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Recently Licensed - Conversation with Boss

RecentlyLicensed

As the title states, I recently obtained my license and contemplating when to have the conversation with boss regarding trajectory and compensation. I have my yearly review in a few months but don’t really want to wait that long. Looking for advice if I should wait for my review or how to bring it up. Thank you in advance.

 
Jul 20, 21 12:54 am
Non Sequitur

you should have started the conversation months before getting your license. Did your workload and responsibilities change once you got your license?

Jul 20, 21 6:45 am  · 
2  · 
Witty Banter

I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with waiting until after achieving licensure to start the conversation. A lot of young staff like to proclaim "I'm taking my tests" or "I'm getting licensed by ___" and for a variety of reasons it doesn't happen. Some employers may be numb to some of that and not put much stock into how close someone may be to finishing. It's also fair to remember that not all offices function the same. I can walk over to my employer and ask for a few minutes of his time, not every office has that. That being said I totally agree that workload and responsibilities is the conversation. If OP learned xyz through their licensure process and has either already applied that or feels more prepared to take on additional responsibilities that is what potentially makes them more valuable. The license itself may be nice for marketing or proposals but is fairly insignificant in most cases.

Jul 20, 21 9:46 am  · 
5  · 
square.

agree with the early conversation part, but i don't see the necessity for changing of responsibility and workloads for a raise- in plenty of other professions (teaching, for example), degrees and certifications come with an automatic increase in pay because of the individuals investment in self-learning and earning credentials. only in architecture would getting your license be seen as not enough.. what's the incentive then if you're working at an office?

Jul 20, 21 10:10 am  · 
2  · 
joseffischer

insignificant? supply and demand, responsibilities and workload be d**ned... if they can't supply him with the work he's ready to do, they can pay for an overqualified drafter they need or he will go to someone who better fits his duties.

Agree that the best time was months ago, but the 2nd best time is always now.


Jul 20, 21 2:59 pm  · 
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Volunteer

If your relationship with your boss is so poor you can't drop some good-natured hints you should seek another job. 

Jul 20, 21 7:07 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

Good relationship = dropping hints? If the relationship is good, be direct.

Jul 20, 21 7:22 am  · 
2  · 
Volunteer

I fear the subtle gene was left off your genome.

Jul 20, 21 9:02 am  · 
 · 

Stop insulting is gnome. 

Jul 20, 21 10:12 am  · 
1  · 
ivanmillya

If your boss was your mentor (supervisor? Can't remember what it's called for IDP hours), then they're probably well aware of what you're going to be asking them after you've got your license. If they don't ask you to sit down and have a conversation about new responsibilities, expectations, and compensation, then they probably don't want to have that conversation at all. I'd be proactive about taking on more responsibility (if that's what you want; always start with how your license can add value to the firm and how you're eager to use it to help take a more leadership role, don't start with "I passed my tests, I want more money"), and if your boss doesn't want to set a time to talk about it, then start looking for another job.

Jul 20, 21 7:44 am  · 
2  · 
ivanmillya

On that note, you asking for higher compensation should only be linked to taking on a larger responsibility (and therefore liability) in the direction and work of the firm you work for. If you're being asked to sign and seal, you should get paid more. Marking redlines for juniors to complete a set, and dictating the design of work instead of just doing production? More $$$. If you're just expecting to do the same thing you were before you were licensed? Don't expect to get paid more than you already were.

Jul 20, 21 7:49 am  · 
4  · 
SlammingMiruvor

On the other hand, if OP is an effective employee and could get paid more, have more responsibility, or growth potential elsewhere, their firm will want to seriously consider providing more money or opportunities for them unless they're willing to let OP walk.

Jul 20, 21 9:26 am  · 
2  · 
RJ87

I'd reiterate the point others have made that you probably should have been mentioning it before hand, but that doesn't help you much now so its a moot point. I'd disagree with what others have said about taking on immediate additional responsibility. My advice would be regardless of if you take on additional responsibility or not ask for the raise on the grounds that you're now a licensed professional. Most folks never make it that far, so try to be rewarded for it. That said, it also depends on what you're making now. You can take a look at the AIA salary calculator as well as the Archinect survey. Assuming you're a new grad you'll probably be an "Architect Level I". You can also consider asking for things like a salaried position, NCARB dues, etc. Congrats on your licensure!

Jul 20, 21 9:16 am  · 
1  · 
RJ87

I say ask for the raise regardless for a few reasons. It's a big deal to get your license in a field where a large portion give up, but it's also a clear benchmark to try and leverage. Often times you'll be at the mercy of someone else to give you an opportunity to earn more money, this is a benchmark you cleared yourself that you should attempt to monetize.

Jul 20, 21 9:21 am  · 
1  · 
SlammingMiruvor

Yup, ask for a raise regardless, and if you don't get one, consider what a new job would look like. Whether or not your day-to-day responsibilities change, shit is changing for your boss(es). You're immediately more valuable from a marketing standpoint. Trust me when I say your firm will be advertising you as an Architect. Your firm's insurance policy premiums may be lowered, sometimes they're evaluated on a ratio of licensed/un-licensed staff. You also personally have higher expenses. Are you an AIA member? Have fun with that additional hit. You have yearly licensing costs now too.

Jul 20, 21 9:54 am  · 
3  · 
ivanmillya

Achieving licensure might signal that OP has the internal motivation to further their career, but the value and purpose of raises is different for (typically wage-based) license candidates vs (typically salaried) professionals. License candidates get raises as incentive to stay and invest in becoming a licensed asset for the firm, and usually based on "I've gotten faster at producing wall sections" or "I can do a preliminary code analysis myself now", which are great. But licensed professional raises are (in my experience) based entirely on the value you add to a firm's portfolio. Things like "I can run this entire project now" or "I have an expertise in building code / accessibility / preservation laws / [whatever the specialty is]." If someone can't provide additional value (or at least show that they have the resources / knowledge set available to do so) beyond what they were able to do as an intern, it doesn't seem to me like they should be getting a pay increase simply because they got a license number.

Jul 20, 21 10:07 am  · 
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RJ87

I agree with them being different tracks. But my point is he is moving from the "(typically wage-based) license candidates" to the "(typically salaried) professionals" track. That's a perfect opportunity to ask for a raise, because like you said they just became a "licensed asset for the firm". Becoming a licensed professional should have it's rewards in my opinion.

I'm not saying unload a brinks truck in his driveway either. But at least pay him the threshold standard for a licensed professional, which if you trust the AIA is somewhere around 65k (depending on your market).

Jul 20, 21 10:37 am  · 
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RJ87

I also may be skewed by my opinion that everyone should aim to be licensed & my very positive experience with asking my employer for things when I received mine. I asked for a 20% raise & a salaried position on the grounds that I was now a licensed professional. They 100% agreed. I saw an opportunity to ask for more so I asked for them to pay for my AIA dues, NCARB dues, NCARB certificate, and any costs associated with future CE. Somehow got that too, but that's a rare case.

Jul 20, 21 10:55 am  · 
 · 

ivanmillya - I disagree with your view. Being a licensed professional adds additional value to the the firm simply from the increased marketing potential. In addition a licensed professional is billed at a higher rate. These things alone make a pay increase viable.

Jul 20, 21 10:55 am  · 
4  ·  1
ivanmillya

Chad - Marketing potential can heavily be based on the size of the firm. If you work in a solo practitioner's office (esp. one that has like 4-6 employees), getting your license isn't enough in itself to justify a substantial pay raise, if the owner is the only one designing and stamping. In that world, you getting your license is definitely a signal that you are more useful, but asking for the raise without laying out some sort of plan for how your license is beneficial to the firm's goals just doesn't work any more than trying to get a raise because "I have more bills to pay now that I'm out of school".

Granted, I personally haven't experienced working in large firms with multiple departments so I'm sure it's entirely a different mentality.

Jul 20, 21 11:34 am  · 
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square.

and this is why there is a correlation with these types firms also being toxic.. signaling that your employees have no additional value after completing idp and 6(+) exams while simultaneously demanding that they also do more work, better, is only beneficial to the employer. i'd run from this type of atmosphere.

Jul 20, 21 11:41 am  · 
6  · 
RJ87

Ivanmillya- Like Chad mentioned that cost is transferred to the client because the billable rate likely goes up. My hourly rate went from $135 to $175 the day my license popped up. More than covered the raise within a 15 person firm.

 Square - Agreed. It's also indicative of the profession that licensure isn't always an expectation.

Jul 20, 21 11:45 am  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

The whole upwardly crawling rat fight being described is disgusting. If someone is an excellent employee and does what they say they want to do and has no interest in what some arbitrary asshole decided was "above" that we stop giving them raises? Even if they keep learning how to do that role better? Get the fuck out of here. If forms call people juniors, they should get treated like the elitist pricks they are. Call people intern and get told they're assholes. If I have an amazing project architect who keeps on learning how to put a building together better, why the fuck would I make them a project manager so they could just quit a year later because they don't get to do what they're passionate about? Such a self defeating profession. 

Jul 20, 21 11:48 am  · 
5  · 
SneakyPete

Billable rate is a cop out that many of the firms use, but that's because they don't want to put in the time to tailor their budgets to the team they have. They could leverage lower bill rates to make a better project and negotiate a better percentage with some creativity. Or just bill someone at a higher rate based on their actual importance to getting the project done (the "junior" who did the concept model, made lots of decisions as they did, and created the renderings that got the project approved) instead of a title structure that is totally ignorant of the actual importance of the people involved vis-a-vis the ARCHITECTURE.

Jul 20, 21 12:02 pm  · 
2  · 
square.

100% sp- the "inevitable project manager" is an incredibly restrictive model that both sucks talent from where it should be and also makes people miserable in positions where they don't fit best. i'd personally like to see some people with real management skills/degrees in these roles, not simply ending up there because a bad boss demanded it and gave little thought to firm structure.

Jul 20, 21 1:58 pm  · 
2  · 

ivanmillya - Those are good points. I will add that your value in marketing depends a lot on your past experience and portfolio. I worked in a six person when I received my license. I was given a $3k bonus and a 10% raise. The bonus was to reimburse me for the costs of my exams and study material. The thing is I had already passed six of my seven exams when I started working for that firm. It's all about how much the firm values your contributions and recognizes the dedication it takes to become licensed.

Jul 20, 21 2:29 pm  · 
4  · 
rcz1001

To the OP,

I would not expect that you will get a very large wage just because you are licensed if your duties does not involve increased scope of leadership role and responsibilities over the work prepared. You (OP) are licensed and that does inherently mean you will be more a target of a lawsuit than you would have been as an unlicensed employee. 

Note: Being unlicensed is not an escape from lawsuit. It's that you are both unlicensed and also an employee that you would be generally immune (exceptions to that rule of thumb does exist) from being liable of negligence as you would be operating under the supervision and direction of supervisors who would be licensed such as the architect of responsible charge. 

Now that you are licensed, you would be expected to operate according to the professional standard of care and other requirements of licensure. This alone would would justify some increase in pay unless you are already being paid at the same level as architects at a pay that is significantly above average for an unlicensed employee. 

However, alone, it would only be minor maybe 5-10% increase with or without a bonus. If your scope of duties increases in leadership and responsibility, you can possibly negotiate a more favorable increase in pay but you will be bearing more responsibility. 

I agree with what Chad Miller said. What he said should be on the ballpark of what to expect, as is on basis of licensed. If you want more than that, the discussion needs to include taking on greater responsibility.

Jul 20, 21 3:13 pm  · 
 ·  1

Ricky - be careful. You're stating legal things that are not true. 

Jul 20, 21 3:33 pm  · 
2  · 
ivanmillya

Chad - Granted, when I got licensed, I did get a similar raise & bonus (bonus was to reimburse the costs of exams; study materials weren't covered sadly), working at the time for a firm of 8 or so. But the conversation attached to the raise was essentially that my raise was on the expectation of providing a larger value to the work of the firm (i.e. we're giving you a raise because as a licensed professional we're anticipating you being able to take on projects with more / full autonomy, not so you can keep doing CAD redlines by one of the partners). When I got my license, the expectation was to explore and find some niche in the profession that I could fill in service of the firm (code expert, energy efficient construction detailing, bringing in new client work, etc.etc.). The point of it all was that my raise was no longer attached to simply being better at doing production work, but instead based on additional value that the new architect can provide to the workplace.

Jul 20, 21 3:46 pm  · 
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rcz1001

What exactly did I say regarding legal things that was not true?

Jul 20, 21 4:06 pm  · 
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square.

almost all of it. you would never be sued as an individual unless you did something completely, grossly negligent (maybe not even then). 99% of instances the company is liable, not the individual.. that's the whole reason pllc etc exist. also, you do not take on any extra liability when you become licensed if you've already been operating under a licensed architect- that only happens if you stamp something, which is why you should never do that unless you are working on your own. then, and only if you are a sole-proprietor, would you individually be held liable. but again, this is why on the exams (if you had studied them) the point is hammered home that some form of corporation is best practice for these exact reason, so that the company is sued and held liable, not the person.

Jul 20, 21 4:14 pm  · 
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square.

ivan- i still find this an incredibly toxic and manipulative practice. again, i'll point to teachers- when they get a masters or some other credential, they receive a pay raise not with the expectation that they will take on extra work, or change their job structure, but because what they just spent time investing in, themselves, will make them better at what they are currently doing. it's difficult in my mind to argue that that is not bringing more value to the workplace.

but again, this is just another way in which architecture has something completely ass backwards, putting the onus on employees far beyond what is healthy or reasonable. i'm thankful the office i work for doesn't operate this way.

Jul 20, 21 4:18 pm  · 
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ivanmillya

Square - I'm inclined to agree with you that it is generally manipulative. The process of studying for and completing the hours & exams do tend to raise one's skill level. I'm just speaking from my own experience, that, depending on the firm size / culture, the best way to approach the conversation of money is to talk about value propositions. If I were to open my own practice (as I might do in the future), conversations would be about actual concrete (no pun intended) value already provided to the firm instead of that.

Jul 20, 21 4:25 pm  · 
2  · 
rcz1001

square, every lawyer will sue the person for negligence, tort, malpractice. LLCs, PLLCs or any limited liability protection provided by LLPs, LLCs, PLLPs, PLLCs, corporations, etc. does not cover negligence, tort, malpractice, etc. They only limit liability with regard to contractual matters. That is why there is this thing called PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE or sometimes called ERRORS & OMISSIONS INSURANCE. They will pierce that "corporate veil" like a light saber cutting through tissue paper.

Yes, they may also sue the company.

Jul 20, 21 4:34 pm  · 
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ivanmillya

Rick- You know, the Amber Book ARE prep helps explain how liability works pretty well, you might wanna go get a copy of it...

Jul 20, 21 4:38 pm  · 
2  · 
rcz1001

My sources are lawyers who have already written about this topic. Yes, the ones that would know.

Jul 20, 21 4:46 pm  · 
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rcz1001

ARE is not the state Bar exam. Lets not assume the ARE is the best source regarding legal matters. If limited liability protected you from lawsuits regarding negligence, tort, malpractice, errors & omissions, and so forth, then why would there be all these professional liability / E&O insurance companies offering insurance to architects/designers?

Jul 20, 21 4:50 pm  · 
 ·  1
rcz1001
ivanmillya

Prof. Liability insurance covers firms and their employees. Typically they are written to cover specific license numbers (as I understand it; could be way off base about this), which is why a lot of smaller firms only have one (typically the firm owner) AoR even with multiple licensed professionals on staff. See what Square said above.

Jul 20, 21 4:57 pm  · 
1  · 
rcz1001

As that article indicates, there are various instances in which the LLC protects but it really doesn't do anything for the person or persons responsible for negligence, tort, etc. Unlicensed employees are generally operating under direction and orders so they are usually shielded but I did say there are exceptions but that would be an extreme case for an unlicensed employee. The point of the law is not to allow wrongdoers to get away with wrongdoing. Licensed professionals who are employees are a bit easier to target in a lawsuit.

Jul 20, 21 5:01 pm  · 
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rcz1001
proto

https://bfy.tw/RJhS

Jul 20, 21 5:32 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

As usual Rick derails a topic into his own personal version of this:


Jul 20, 21 5:41 pm  · 
4  · 
square.

rick, you are wrong. one of the most helpful and wide-used resources for the ARE (again, you would know all of this if you actually were studying for the exams) is a series of lectures from a construction lawyer who knows the aia contracts/building industry inside and out, and they contradict everything you are saying via actual, real life cases. you should do yourself a favor and listen to these instead of the "very real lawyers" you consult.

https://www.schiffhardin.com/T...

Jul 20, 21 5:53 pm  · 
1  · 
rcz1001

Can the LLC be held liable? Yes. Can the person who conducts acts of negligence? Yes. Lawyers will name both the person(s) and the LLC/entity. 

How about this: https://www.theaiatrust.com/with-regard-to-professional-liability-protection-is-there-a-benefit-from-practicing-as-a-corporation-or-llc-as-opposed-to-being-a-sole-proprietor/

I'm not talking about contractual disputes here. That's just the whiny shit about clients not wanting pay for XYZ excuses and you arguing you should be paid because you did ABC. Got it? As litigious as the AEC industry is, it isn't the 99% of the noise cases to be concerned about, it is the case of that 1% of the cases where it is about something much more serious like tort, malpractice, negligence, etc. That is why there is professional liability insurance because there is a big gaping fucking hole in the protections limited liability provisions provide and that is what I had been talking about from get go. The AIA even points that out in that article.


Jul 20, 21 10:43 pm  · 
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rcz1001

In an LLC of a larger firm, if you weren't involved in the specific project where there is a claim of negligence made, you're liability will be limited but those who were involved in the specific project would be liable or potentially liable and therefore could be personally sued. If you are an employee with a license, you have a license and are subject to the regulated requirement by statutory law and/or the administrative laws/rules of the licensing board that issued the license. Most if not all the states requires licensees to perform their services to the professional standard of care regardless if you stamp the work or not. NOTE: Claims of tort, negligence, malpractice can be applied to not just one person but also a group of individuals and entities. Then the penalties from the lawsuit can be applied to all the listed defendants according to their degree of responsibility as determined by the judge during a ruling if the plaintiff wins their case.

Jul 20, 21 10:54 pm  · 
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rcz1001

Note: Negligence/malpractice/errors & omissions are a tort (negligence category as the recording at the preceding link is about). Liability of tort is not something limited liability provisions of LLCs, LLPs, Corporations, etc. cover for the person or persons who commit a tort. When you, square, "you would never be sued as an individual unless you did something completely, grossly negligent (maybe not even then)" I was talking about negligence. It needs not to be "grossly". I am not talking about all the issues of liability where a company is exposed to. I'm totally ignoring your unqualified argument of "99%" of cases. It's not supported by any evidence by you. It is not something I am going to even bother to task you with proving that. My gut feeling is most cases are not going to be the extreme cases like tort or negligence but you should already know that in as highly a litigated environment as the architectural, engineering, construction field is, I would not think it would be wise to assume that even with 1% of the cases, you would be safe from any lawsuit because you need professional liability insurance to protect your personal assets from the one lawsuit in your entire career that can ruin your life and that of your family because you screwed up and it cost the lives of hundreds and their families are all suing you in a class action. Even if you didn't stamp the drawings. The reason why unlicensed employees have less liability risk is due to legal precedents where they were acting under the direction of their employer (boss) and in the case of them being licensed architects to further the point. These precedents go back before licensing laws existed at all and a number of them since that time. Licensed architects being certified by a professional body much like professional certifications will raise the bar of professional expectation and the general societal expectation that with these credentials, you would be likely to be assumed to have or should have known better. More so than members of the general public or some unlicensed person with no certification credential in a position where they would be taking direction and orders from a qualified professional especially when we talk about projects that requires a license. Of course, I did say there are exceptions to the general rule. I may be held to a higher standard than the general public for a variety of reason even though I am not a licensed architect. The professional standard of care is that unlicensed persons do not make design decisions in connection with projects that require a licensed design professional. They can propose ideas to their boss who is a licensed design professional but the decision and approval are by that licensed design professional. When you are licensed, you are required by the licensing board to exercise the same professional standard of care as if you were stamping the drawings even when you are not. This is because this standard was established when licensing laws were adopted and the first 3 decades of the architectural profession as a licensed profession. This is what your predecessors set forth and that standard has become part of the judicial precedence and minimum standards. It's something you and well.... all of us to an extent inherit because the standard overflows to also to us who are not licensed that engages as independent practitioners. Yes, I do agree with you when you said that you should not be stamping drawings unless you are on your own (or if you become a partner of the firm or something but that's another topic). However, just because you are not stamping the drawing doesn't mean you can or should be sloppy or negligent. An intern can be forgiven for not knowing better but you are licensed and you know better. That is why you can and maybe be targeted in a suit if you were negligent as well as the AOR not checking the work thoroughly or properly and your negligence (error/omission) slipped through. The fresh out of college intern might be forgiven but you.... fuck no. You know better and if I was a judge, I would say something along that line. Even if you are licensed in another state, the same point. The fact of the matter is clear. You know what I am talking about. What I said to the newly licensed architect, the OP, the OP should keep in mind that because they are licensed, the bar of expectation (legally) is higher now because of the established credential. The OP is subject to the licensing board. The courts are going to take into consideration that the OP is now licensed if the OP was ever named in a lawsuit. If I was a client, I would expect every architect working on the project to exercise the professional standard of care even if they are not stamping the drawing and that they all could be a potential target of a lawsuit if they are negligent not just the AOR that stamps the drawings.

Jul 21, 21 2:42 am  · 
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rcz1001

At about 53:00 (minutes:seconds) into the recording, the presenter talks about an example where multiple parties were sued. This is in the same vein as what I am talking about where even the architects working on a project that wasn't the AOR is named in the lawsuit. The example in the record does not cover every lawsuit instance. Especially when we get into causation comparison. (joint tortfeasor)

Jul 21, 21 3:57 am  · 
 · 
square.

these scenarios are so inane and absurd, the amount of hoops you're jumping through to make "a point" proves how much so.

here's a question for you: how often are architects sued, and more importantly, what percentage of employees of architects have been sued? the answer will tell you that you are making quite the mountain out of a molehill- sure, getting your license could hypothetically in some ridiculous scenario open you up to litigation (as could many activities that come with being a professional in any setting....), but it's such an incredibly rare occurrence that it's really something the average person shouldn't worry about, at all.

Jul 21, 21 10:37 am  · 
2  · 

That is a bit wall-o-text Rick. I'm not reading that.

Jul 21, 21 11:03 am  · 
5  · 
rcz1001

Chad, don't worry about reading that wall of text.

Jul 21, 21 1:36 pm  · 
 · 

Just Chad?

Jul 21, 21 1:41 pm  · 
5  · 
rcz1001

square, I concur that being sued for tort negligence claims is a lot more seldom than those regarding general contractual disputes. We agree on that. However, the OP is a licensed architect and is required by law to conduct his/her work in accordance with the professional standard of care and in accordance with the board rules and statutory laws. You can agree on that. It doesn't matter if he/she stamps the drawings. Yes, it may be an extraordinary case for lawyers to go down to the tiers and go after the employees with licenses that were involved with the project but they can. 

Most firms worth a damn should have some professional liability insurance coverage packages that include the work of employees but that's separate from any sort of limited liability provisions that an LLC, LLP, PLLC, PLLP, corporations, etc. may have. That's why there are professional liability insurance programs. 

If limited liability automatically makes employees immune to lawsuits, then this insurance industry wouldn't be so large. We covered this enough, right..... for this thread at least?

Jul 21, 21 3:19 pm  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

How did a question about a raise...oh. Good god. I can't wait to die.

Jul 21, 21 3:27 pm  · 
2  · 
square.

a bit on me.. but seemed important to call someone out who was offering advice about being licensed while being neither in architecture, nor being licensed themselves (i am, btw).

Jul 21, 21 3:34 pm  · 
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rcz1001

License as an architect doesn't mean you are always right. Being named Frank Lloyd Wright won't always make you right, either. You could have argued that the cases would be extremely rare and something to probably not be concerned with. 

As a business owner and building designer, I have the same liability exposure as any principal of an architectural firm that works on the same type of projects, especially in Oregon. It's only up to whether or not a person sues. Not having a license is no escape from being sued for tort. I have been in business for considerably over a decade. A good part of that time was a sole-proprietorship. Now, as an LLC, I have some protection but it's not bulletproof. Okay. Got it. Ultimately, you didn't prove me wrong. Only proved the argument that my argument would be rare. We agree (although not 100% on how rare) but even as rare as it is, it can happen.

Now, I can agree with you that as the firm owner, I would be more likely to be personally named or targeted in a suit of tort than an employee would be. It would be easier for an attorney to argue that I would have an inherent responsibility to oversee that the work done is done properly and in accordance with professional standard of care which by the way would be effectively no different. Stamping the drawings isn't what determines professional standard of care. There's a lot more involved and you know it as well as I do. I would be by de facto standards be automatically certifying the work was done according to standard of care. That responsibility rests with me as no one else actually is in charge of building design services and the responsible party who prepared the plans would need to be known and identified and not just the business entity. Oregon law is that way. 

Jul 21, 21 3:44 pm  · 
 · 

This thread has been thoroughly balkinized...

... Rick, you can stop now.

Jul 21, 21 6:41 pm  · 
3  · 
RecentlyLicensed

I’d like to thank everyone to contributing their input and experience. To give a little more background - I have about 8 years of experience and was recently given the opportunity to take on more responsibility before passing my last exam. I know a raise is coming at my review, but that wont’ be until the end of the year.  I am trying to strategize how my licenses affects the raise. I don’t foresee getting two raises, if I were to bring it up sooner.

One discussion brought up was the title of Project Manager. I have PM experience at other firms but just joined this company a few years ago. I am working my way to prove myself as a PM, hence the recent opportunity in responsibility. I did bring up that I was taking my exams and would soon be licensed during my interview, but as someone mentioned, my boss has probably heard that before. 

Coming back to the title of PM, we do have Project Architects in the office. I am still not clear how the roles are defined at the office, but this is a great discussion point to have and see which best fits my newly gained responsibility and license. 

Jul 21, 21 4:02 am  · 
1  · 
rcz1001

I would think the best direction is getting prepared for that discussion regarding a raise at that time. Not two raises but one appropriate raise commensurate of your background and also considering your licensure status now and what you may bring to the firm going forward. Since it is some cycle, it's probably okay if it is at the end of the year and since you ARE licensed and not would be, that will be something the boss would or should be more appreciative of hearing not... you'll soon but that you are. If the boss and others who would be part of the decision-making know you ARE licensed versus "would be soon" will be something you will want to be clear that registers. Then that will be something that can open the discussion (potentially) for more negotiation on pay raise that would likely also be commensurate with what your duties will entail in 2022. I'm not sure how you should talk to the boss about it. Don't know the boss so don't know the person enough to gauge. 

PS: Sorry for the distracting tangent in the debate between me and square.


Jul 21, 21 5:44 am  · 
 ·  2

Looks like you have enough to think about, but I'll share my experience from asking for a raise at one office (large international firm) before the scheduled review time. 

The leadership simply said they didn't do raises outside of the scheduled time, and that we could discuss it later. No, my ask wasn't in relation to just getting licensed, but it was in relation to increased role and responsibility that I was about to take on. I wanted some assurance if I took on this role that my compensation would be adjusted accordingly, but they wouldn't even discuss it with me (though they were happy to discuss the added responsibility I'd need to take on). That ended up being one piece of many that led to me leaving that firm shortly thereafter and getting the job I have now. More details over in one of my posts on Money Central if you're interested.

I'm not saying that needs to be your response if they tell you something similar. Like I said, this was just my experience and it was one item of many that led to me making the decision I did. Perhaps just be prepared to be told to wait if that's the office culture.

Also, because it's relevant, I finished my licensure process at that same office and waited something like 8-9 months to ask for a raise at the normal salary review time. I was also waiting for new AIA salary report numbers to use in my negotiations. If I had asked about it when I got licensed and was told to wait, I probably would have waited without issue (I ended up waiting anyway without being told). But my fundamental role and responsibility within the firm wasn't changing at that time. The firm did offer a bonus for licensure which I received at the time. I think it was $2k. My later raise was just under 20% (more on that in the comments). 

Good luck! Let us know how it works out for you.

Jul 21, 21 12:57 pm  · 
4  · 
Jay1122

when I got my license last month. My boss only promised an unknown amount of "bonus" at the end of the year when I was almost done with the exam a few months back. And I just negotiated a raise few months back because the salary is way too low. I did not get any "Architect" title either. Well project architect is the only title used in the firm. Apparently, it is reserved for the more "senior" level in their mind I assume. Anyway, It all depends on the firm. In my previous firm, anyone licensed will get promoted to title project architect immediately. Salary though, that is always a negotiation. Things like these, you have to talk to the upper management and see what they say.

Jul 22, 21 5:14 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

You are an architect. That's not something some asshole at the company you work for gets to dictate. Put it in your email signature right after your name.

Jul 22, 21 5:37 pm  · 
4  · 

Jay - you're an architect. It should be on your business cards and in your email signature. The term Project Architect isn't a title reserved for 'senior' staff.

In the firm I'm at once you're licensed the ascending titles are:  

Architect 1, 2, and 3

Project Architect

Senior Project Architect

Project Manager

Senior Project Manager

Director of Design

Principal

Jul 22, 21 7:00 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

Bugs me that PM and SPM are "above" PA and SPA.

Jul 22, 21 7:26 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

I don’t write out “architect” in my email signature or even on business cards.

Jul 22, 21 8:08 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

I use RA.

Jul 23, 21 1:14 am  · 
 · 
Jay1122

I am referring to job position titles. I just feel when one is licensed, they should have a job title with "architect" instead of "designer", "associate", "job captain", or whatever titles made up for the equally experienced but not licensed. Of course, there is no right or wrong. Every firm is different.

Jul 23, 21 9:53 am  · 
1  · 

NS - is not using 'architect' on your signature or business cards a Canadian thing? I haven't seen that used a lot in the states.

Jul 23, 21 10:10 am  · 
 · 

Sneaky - In the list above it's really just about tracking experience. Almost everyone is doing some type of project management in our small office. To be fair though, PM's have typically been above PA's because of having to manage staff and profitability.

Jul 23, 21 10:18 am  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

^Chad... no, it's a humble thing from my pov. The clients know who I am and most formal correspondence has my name with "architect" listed in the letterhead so no need to slap it in my email signature. The licencing letters are enough (OAA, OAQ, MRAIC). I find it's the other disciplines (Int Designers, arch techs, interns) that add labels to their signatures.  Same thing with degree letters... nobody got time for that.

Jul 23, 21 10:29 am  · 
 · 

We have it as part of our template signature in emails along with our logo. No typing required.

Jul 23, 21 11:43 am  · 
 · 
randomised

I don’t have any titles in my work signature either, just my name and the office name and particulars.

Jul 23, 21 1:08 pm  · 
 · 

Our email signatures just indicate our name, any promotion/titled position (associate, senior associate, associate principal, principal partner, etc.) and post-nominals that might indicate licensed status (AIA, RA, NCARB, etc.). We don't actually spell out "Architect" or "Designer" or even "Project Architect" or "Project Manager" on our email sigs. Business cards are the same.

Only people with specific titles or positions in their signatures or cards are those with specific firmwide leadership positions of "Director of ________." Not even the managing partners are indicated as such.

Jul 23, 21 1:16 pm  · 
 · 

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