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Appropriate Salary?

209
Lilililili

Non Sequitur, people like you should probably just become a drafter. Not every architect thinks as you do. I think architects, not all, but if you give yourself the credit, can be on par with other professionals. As a lawschool drop-out, i can say that manu law grads from Toronto doesnt earn as much as you may imagine. However, whatever you entitle yourself to- that is your own. Unless one goes to Harvard law school they dont earn over 100k. Maybe you went to ryhigh? Thats why you think uou deserve real salary. Anyhow, i feel sympathy for your low self reflection as a drafter with designer glasses.

Aug 9, 16 4:23 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

...anyone care to translate the above?

Folie^2, no need to feel sorry for me. Salaries are relative to billable skill; not ambition, delusions of self-worth or sparkly studio design skills. 60K is on the low end for a licensed architect in Ontario but it's pretty high for a simple M.arch with under 5y of real experience. Not sure how you're justifying the rest of your personal attack.

Aug 9, 16 4:45 pm  · 
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Lilililili

Non sequitur, perhaps you shouldnt be so sarcastic yourself. If you feel you have been verbally attacked, you should read your own comments. You have totally misinderstood my point of raising voice about general discontent with architects or intern architects salary irregarding whatever your pointing out about skills and experiences. Also, what is billanle skill? Delusional? Maybe you say this bc i point out to my starchitecture firm experiences? I get it, you consider yourself a drafter with designer glasses- however, have some respect for others who has as you so call it ambitions. I need not to justify but clarify for abusive commentor.

Aug 9, 16 5:26 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur
Well that escalated quickly.

Folie^2, for the record I am licensed by the OAA and commend a salary well beyond the average aka I am no drafter. If you want higher compensation, you need to earn it by adding something to clients and that something has to have monetary value to the office. Where do you think the money for your salary comes from?

Inexperienced interns are not worth 60k Per year. Hundreds of these chumps graduate every semester anyways. Your starchitecture points don't matter much. Oooh, one term coop in Europe! Hurray! Not impressive. Come back when you can run multimillion dollar projects on your own, then you can start talking about real compensation.
Aug 9, 16 6:03 pm  · 
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Lilililili

Id like to Say this is going ti be the last reply. You misunderstand me the entire time and is taking things too personally. I dont much care or want to know who you are. I wondered about getting degrees and degres and dropping out of law school. After this summer, im leaving architecture hoing back for a law degree in one of those law schools mentioned above. You degraded our own profession by calling an anyonymous intern architect speaking about the problem of our industry with low compensation. What is your problem? I am only saying everyone deserves more, architects or interns, as we go through long process of exams and billing hours I find it imcompatible. If you belive otherwise, then at least dont mock others. You are probably much older than me and really, the tolerance level is way too low.  And Wouldnt you be happier if you were more appreciated (so in fact you wouldnt be playing cyber comment warrior) ive worked three years and decided its time to move on- not a coop term man but two years in Europe which you guessed and mocked. I dont really care about you, for all I care, you deserve and can have your under 100k salary. 

Aug 9, 16 6:44 pm  · 
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tduds

I did not follow any of that.

Aug 9, 16 7:03 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur
Don't worry TDuds, no one else did either. This thread is like the mouse trap that keeps on giving.
Aug 9, 16 7:15 pm  · 
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Lilililili

mouse trap = non sequitur, who makes fun of coop but never had the chance to do coop abroad and joined their school for no coop. I get it now, you hate waterloo ppl.

Aug 9, 16 7:50 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

Lili...

I'm a waterloo grad myself.

 

8-)

Aug 9, 16 8:01 pm  · 
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shellarchitect

I hope Lili learns how to write in law school.  

Aug 11, 16 12:38 pm  · 
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gentle puppies

FYI this thread is 6 years old now. Stop fighting!


Just an update as the OP - I'm licensed with OAA now and my base salary is now $84k, $93k on T4 after bonuses and benefits (<10hrs of overtime last year). I want to quit tho because I'm interested in doing simpler projects like condos but I'll probably have to take a pay cut lol

Apr 3, 19 9:32 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

This is a great thread despite the tangent in the last few posts. Not many discussions here on Canadian salaries and I find that the american market skews expectations. From what I gather from this discussion's history, you're max 2 years above me carreer-wise and my experience seems to align well with yours as you describe it. I suspect my 2019 T4 will move me into a new tax bracket.

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curtkram

condos aren't simple

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Non Sequitur

+1 Curt

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gentle puppies

How much do you make? I'm so out of the loop on market rates these days. My current projects are $50-$60million civic and STEM projects so condos are comparatively simpler lol, also it's more aligned with my interests

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Non Sequitur

I'm only semi-anonymous so I won't divulge exact numbers, but hourly wage is squarely in the mid $30s/hr (I get OT pay above 37hr) but I am in active negotiation with the office brass for official PM promotion by summer's end. By that point, my compensation should near, if not exactly, what you list above. (85k+bonus).

Project sizes range from multi-story office buildings and commercial/retail development with a few academic, institutional, or industrial projects sprinkles.  No residential.

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Non Sequitur

^clarification, I'm on salary for first 1950hrs of the year. Anything above that is at the hourly wage. I've been averaging 10% OT for the last few years but it was close to 30% 5/6 years ago.

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archi_dude

Man 10 years experience 93k.....sad trombone.

Apr 3, 19 1:10 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

That's above the average for Canada. Remember, we don't need to pay for silly things like health insurance or 6-figure tuition loans here.

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atelier nobody

I am in Los Angeles and I would have been happy with that much (adjusted for inflation) at 10 years' experience. I don't make a whole lot more than that now, with over 20 years in.

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atelier nobody

I have no idea if Canada is the same as the US in this regard, but down here I would advise staying away from condos unless you have a taste for litigation and lots of insurance.

Apr 3, 19 1:14 pm  · 
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Rusty!

Architects should be allowed to create single use LLCs just like developers do. "Oh, the condo is crumbling, but LLC that built it is looooong gone. But the Architect is still in business! Let's sue them!"

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gentle puppies

Update, a small bump to $86k but it won't kick in till fall because Covid.   Firm leadership is taking at 15% cut, 4% of staff laid off.

I wonder if firms sometimes pay according to perceived need, and I, a single gay guy with the slickest condo backdrop in every video conference, is less likely to switch firms over money lol.

I just entered my info on glassdoor and it's saying I'm below average now (8 years post-MArch, 2 years post-licensure).  Does that sound right?  A recruiter friend of a friend seemed surprised that I was making my salary with no managerial or technical responsibilities and primarily doing fun design studies.

I was planning on leaving anyway for a condo firm and figured I wouldn't get much of an increase with that project type - or can I?  It's supposedly a bad time to switch jobs, but the recruiter was telling me that firms are hiring again and offered me an opportunity a few days ago.

May 11, 20 7:35 pm  · 
1  · 
midlander

recruiters get paid when you switch jobs so they sell hard - be mindful of that. but if something good comes up take it. leaving a firm when times are tough is a very sensible thing to do, and is the advantage of being a non-partner employee.

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joseffischer

No managerial or technical requirements? yeah, $86k sounds nice in that regard... are you in charge of production sets and/or full concept to DD sets with the client? Are you on autopilot and do a lot of direct client interaction? If not I'm really surprised on your number.

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tduds

What city are you in? That seems high for some areas, but typical for - say- NYC or Cali.

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midlander

early in the post OP mentioned Toronto, so at exchange rates that's 61,000 USD which seems fairly middling for 8 years experience in a major market. But also ok for a position that seems to be comfortable and without much risk.

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Non Sequitur

85k CAD is above market for 10-12y without management duties, even for toronto.

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tduds

Ah, CAD to USD makes more sense. I'd say that's average, maybe slightly below, depending on what they mean by "management duties"

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joseffischer

Agreed, my mistake, was thinking USD

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code

Were in the start of along recession, excuse me, depression and any job in architecture is a dream job. Take what you can get and and be grateful

May 11, 20 11:38 pm  · 
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DeTwan

Non Sequirter, you a beta bitch. Sounds like you're lolly gagging on some Canadian bacon back there. Youre embarrassing you children and your dead relatives

May 14, 20 6:18 am  · 
2  ·  1
Non Sequitur

Thank you for noticing.

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Canadian bacon doesn't allow any lolly gagging, it's much too polite.

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ToroCC

So many people saying SOM SF offers 45k for newly GSD Grads. I know people who have started working there in the last 5 years starting at 55-60k with only a B. Arch so those numbers are outdated. 

May 14, 20 12:54 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

well, this thread is 8y old... and typically, only the disgruntled folks come here to complain about low wages.

1  · 
ToroCC

Ahh that makes sense. Archinect poste
d this thread on their Instagram story today. That's how I ended up here

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flatroof

60k is still awful for SF. Even 70k. 70K in SF is the same as making 35k in Dallas or Houston. And since grads make more than that in those places, you're making and saving MORE money than in the expensive cities.

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joseffischer

Wow... I for one find threads like these highly valuable and reasons for coming to archinect, but maybe a new thread should be made as this one no longer receives enough action to provide good data points

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https://salaries.archinect.com/poll/results/all/view-all ... you can sort by date submitted and see how old the submission is in the bottom corner of each entry

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joseffischer

Thanks, that's a very helpful link and I've used it before. Of course, it is a struggle trying to use that information in a vacuum. In Atlanta for instance, for project managers, people have posted as low as mid-40k and as high as 125k... with a range like that, clearly project management and the roles/responsibilities that entails varies a ton.

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whistler

I wouldn't personally offer $60 K if you were fresh out of school, but if you had several years work experience and were a valuable member of their office...and worked their before I don't think $60 is out of line.  They know you, you are clearly someone they like having around and understand your skin set.  The biggest concern with any new hire is that you interview well talk the talk but can't walk the walk!.  there hopefully would be little "training" required as you know their systems and protocols which just gives you a jump start on any other new hire.... they would save the extra $5-10K in a few months because you would be more productive.


May 15, 20 1:24 pm  · 
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jovanmillet

Maybe it's different in Canada, but in the US is it really common for employers to pay M.Arch I grads more than B.Arch grads? I would assume they get the same starting pay since both degrees are considered a 1st professional degree. Consequently, B.S. Arch (or "B.S. Architectural Studies or what have you) would be paid less than a B.Arch considering the B.Arch can actually qualify for licensure, whereas the 4-year degree cannot.

May 15, 20 2:48 pm  · 
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thisisnotmyname

In many cases, our MArch applicants have work experience between grad and undergrad that we are willing to pay a little more for. With that experience comes a little more age and maturity, which we are also willing to pay a little extra for. Coincidentally, the last two 22 year old 4 and 5 year program grads we had turned out to be real shitshows when it came to responsibility and maturity.

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auninja91

Hi, 

I've been working as a designer/architectural tech just outside of Toronto at a small company for the past three years. I came back from the US with a BSArch and took this job to save up for M.Arch. I stated at 40k and now 45k.

Considering how much cheaper it is living outside the city I would hope that as a Graduate Architect in Toronto would be able to earn more than 45k....otherwise I might as well skip the M.Arch and just stick with this job lol jk.

I think most of the people saying to work on your skills, and take contracts and freelance work makes sense. By the time I graduate with M.Arch I will have more to show in my professional works. Hopefully this will help in salary negotiations. If you have the experience and the skills don't take that low pay. Especially if it's not hourly and no overtime pay. They will end up earning free money off all the extra hours you put in.

Also, Toronto can be very competitive, especially for people just coming into the field. You may want to try working outside of the city for a year where there is more demand, and then come back to the city with more experience.

Of course if you know someone already working at a firm that can recommend you, that helps to! Oh and don't forget that the Canadian $$ is crap :(

6ix life

May 15, 20 5:36 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

45k is probably the right spot for design/ tech in the 3-5y range. You’d get more, pre c19 shut downs, in other places with less competition tho. When you have a March, you could be in the 50-55 range if you can demonstrate that you need less hand holding and have the maturity to run projects. An office that seems you as someone who can eventually interact with clients and run projects will allow you to move up. An office that sees you only as part of the production staff will have a cap on your compensation potential.

2  · 
auninja91

yepp I agree, thanks for the info. looks like getting the M.Arch will be worth it in the end.

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gentle puppies

to answer joseffischer's question, the $86k is basically for fun design studies at the moment.  I'm not in charge of anything and have no one under me other than the interns that we all share.  I was never a project architect, but did do about 50% of all the hours billed to a $40M higher ed project working from concept to CD to contract admin, though there was always someone senior than me at every step to help.  I never detailed an envelope.  The only thing they really trust me with is design lol 

May 16, 20 3:36 am  · 
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joseffischer

sounds like a great gig, hope you're enjoying it!

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How can you design the building without never detailing a building envelope?

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gentle puppies

Even though I was the only person full time on the project start to finish, there was a project architect for QAQC and a "detail guru" who drew the envelope details based on the design I and the design director came up with. It was a design-build so the builder took those details as suggestions lol. Then for CA there was the project manager who joined me every other site meeting to help with any issue above my pay grade =)

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I did that for the my first eight years or so in this profession. Be aware that it leaves you with a HUGE hole in your skill set that makes you harder to market during a recession (aka keep or get a job). You really do need to know how to detail a building, coordinate drawings, and run CA on a project.

4  · 
lower.case.yao

It’s quite a big hole too. I worked before as the designer then lead designer for concept to DD, and while it was a sweet deal at the time, you start realizing that all you are is the principal’s sketchpad. Unless you’re also sharing in the profits (ie. firm partner), it’s worth no more than a couple years. If the projects are interesting, I would totally get my hands on a couple of details your gurus draw and look them over after hours. Research and redraw what they did and see how your design changes can impact their details. It’s the only way to upskill and add value/compensation.

2  · 

Re this, Chad: "You really do need to know how to detail a building, coordinate drawings, and run CA on a project." This is 100% true and 100% why I am totally miserable in my current main project at my job. I hate doing this shit. If I'm not the one who decided, for reasons, to make the stairs stained concrete with glass rails then I can't find it in myself to give a damn whether or not they are. There's no pleasure in telling a contractor to do it a certain way if I don't care why it is that way in the first place. I *suck* at project management and hate every moment of it. Some people love it; I've learned in the last 18 months that I don't. Give me a residential kitchen remodel where I understand and guide the reasons behind every decision and I'm happy as a pig in shit!

2  · 
thisisnotmyname

Puppies, it looks like you are functioning as the "Director of Design" for your firm. It's a role that exists at a subset of firm who choose to organize their operation in a certain manner. I've worked for several who didn't know jack about envelopes and detailing. Similar to your experience, other people in such firms have the task of making the design work technically and getting it built correctly. I know some people who have made careers being design directors at a series of firms.

1  · 
Jaetten

This has been an interesting thread! We are looking at moving to Toronto from the UK.

I currently hold an Interior degree and was looking at moving into that position in CA and then consider MArch.

I am now doing the full 7 years in the UK to qualify (and save!) to enable us to move out there.

Given, at that point, I'll have 11 years experience in an Architectural role with a BA, BArch and MArch + PGDip, would I be on a low pay relative to experience? My pay at that point in my current position will be in the region of £35k GBP which is high for the region I live.

I am guessing, it may be a push for $60k CAD?

I know given the timeframe involved numbers will go up or down, but as a ballpark as it was last year say.

May 24, 20 8:27 am  · 
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Non Sequitur

Your question makes little sense. So you have a Int des degree but are now starting a whole new arch undergrad and hope for M.arch? Can't you just jump right into a M.arch? Regardless, 60k canadian is high if you don't have any relevant canadian experience to offer. At that pay rate, you will be expected to know enough of our building codes and construction practices or else any office will loose money as it trains you.

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Jaetten

Sorry, it was a badly written post!

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