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. It is not unusual for an officer or equity partner to earn a base salary of $235,000, often 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 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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