MArch vs BArch salary


According to, SCI-Arc BArch graduates earn more than MArch graduates. It was even mentioned that for SCI-Arc, "The degree that warrants the lowest level of financial compensation is a Master of Architecture ($51K on average annually). I'm really fond of SCI-Arc and can't wait to be there this Fall. But costs is an important factor in deciding on the offer and I need to be affirmed that I can earn back my school fees after graduating. While I believe that technical skills and portfolio play a larger deciding factor for employers in the recruiting process, I wonder what is the significance of an MArch degree in the industry?

May 25, 17 1:17 pm

Holy cow! Sci-Arc's undergrad gets paid more than grads? Sheesh...looks like all the iPad/PC Monitor expenditures are paying off.

That or bs firms are falling for the "avant-garde" herpes.

May 25, 17 1:43 pm

A 75K starting salary for a B.Arch? That's bushwa.

May 25, 17 9:30 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if these MArch grads are ones who don't have an architecture undergrad.. Undergrads with 4 or 5 years of school would be more useful at a workplace than someone who got an undergrad degree in another field and decided to go get their Masters in architecture.

May 27, 17 11:19 pm

short answer: MArch's do NOT get paid more than BArchs.
Both will be entry level "interns" and will be paid the market rate for not having any experience.

The AIA compensation report is a better source for salaries. However, you have to purchase it, unless you don't know someone who will share it with you...

Jul 14, 17 4:59 pm
Crap pay vs slightly more but still crap pay is still crap, no?

Also flatroof is right. No fresh grad earns 70k.

Maybe if they really worked their butt off and worked nonstop all 5 years and thus had ~2.5 years of 'full time' experience they could scrape out mid 60s, but that is rare and extremely difficult to achieve.
Jul 14, 17 5:06 pm
To answer your query though, the significance of the M.Arch is nill. It serves to allow non B.Archs access to the industry. It is not something one would get paid extra for, like say in engineering - where the additional academic work directly correlates to speciality skill sets.

Even with an M.Arch II little if anything extra will be garnered in terms of compensation. It's widely known that architecture school teaches students few practical skills useful to a firm, yet the B.Arch/M.Arch remains a barrier for the entry level jobs. BS holders may find work but will have a more difficult time at the beginning until that all important experience is amassed.

A masters is required if someone wanted to teach at the college level. That's probably the only place it would be useful. Of course academics/adjuncts are paid more poorly than intern architects.
Jul 14, 17 5:14 pm

Without a professional degree, some firms will assume that you will leave in a relatively short term.  Training someone only for them to leave as soon as they are profitable is disappointing and some firms may shy away from that.  On another level, the MArch assumes a certain level of education and maturity (both from age and content taught), while the content of the degree may not be 'practical', it can be a big driver in terms of ability to discuss design with colleagues and clients. For many, a professional degree is an easy way to cut out a portion of the candidate pool (even though some professional degree holders are far less useful than others).

As a response to those who see little value in MArchs with non-architecture undergraduate degrees: sometimes those degrees bring expertise and or fluency in areas that are valuable to specific firms (science, writing, engineering, finance, art, healthcare).  Depending on the firm, they are valued.  As one principle noted: "there are plenty of talented people with design degrees, I'm looking for something extra to differentiate a candidate."

Jul 17, 17 3:01 pm

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