Archinect
anchor

PM to PA Transition

BulgarBlogger

Disliking doing admin work. Currently making $160k at 15 years of experience. If I wanted to transition to doing more PA work, should I expect a big pay cut and if so, why?

 
Jun 14, 24 5:40 pm
luvu

BB , what kind of admin works are we talking about ? A monthly report on site activities  / writing meeting minutes/agenda? … just curious

Jun 15, 24 2:35 am  · 
 · 
BulgarBlogger

Allocations, reporting, monitoring, etc.

Jun 16, 24 2:06 am  · 
1  · 
natematt

The industry standard for job titles is pretty lose. At 15 years experience a lot of places you’ll find yourself doing more paperwork as a PA than you might like. Seems pretty typical to the industry that if you’re working in a real PA vs PM role then you’ll end up taking a marginal pay cut, but you might not. Why? Pretty straightforward interpolation, a lot of firms value the management more than the architecture. One would presume you could figure this out pretty easily as a PM… what are your firm’s typical billing rates? If the PM is higher than the PA, they are probably getting paid more. 


Jun 15, 24 11:45 am  · 
 · 
CrazyHouseCat

I would say "expect a pay cut" simply because you haven't the experience of 15-year PA.  As a lot of your time is spent managing other people, you might not have the technical architecture knowledge and skills as someone who's spent that time on specifying waterproofing, researching codes, and figuring out details...  

Jun 18, 24 4:44 pm  · 
2  · 
BulgarBlogger

im just laughing out loud. you have no idea what i know, or what im capable of. you're wrong. I might be one of the most capable and knowledgeable architects you know in ALL the categories you've listed.

Jun 19, 24 10:59 am  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

It's always fun when someone responds honestly to a question and gets blasted for it. It's not a stretch to think that a PM would not be highly skilled in those areas. 

Jun 19, 24 11:28 am  · 
5  · 
BulgarBlogger

No. PM's are generally idiots, administrative/accounting monkeys, and laisons between clients, consultans, technical, and design staff. Not my thing.

Jun 19, 24 11:55 am  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Right, so why would one expect a 15-yr PM to be skilled in technical details?

And if a large part of a PM's job is liaising between people, how is that not "managing other people," as CHC noted?

Jun 19, 24 12:15 pm  · 
2  · 
BulgarBlogger

My point: I tried it for a year- hate it. Want to get back into doing real architecture. No problems there in any technical way (designed many skyscrapers and complex buildings). Just worried about the pay cut.

Jun 19, 24 12:21 pm  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

I understand. What I don't understand is your hostile response to the comment that says expect a pay cut since PMs are usually not as skilled in those areas as someone who has been doing them as part of their job for 15 years.

Jun 19, 24 12:27 pm  · 
1  · 
BulgarBlogger

Sorry - I guess I interpreted your use of the possessive "your" in the sentence "As a lot of your time is spent managing other people, you might not have the technical architecture knowledge and skills..." as an attack on my experience. I think there was a miscommunication there. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you may have meant to say "your" in general terms.

Jun 19, 24 12:36 pm  · 
 · 
reallynotmyname

You will have to search around for a firm that is set up in such a way that there are well-paid PA's who don't have to do PM shit on the side.  Very large architecture firms and multi discipline engineering firms (aka "big E little A") would be the first places to look.  Those kind of shops tend to have a firm division between the people doing the architecture (aka "technical") and project management work.  Their size allows their people to be paid well.

The pervasive tendency of most architecture firms to track any and all people who perform well into project management and make that the path to any kind of advancement is nonsense.

Jun 19, 24 12:11 pm  · 
2  · 
gwharton

Architects, like a lot of professionals out there in the world today, don't ever really get any serious training in how to run a business or be a leader. So they tend to associate "being good at project management" with "would be good at running the business and leading people." I have never seen this play out well. Management and leadership are two completely different skill sets. And running a business well is different from both of them.

Jul 8, 24 6:37 pm  · 
5  · 
shellarchitect

recently joined a large firm (1,000ish) and it seems that in generally the "tech" staff track is paid better than the "PM" staff.  

not sure you can command 160... i'm also at about 15 years exp and am 140... maybe that's just the region?

Jul 8, 24 4:55 pm  · 
 · 
shellarchitect

depends on the firm organization: sometimes the PM is just a paper pusher and meeting scheduler, but sometimes the PM is really a very senior architect who is leading the project,

Jul 8, 24 4:57 pm  · 
 · 

Probably the region. I can't recall with any certainty where each of your areas are. Detroit? NYC?

Jul 8, 24 4:59 pm  · 
 · 
shellarchitect

Yup, Detroit area

Jul 8, 24 8:26 pm  · 
 · 

I think BB works in NYC. I'm not sure, but that could take into account the pay differences .


Jul 9, 24 12:01 pm  · 
 · 
BulgarBlogger

NYC. Currently earning $160k. Not sure if P

Jul 9, 24 3:28 pm  · 
 · 

That would explain the pad difference for certain.

Jul 9, 24 5:42 pm  · 
1  · 

Block this user


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

Archinect


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

  • ×Search in: