salaray ranges are broken down by firm size somewhere i think.

Apr 19, 17 1:45 pm

It all depends on how your talents correlates with the need of that particular office. Just keep looking and see what else is out there. At least you have one job offer for now. 

Apr 19, 17 2:10 pm
Superfluous Squirrel

Glassdoor is a good resource for salary research. Even if you can't see what people are making at that specific firm, you can get a good idea of what similar firms in the area pay.

Apr 19, 17 2:48 pm

Apr 19, 17 4:49 pm

l3wis is right, the AIA survey is sorted into sub-categories, including by firm size.

Your potential employer is full of it.

Apr 19, 17 6:12 pm

And do not, Do not! Let them try and use the "well if you just care about money" bull. You have a high level degree in your industry, are licensed and have been working in your targeted industry for 8 years. Trying to negotiate a salary in your mid-career in the 70k-80k range in no way makes you a shallow poor steward of architecture that only cares about the money. 

Apr 20, 17 1:26 pm

 I'm sure there are other options for them. Tell  them they can hire someone with less experience if that's all they can afford. Then they can save money!

Apr 20, 17 2:01 pm

^^^ good first it seems passive aggressive, but it directly addresses their issue and puts your experience on the front burner as the most important criteria under discussion, removing money from the primary conversation


i haven't really decided what I want to do, I did ask for more and was told that they are at their limit.  They do pay overtime, and have been working anywhere from 44-48 hour weeks, which would make the total salary anywhere from 77k to 84k.  

Of coarse I'm not really sure that I want to be working that much either!

Apr 21, 17 8:27 am

This may piss some millenials off but overtimes should pretty much be only for the juniors who need the time to learn the ropes.


Look, you should probably be more in the $100k (+/-10k) range with 8-10 years experience, assuming half of that is project management and not drafting.


what's the op region?


I'm in metro detroit - no one around here (that I know of) is drawing a 100k salary short of principles or senior PM's. 

I agree about the salary vs. OT.  I should clarify that the pay straight time after 40 hours.  So on a 44 hour week I'd get an extra $135 before taxes. 

The only places that do this are ones that require a lot of OT.  

44 hours isn't bad, I probably do that as it is.  48 starts to get old real fast though since you almost have to come in on a weekend to hit that number.

Apr 21, 17 9:29 am

I still don't quite understand why you don't know your value. You've got 8 or 10 years experience and I'm assuming you're currently working. I know it can be a complex, subjective calculation, but surely you know if $75k is in the ballpark based on your presumed role.


i believe 

Apr 21, 17 1:42 pm

not sure what happened up there... I think 75-80 is about right for me, just looking for more concrete evidence of that

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