The Architect Vs. The Doorman


My doorman dropped out if HS and eanrs $60k and all medical benefits. He did not serve in the military, and because of the Union, borrowed money at a reduced rate and now owns several apartments. All he does all day is open doors for wealthy people and goes home at 5pm.

Next time allnof us archutects think about charging 10k for a jib we all know would cost 50k, think about weather its fair that a doorman earns more than you...

Jul 2, 17 5:10 pm
Non Sequitur

Doors need to be opened. 

Jul 2, 17 5:14 pm

Yes, but does he get oohs and aahs when he tells people he opens doors for a living at cocktail parties?  That's worth at least 20 grand.

Jul 2, 17 5:15 pm

Does he get marriage proposals? Doubt it.


neither do i tintt

... you're paying him. Maybe you should move.

Jul 2, 17 5:31 pm

just think aboutnit next time you undercut your fellow professionals... you are earning less than doormen without any education...

Jul 2, 17 5:55 pm
Non Sequitur

maybe you do... I certainly don't.


Don't undercut.


Looks like an even match to me.

Jul 2, 17 6:35 pm

Wow- so you people think that your time is worth as much as that of a doorman. Man are we doomed as a profession...

So now that SF and Seattle are raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, fresh grads with masters degrees earning $3-5 more must be feeling almost equally as valuable as an HS dropout working at Mcdonalds... absolutely pathetic...

Jul 2, 17 7:08 pm

Relax. Just because a few replies to your odd post don't happen to sing your song instantaneously, there's no need to get your panties all twisted.


BulgarBlogger, actually.... yes. A doorman's training is basically less than that of a janitor and is basically no different than a customer service representative at a store. Just put into a uniform and clean cut and shaved, and courteous conduct. What else is there??? Come on. I've done that and I didn't get squat for it. Minimum wage or maybe a couple dollars or so above minimum wage when you are experienced personnel. Beyond that, it's probably over paid for doing very little.


Are you saying we should look down in a doorman whom earns an honest living? Seriously you should look at yourself in the mirror before you judge honest working folks like that.


No. It's not the doorman. If I was offered $60K a year as a door man, I'd take that in a hear beat. The person paying a person $60K to be a door man is overpaying a person to do that job.


No it isn't, being an architect is a passion whilst I doubt anyone dreams of being a doorman.


They got you all excited to go through 5+ years of college and a decade of underpaid internship to become an underpaid architect...... OH... You've been had.


Mate, when you actually go through any type of education come back and talk.


I have been through education and you have been had.

I open my own door and save $60K per year

Jul 2, 17 7:14 pm

Only assholes need a guy in uniform to open the door for them.

maybe it is a "heavy" door?


How many doormen get to be famous?

Jul 2, 17 9:10 pm

So, you can afford to pay someone to open doors for you. What's there to complain about? 

If all you care about is who makes the most $$$ for the least amount of effort, go after his job and your commute will only be a smooth elevator ride.

Jul 2, 17 10:27 pm

Thank you

"So, you can afford to pay someone to open doors for you. What's there to complain about? "

This. This. This. This. This.

I love my life. I'm so happy and so fortunate, and so grateful.
Jul 2, 17 10:46 pm

still trying to connect the dots between a doorman (that works for you) and undercutting fees.....maybe some architects do less and therefore charge less? maybe those other architects are more like your doorman?

Jul 3, 17 7:18 am

I don't get the connection either.  Where are you living that architects are making less than 60k but doorman buildings are common?  How many architects do you know who are doing projects for 10k that cost 5 times that to do? Those must be independently wealthy architects in the first place, who are taking on projects purely for sport - otherwise they'd be losing their shirts and not living in doorman buildings, thus no doorman envy.

I go home at 5 too, but I don't have to be on my feet all day opening doors, and I make considerably more than your doorman.  I'm curious though about the "reduced rates" that the union gets him - my mortgage is at 2.6% - how much can I reduce that by joining the doorman union?

Jul 3, 17 9:25 am

Are you a firm principal? That's to be expected as a business owner. 


Now look at them yoyos thats the way you do it. You open doors in the NYC.  That aint working. Thats the way you do it. Money for nothing and your chicks for free...

Jul 3, 17 9:47 am

nice reference.


Doormen also dont spend 100k learning Doorman theory and building diaramas of door entry situations, but thats life bulgar.  You get t

Jul 3, 17 10:14 am

*to sit at a desk all day thinking about starting doorman vs architect threads on archinect. Doormen spend all day opening doors and probably thinking about what a dick you are.


Its not nice to shit on other peoples professions. Im sure some of them have little doomen and doorwomen at home whom look up to them. Get over yourself and have respect for working people. You are entitled to NOTHING.


Your doorman is very well paid.  Not sure where you're located, but the median salary for a doorman in NYC is about $18 per hour, and nationwide $15.30.  Some architects in some offices in some regions may start lower than the median doorman salary, but nationwide the 75th percentile architect's salary is more than twice the 75th percentile doorman salary.

Jul 3, 17 11:44 am

Doormen get paid to be pleasant and to please people. Architects could do that too if they want to get paid more. 

Jul 3, 17 12:04 pm

But then they would cease to be Architects (with a capital A!)


im talking anout entry level grads at SOM making 48k.

Jul 3, 17 12:14 pm

SOM isn't a big corporation with very well paid executives/principals for paying their lower level staff a lot of money. Working for a large "star" architectural firm corporation does not always equal better pay. In some fields, being paid better working for large corporations may be but not necessarily so in architecture.

If being a doorman would make you happy, then go be a doorman. You should do what makes you happy.

Remember, though, that being a doorman, if you are lucky you may make 60k, but you will never make more than that.  If you are an architect, and are dedicated and talented, your earning potential over time is much higher than 60k.

Jul 3, 17 12:19 pm

Exactly what Erik said.


bulgar, I think we work in the same city so I can help you understand a 5x fee difference.

It's hardly about "undercutting", it's about understanding the scope and being the appropriate architect for the job.


Client interviews two (2) architects A and B and comes to both of them with the same requirements: kitchen and bathroom remodel for a co-op/condo type building.

Neither architect A or B ask any further questions.

Architect A has some awards, has done some very high-end work, often does custom detailing and copious renderings for every last inch of the project.  They price this job at $50k (to use your numbers)

Architect B could care less about awards, they've been at this for 30+ years, they care little about US laws and liability (they've been at this for 30+ years they have seen everything), works out of their apartment and in their opinion 2 hand sketches should be enough for this project. They have a point, the Empire State Building was built from like 13 sheets of drawings.  They price this job at $10k.

Architect A at $50k will probably still loose their shirt and make like $50/hr

Architect B will stop answering calls after the 2 sketches are done and have collected their $10k, they will make about $1k an hour.

Client really only needed Architect B anyway, both architects forgot to ask questions. Architect A didn't want to know and Architect B could care less, the client's wife is an interior designer.

Jul 3, 17 12:19 pm
Non Sequitur

Chris, I did not know your story was a horror story until that twist in the last sentence. Well played.

that isn't his wife...


haha David, like that one a client said its for my daughter...


as client's young lady friend, not my daughter....i hate the reply box


had to keep you in suspense non


New ending: Client stopped calling Architects A & B and finished the project with the interior designer and a permit expediter because they realized that both architects were color-blind, didn't know Revit or code and both couldn't design their way out of a box.


And that's a true story~

that's because the "client" didn't have to pay the ID he was sleeping with, and the expeditor MAYBE got a check


Most entry-level doorman start below minimum wage (they're legally allowed to, because it's classified as a partially tip-based job - the expectation is that tips per hour range from $3 to $8.50.)  The new grad working at SOM for $23/hour (48k/year) is making more than the median-earning doorman makes, and the median-earning doorman has 8 years of doorman experience.  The argument can be made that the doorman has not spent anything on tuition, and has 4 to 8 more earning years over the course of his career - but even so the architect's career-long earnings are expected to significantly exceed the doorman's, because the range from entry-level to maximum doorman salary is much smaller than for the architect.

Jul 3, 17 12:40 pm
cipyboy must be the life of the party geez


Door man may start below minimum wage only when they are authorized to accept / take tips but I am not sure if that is the majority but I will say, that minimum wage would be the starting point and even when they are partially tip based, most of them are starting off with minimum wage and may get a tip hear and there much like a waiter or waitress at a restaurant. Many employers will do just that part to avoid headache of lawsuits. In most cases, I would argue that they are paid minimum wage and tips are like bonuses or perks of doing good customer service.


What I posted above was from Department of Labor statistics. It's classified in the same way as restaurant waitstaff, hospitality housekeepers, valets, etc., as a profession that is customarily paid in part by gratuities, thus exempt from minimum wage requirements. The starting salary is below minimum wage in most regions - only  $7 to $12 an hour base.


Well, it maybe but it doesn't mean the majority of employers are going below minimum wage because it isn't only the federal department of labor but also state (and sometimes additional local laws) laws that also applies. The headache of lawsuits alone is enough reason to not pay below minimum wage. Even if the employer wins the case, it is still a loss. It's just sometimes better off just paying minimum wage as required in the locality and if there is tips, it's just a sort of bonus on top. If they were paying less than minimum wage, the employer has to gather all the tip money and then divy it out. $8-12 an hour meets federal and most state minimum wage. $7.00 an hour is slightly below federal minimum wage which is the minimum anywhere in the U.S. that an employer can pay employees but states may opt to raise the bar to a higher level. While U.S. DOL may have classifications of employees exempt from federal minimum wage requirements, most states have stricter standards and those exemption may not apply because the state minimum wage requirements supersedes the federal requirement in that they are stricter and often do not have ANY exemption from the state's own minimum wage requirements. There is that caveat emptor to pay attention to.


Rick you're just making things up again. It's clear you have no restaurant or hospitality experience. There are no states where waiters, etc. are required to be paid full minimum wage, and very few employers pay full minimum wage to tipped workers. The federal minimum hourly rate for tipped workers is $2.13. In a few states tipped workers must be paid at least 50% of the state's minimum wage, but in most the minimum is less.


It's actually a tip credit. Nonetheless, the employee must be compensated so their wage pay equals minimum wage. Tips can be treated like an advance. So lets say you work 40 hours and are paid minimum wage of $10.00 / hour due to state law. You are entitled $400 for that week's pay. If you collected $100 in tips that week, the employer can take the tips and credit it to their minimum wage obligation. So instead of paying you $400 for the pay period, the employee gets $300 minus the withholdings, social security, etc. that is due on the $400. $100 in tips is credited because you already got paid in advance of the pay period in the form of tips. Tips have to be recorded to the employer. Again, the employer must pay minimum wage. If employee for some reason did not collect minimum wage, the employer is still obligated to pay the required minimum wage.

A lot of employers do not actually go through the headache of using tips as credit but pays the minimum wage and the tips are extra as a benefit. This is part of 1) encouraging good work out of the employee and 2) a means to retain good employees. In Oregon, there isn't exactly a get out of making sure the employee gets paid what minimum wage would require. In most states, Tips can be credited towards what the employer must pay the employee but the employee gets the minimum wage for the pay period.


In Oregon:

In Oregon, tips are like bonuses. They are in addition to what the employee is paid for the hours worked. 

In other states, employers may take the "tip credit" method but that is a lot of paperwork that many employers don't want to go through but yes, some do. In turn, tips would be treated like bonuses and used as a tool to encourage better quality work from employees as well as possibly encourage employee loyalty. Think of it as a reward for exceptionally good work vs. a tool to not pay employees what they would have earned by working the hours anyway. 


There is MINIMUM WAGE that we normally talk about and that is basically the minimum combined cash & tipped wage in this context. Some states, tips are not able to be credited against the normal cash wage. Many employers don't bother with the 'paperwork' of crediting tips against the wage and just pay the require minimum wage and tips are then effectively treated like a bonus.... a perk for doing exceptionally good work.


In New York State & City, you are still paid a minimum cash wage that is greater than the Federal minimum wage and while tips are credited.... it is towards the remainder of New York state or City minimum wage which is even higher than the federal minimum wage. Tips beyond a certain point is basically a bonus. In any case, you are still paid minimum wage and employer is still obligated to pay required minimum wage. If employee doesn't earn much in tips or happen to have bad luck and not earned any tips, the employer still is legally required to pay the minimum wage. Tips used as credit is only in the argument sense that the tip is a pay in advance of the upcoming pay period.


Considering California is a highly populated state and has a LOT of restaurants and other hospitality establishments, they are required to pay FULL STATE minimum wage. Most of the states that are BLUE and several of those that are green on the one link, the state minimum wage is basically the federal minimum wage or slightly above it. In any case, the combined tips and wage must meet the minimum wage required within the state. The credit for tip is an up to. The minimum cash wage is an AT LEAST. If the employee didn't earn that much tips, the employer must pay up the remaining amount of the wage. 

If an employee for some reason did not earn much tips... say they work in Texas. They earned $25 in tips and worked 80 hours. At $7.25 an hour over 80 hours.... that's $580 for the pay period before you deduct for withholdings, social security, etc. and the tip credit. There is only $25 of tips. The employer is still responsible for paying the employee the remainder of the 580 minus ($25+withholdings/social security/etc.). That $555 minus what is withheld for workers comp, social security, etc. maybe around $440. The withholding is taken off the top, usually. The cash wage for the pay period would be around $440. This is just off the top of my head and may be slightly off from exact. The tip is already in the employee's pocket. 

The employer can not deduct for tips the employee did not earn. The employee has to have been given the tips for the tip credit to apply.


I thought a door man would just be a $10-12/hr. job because it doesn't need an education and two, the training is very minute. The level of on the job training is very little. A door man at a church don't get paid at all. Being clean cut, and courteous isn't something that a person should be paid more. That's to be expected at every job. 

Sounds like you might want to consider switching jobs. LOL!

Jul 3, 17 1:10 pm

What churches have doormen? Do you mean the greeters? That's considered part of the ministry of the church - they're not paid because because they're somewhere between volunteers and beneficiaries of a social service. Churches pick greeters based on who will be helped by being one - because they're shy or awkward, or not very connected to the congregation, or because they're people who need to be kept busy to keep them out of trouble in other aspects of the church, that sort of thing. Pretty much they're the opposite of who you'd want to hire as a professional doorman.


Well.... doormen/greeters..... basically the same thing.... to welcome people attending. Same task.... nothing special. Opening a door or otherwise being courteous, classy, and welcoming isn't that much of a thing to do. As for churches picking greeters.... that may be in some churches but most of the time, it is just volunteers. From my experience, they tend to be people who are welcoming, kind, friendly (but not too friendly), etc. Just as doormen would be as part of the job. For doormen, it is a aspect of customer service representation. Most doormen, it is just a facade like the fake smile you have to hold at fast food restaurants all day long whenever you are talking to customers.


hahaha... now that's a read to lighten the mood on this topic.


excellent read, thanks for posting


Doormen will lose their jobs when the robot workforce comes. Oh wait, so will you. 

Jul 3, 17 9:28 pm
Non Sequitur

I won't.

knock knock

What a hideous way to measure someone's worthiness. A lot of those guys work hard to put their kids through the college. Sometimes architecture school. My friends had one from Dominican Republic who did that and was worth every penny they paid him. He had more class than many architects in Manhattan.

Jul 5, 17 1:44 am

"The only time you look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have as much as them." -Louis CK

Jul 5, 17 2:19 pm

I also enjoy opening windows

Jul 5, 17 2:23 pm

Bet the doorman lives within his means. This has nothing to do with a certain profession and everything to do with the way individuals choose to spend their money. They don't teach financial literacy in grad school. 

Jul 6, 17 12:31 pm

they do in HS typically, or did in 1982


These bagels and coffee are giving me diarrhea.  I used to clean toilets for $2.25 per hour in 1987.  At least toilets didn't give me VERBAL shit.

Hold nose / hold anus = LEED Certification, I think

As farts approach infinity : consciousness approaches zero

Jul 6, 17 12:55 pm

I don't know what you're smoking but can I have some?


The union is a great place. It helps us the stand strong against our foes in some cases the big man. 

Jul 6, 17 3:01 pm

Hey Bulgar, there's diamonds on Uranus. Go get some. 

Jul 6, 17 5:11 pm

Bulgar ‘blogger’ Trump. You sound like a piece of shit, and just green because you’ll never open any doors. #scumbag

Jul 6, 17 7:10 pm
RickB - clearly you googled/researched a lot but Bloopox is still correct. You are correct in that employers *should* pay min wage / make up the difference but the rule is rarely enforced especially when it comes to small businesses... speak to anyone who's worked in service, it's a common narrative to have been paid below min wage at one or more places when starting out.

That said doormen are typically paid more than tipped and often reg min wage. In reality the tips just aren't there and workers aren't willing to put up with that. Turnover is far more expensive than the pittance employers may save on sub min wages.
Jul 8, 17 8:20 pm

We all f---ing know all the laws except only about 1% of them are regularly enforced. We all know people violate the laws all the time and over 90% of them gets away with it but WE have laws and as a citizen and subsequently.... a co-owner of this country (United States)..... I expect the people paid by our taxpayer dollars to do their damn job. However, we also know a majority of violations of laws goes unreported for a number of reasons. Remember, WE are a country of LAWS. Just because people get away with it like they get away with all sorts of traffic violations because there isn't a 'cop' at every intersection and every 1/4 mile along the highways doesn't mean the laws don't exist and it doesn't mean that people ignoring them because they are not enforced at such extreme levels that they have to have robot cops/drones and devices placed everywhere that will identify the driver and vehicle and mail the citation or violation notice or whatever is required......that it's okay to violate the laws. Maybe it is because traffic like a lot of things in life depends on self-moderation and self-discipline and obedience to the authorities which includes the laws itself and the public institutions of judicial and legislative arms of our multiple levels of government of the people by the people. If it got to the point where we have to have such extreme measures to enforce the laws then we have to all be in straight jackets in padded rooms and be 24/7 under thought control by computer systems. Stop wasting our time with all the 'rarely enforced' crap. It's not so much rarely enforced but simply rarely reported because the victims themselves don't want to be caught up in court cases because they need work and employment more then they need to sit in court rooms to get next to nothing at the end..... BUT don't misrepresent the choice of people not reporting violations of their prior / existing employer with the laws doesn't exist. If you think that all these so called laws that are rarely enforced should be repealed then you better be careful because without them, you have no possible legal recourse. I emphasize that we need to put more teeth behind these laws to protect the people including very draconian penalties like $100,000 fine for each pay period for each employee for not properly paying the employees. If they can't do things properly then they have no business being in business. Maybe it cuts some of the bullshit small boutique businesses that are a failure before they even opened because there is just no more room in the market area. Maybe there should be fewer restaurants. We have minimum wage laws for a reason. If employers don't pay their employees then they have no business running a business or being an employer. Sure, if the laws of their state permits, they can use tips as credit used to reduce the amount the employer pays the employee in regular wage for the pay period. (Tip credit) This doesn't mean the employer doesn't pay a certain minimum amount in minimum cash wage portion. The tip credit is never 100% of the wage due. The reason most employees don't report their employer of violations is because they fear they will lose their job so they put up with being f---ed over week after week. However, I don't believe the majority of employers in the restaurant business are doing that. The small mom & pop restaurant shops aren't necessarily employers. They are family ran and that usually means the family members are part-owners.... maybe a general partner with very small percentage of ownership.... (eg. 1%-5% ownership interest while mom & pop are like 80% to 90% of the ownership). That's not the same thing as actual bonafide employer situation. I was talking about actual employers. An employer can actually face losing FEIN status and sanctions can be placed against an employer from being able to employ people as well as termination of business licenses (very rare and extreme case). We all know the world is full of assholes who think the laws don't apply to them or sure the hell act like it doesn't because their usual excuse is.... everyone else is doing it. It doesn't matter if you are the first or not.... it is just a matter of time in their game of russian roulette that they bite the big one and get in legal trouble.


TLDR???? Short version: We all know there are people who don't follow the laws and often get away with it because a vast majority of the laws are not enforced by anything remotely like a law enforcement patrol. Most of the law enforcement matters rely on people reporting violation after all, most of them are administrative laws and most of those departments, agencies, etc. of the state do not engage in patrolling activities. They don't go from business to business checking if the businesses are complying with the law. People either have to file a complaint with the state's bureau of labor or file a lawsuit in the courts. The majority of violations goes unreported. Yes, we know the real world isn't the ideal world because we are too lazy to do what it takes to make the world ideal or even close to it. Just because people often get away with violating the law doesn't mean that they aren't violating the law or even subject to serious penalties. It's just a matter of time before they bite the bullet playing this metaphorical game of russian roulette. It is just a matter of time before they do get caught and face potentially serious consequences. Just because you get away with traffic violations / speeding, or even running a red light.... it's just a matter of time.


"That said doormen are typically paid more than tipped and often reg min wage. In reality the tips just aren't there and workers aren't willing to put up with that. Turnover is far more expensive than the pittance employers may save on sub min wages." Agree. People don't pay tips to doormen/doorwomen like they do waiters/waitresses or even taxi or limo drivers. Most of them get minimum wage + tips (as essentially a bonus). Most employers don't want to go through the administrative headache for deducting the tips from the wage as they would have to manage and know exactly how much the employee got in tips and that usually means that the employees would have to take the tips in to the employer and have it recorded for accuracy... every time the employee ends their shift. That can be a bit of a PITA.


If this was a Green Party mtg the "vibes" person would be saying "Vibes". And then the room would get quiet and awkward.

Jul 9, 17 10:48 am

I have an old friend from high school who is a garbage worker and he seems happy with that career choice.  They don't quite make 100k here but the 60 hour work weeks and constant stench are accurate - his wife makes him keep his work clothes in their detached garage.  They installed a shower and laundry out there.  I make more than he does, rarely work more than 45 hours per week, and don't have to shower in my garage, but he gets to work outdoors, is in better shape, gets to keep things that people throw away, and a lot of people give him Christmas bonuses.  If the life and wages of garbage worker or doorman appeal then why stay in architecture? Those opportunities await.

Jul 9, 17 11:33 am

hey the other day I sat by my pool, Drank a cold beer, and spent the day sketching concepts for a cool sculptural fountain and garden im designing.  So yeah, trash collectors and doorman have it much harder...and jerks like bulgar dont even want them fairly paid...

Jul 9, 17 2:54 pm

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