US Cities for a newly minted grad...


What architecture markets are in good shape right now?  Any of Portland, Denver, Seattle, Kansas City, or San Diego looking particularly hot?  I'm a new grad and I need to get out of here!

Dec 13, 12 3:57 am

I know you said US, but also an option to consider could be Canadian cities. Your education will be recognized, you can work towards licensure, and (assuming you're a US citizen) you shouldn't run into any problems in terms of visa/immigration.

Generally, the economy in general is stronger, with better prospects in construction and architecture in particular. I can't speak to everywhere, but there are definitely opportunities in Calgary and Edmonton, but quite possibly in other cities like Vancouver, Ottawa, or Toronto also.

Dec 13, 12 7:15 am

Texas is HOTT

Dec 13, 12 8:30 am

Yeah, but everything they build there is so...bad.  And let's be real, it's TEXAS

Dec 13, 12 9:42 pm

Try to think outside of the big cities, medium to small markets have a hard time attracting talent.

Do your time in some Midwestern version of Siberia and get some experience under your belt.

I just landed a job in South West Michigan Not the thriving metropolis I envisioned but hardly a place of exile. The big city markets are flush with job seekers.  The firm matched what I was making pre rescission in Chicago despite the significant difference in cost of living.  So I suggest looking for small markets, college towns, Native American casinos, often are out in the countryside and they constantly have work.  University of Illinois has on average a billion in construction work each year, colleges and universities are constantly remodeling and repairing their campuses to compete for a shrinking population of eligible freshmen. Casinos that don’t remodel or update every 3-5 years lose business.  I would suggest looking at small cities for jobs, you may be surprised as I was at the economic stability of these places.

Also expect the towns and cities with architecture schools to be massively competitive, Chicago has IIT, Art institute, U of I Chicago, U of I Urbana Champaign, Notre Dame, U W Milwaukee, and few others I am missing feeding that market.  Dallas has how many schools of architecture?  Looking for work in a city that has a glut of eager architecture grads willing to undercut wages and or work for free or academic credit makes finding work in most major cities hard and very frustrating.

over and out

Peter N

Dec 14, 12 12:47 pm
Denver is booming now. Their population is exploding, the government has recognized the need for development and is pushing a lot of funds towards new science and education buildings. With that come more residential buildings as people will flock there for jobs. I interned there over the summer and in a 6 month period my office grew from about 40/45 people to 65. There is a LOT happening in Denver.
Dec 14, 12 1:12 pm

Do you know where Denver architects tend to post jobs?  The AIA Denver page has a couple, as does craigslist, but its still very sparse...

Dec 14, 12 1:29 pm

san Diego is very iffy even in best of times - which is why I left for San Francisco - there are jobs here - lots of TI work in tech and video games - Do you know Revit?

Dec 14, 12 1:30 pm

Yes, I know Revit.  I live in the Bay Area at the moment, but I'd like to leave if at all possible.  The salaries here are higher, but that is more than cancelled out by the higher cost of living.  I've also lived here my  life - I'm itching to go somewhere new.

Dec 17, 12 5:36 am


So true - I work in North Beach - but live over on the "Jersey Side" in North Oakland - can't afford to live in San Francisco or the Peninsula - all of the Social Network programmers and their 70-120k+ salaries have pushed the rents way up - yes there are jobs here provided you are very very good at Revit - 

Dec 17, 12 11:46 am

I am in Denver and have gotten 2 job leads this week and I'm not even looking.

Dec 23, 12 9:15 am

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