Architects
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Overview
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Plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, theaters, factories, and other structural property.
Titles for this career often contain these words
DesignerArchitectBuildingGreenArchitecturalCommercialDesignPlannerLocationSeniorProjectManagerConsultantAnalystPrincipalResidentialStructuralSuperintendentCityRetrofitFacilitiesFacilitySpecialistMaterialsHomeHouseInternManWorkerPlumbingFirmRealEstateSiteSchoolPlantSpaceSpecificationsWriterSupervising
Education
About 44% of architects have a graduate-level education, and 92% have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by architects
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with graduate degrees
More architects have graduate degrees than 91% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Architects, with 133,900 workers, form a larger workforce than 70% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for architects are expected to grow by 8%, and should have about 11,800 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Architects are less likely to be automated than 86% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for architects compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most architects earn.
$81K$0$50K$100K$150K
Gender
Women account for 25% of architects -- that's a smaller percentage than 61% of other jobs.
Gender of architects
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For architects, the median men's salary was 24% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 18% of architects are minority, and 20% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of architects
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (20%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Architects per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Context: workers are union members
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of architects who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (78%)
  • Consequence of Error (50%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (31%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do architects earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries. This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for architects (BLS Salary Data)
$81K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$81K$0$50K$100K$150K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for architects (ACS Salary Data)
$75K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$75K$0$50K$100K$150K
Architects, except naval: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $76KAll jobs' median $45K$78K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$50K$100K$150K$200K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire architects.
Employers of Architects (ACS)
Private for-profit (74.4%)
Private not-for-profit (1.7%)
Local government (1.7%)
State government (1.9%)
Federal government (1.7%)
Self-employed incorporated (10.6%)
Self-employed not incorporated (7.9%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of architects by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$75K$76K$97K$72K$69K$78K$80K$59K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000$200,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of architects by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$81K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for architects

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$93K$94K$94K$52K$65K$86K$79K$93K$31K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
05K10K15K20K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Architects and gender

With 25% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 61% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
25%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Architects
Men (75%)
Women (25%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median (middle) salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%, and the difference for architects tops that, with the median salary for men 24% higher than the median salary for women.

$64K$80K$0$50K$100K$150KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men. Architects have one of the more significant inequity issues, with the increase in men's median salary over women's median salary even higher than that for 70% of other jobs.

24%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of architects

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a smaller percentage of minority architects than for 59% of other careers. Although this career does not include a large percentage of minorities, it does hire more foreign-born people that most other careers.

Race/origin of architects
White (80% )
Asian (11% )
Black (4% )
Multiracial (3% )
Other (2% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
18%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
20%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for architects by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$62K$63K$69K$75K$79K$85K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KHispanicBlackOtherWhiteMultiracialAsian
Distribution: Salaries for architects by nativity
$75K$77K$0$50K$100K$150KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Architects and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 9% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 58% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
9%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time architects is shown following.

$26K$75K$0$50K$100K$150KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by architects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), architects typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as architects as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for architects

In all states, earning a bachelor’s degree in architecture is typically the first step to becoming an architect. Most architects earn their degree through a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture degree program. Many earn a master’s degree in architecture, which can take 1 to 5 additional years. The time required depends on the extent of the student’s previous education and training in architecture.

A typical bachelor’s degree program includes courses in architectural history and theory, building design with an emphasis on computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), structures, construction methods, professional practices, math, physical sciences, and liberal arts.

About two-thirds of states require that architects hold a degree in architecture from one of more than 120 schools of architecture accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). State licensing requirements can be found at the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for architects

All states and the District of Columbia require architects to be licensed. Licensing requirements typically include completing a degree program in architecture, gaining relevant experience through a paid internship, and passing the Architect Registration Examination.

Most states also require some form of continuing education to keep a license. Continuing education requirements vary by state but usually involve additional education through workshops, university classes, conferences, self-study courses, or other sources.

Education attained by architects
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for architects? Below we see the distribution of architects salaries based on the education attained.

$63K$73K$75K$75K$87K$85K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KSome College (4%)Associate's/Cert. (2%)Bachelor's Degree (48%)Master's Degree (37%)Professional Degree (7%)Doctorate (1%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

College majors held by architects

This table shows the college majors held by people working as architects.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Percentage of Architects with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers

With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as architects, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.

ArchitectsSpecialized ManagersSpecialized DesignersLandscape ArchitectsConstruction ManagersGraphic DesignersProject Management Specia...Chief executives and legi...Urban and Regional Planne...Postsecondary TeachersSoftware DevelopersComputer ProgrammersComputer and Information ...Specialized Computer Occu...Computer Systems AnalystsComputer User Support Spe...Software Quality Assuranc...Management AnalystsNetwork and Computer Syst...Interior DesignersArtists and related worke...First-Line Supervisors of...Elementary and Middle Sch...Retail SalespersonsCustomer Service Represen...Floral DesignersSecondary School TeachersElectrical and electronic...Specialized EngineersArchitectural and Enginee...Civil EngineersAerospace EngineersAccountants and AuditorsWholesale and Manufacturi...Financial ManagersFirst-Line Supervisors of...Labor Relations Specialis...Mechanical EngineersIndustrial and Health/Saf...Specialized Social Worker...Educational, Guidance, an...Specialized PsychologistsLawyers, and judges, magi...Registered NursesEducation and childcare a...Computer Hardware Enginee...ArchitectureComputer ScienceCommercial Art andGraphic DesignFine ArtsElectrical EngineeringGeneral BusinessBusiness Management andAdministrationGeneral EngineeringPsychologyComputer EngineeringAll other degreesThis jobTop 10 majorsEach major's top ten jobs
What college major is your best entry?

About 92% of people working as architects have at least a bachelor's degree. Each dot represents a college major leading to these jobs, with the dots to the right representing the majors sending the most of their grads into this career. The dots at the top are the majors who earn the most working in this career.

Darker colors have a larger percentage with graduate degreesOverall median salary0.0%10.0%20.0%30.0%40.0%50.0%60.0%70.0%Percentage with this major$40,000$50,000$60,000$70,000$80,000$90,000$100,000$110,000$120,000$130,000$140,000$150,000Median salary with this major
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for architects

What jobs will most architects hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of architects reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list? For architects, there isn't a lot of action in this chart! This isn't a career that invites much moving around.

Architects, except navalDesignersDraftersGrounds maintenance workers
Lateral job transitions for architects

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 3 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as architects as well as 1% of respondents after working as architects. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for architects
Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Prior and next careers for architects: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as architects? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of architects surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for architects
Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most architects? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as architects. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Architects per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.00.51.01.52.02.5
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where architects earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for architects compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for architects.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Location-adjusted median salary for Architects (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which architects earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?