Earnings for architects

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Earnings for architects in private practice range widely, depending on where and how they work. Salaries also vary depending on the size and location of the practice. Architectural firm earnings have traditionally been dependent on the local economic conditions but, with rapid globalization, this is becoming less of a factor for larger international firms. Architects working directly on the payroll of firms, governments and corporations usually earn a regular annual salary.

Architects sometimes work in other related fields, such as real estate (property) developers, or develop specializations where they can earn a significantly higher income than the industry median. Architects in public practice, such as with government agencies, usually earn an income substantially near industry medians.


Salaries vary with experience and location. A senior architect in private practice, in a major Canadian city, can earn over $125,000 per annum (more with a larger firm) with the top 10% earning over $200,000. Recently graduated (intern architects) typically earn between $40,000 to $60,000 per annum - this may increase up to $75,000 with professional registration. Partners or principals in large firms can make $450k and up.[1] Also, Managers of larger companies can earn up to 600k per annum.

United States[edit]

The average salary for all staff, including non-architect support staff, working in architectural firms in 2009 was $81,600.[2] Senior architects and partners typically have earnings that exceed $125,000 annually. Occasionally, an officer or equity partner may earn a base salary of $235,000, with a bonus of $400,000 or more in a good year. Due to the major stake in ownership that equity partners may have, they can earn incomes approaching, and very occasionally surpassing, $1,000,000.[3]

Full-time Intern architects typically earn between $35,000 and $48,000 depending on experience prior to licensure and location of employment. Architects that have completed the internship period and are licensed can expect an average starting salary of between $40,000 and $60,000.


The average salary (2008–09) in the United Kingdom is £45,000, with a typical range for principals between £51,000 and £90,000.[4] The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) provides a guide to the salaries typical of the various stages of qualification:[5] Beginning level candidates (part one) can expect between £12,000 and £20,000. Recent graduates (part two) earn between £15,000 and £27,000. Newly registered architects (part three) earn £29,000–£34,000; part three, three to five years post-registration £34,000–42,000 (salary data collected March 2008). The range of typical salaries at senior levels (after 10–15 years in role) is £36,000–80,000, depending on the seniority of the position.


  1. ^ 2009 survey by the Ontario Association of Architects
  2. ^ "Architect's 2009 salary survey asks: How Much Do You Make? - Architects, Economics". Architect Magazine. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  3. ^ Architect Magazine
  4. ^ http://www.feesbureau.co.uk/i/reports/AESummary.pdf
  5. ^ "Architect: Salary and conditions". Prospects.ac.uk. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 

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