Architects design a wide variety of buildings, including houses, office buildings, churches and airport terminals. They create both the desired appearance and a functional and safe structure, and they must do so within the client's budget.
Architect interns typically need three to five years to pass all categories of the Architecture Registration Exam after graduation and prior to becoming licensed.
The 2007 salary survey conducted by Architect Magazine showed a starting salary for interns between $34,000 and $40,000. A fifth-year intern's salary was between $48,000 and $59,000.
The survey indicated that architects with five years' experience, including their internship years, could expect an average starting salary between $52,000 and $65,000 in 2007.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed the average architect's salary in 2008 was about $37 an hour, or nearly $77,000 annually.
According to the BLS, the lowest-paid 10 percent of architects earned less than $42,000 in 2008, which may reflect intern and starting salaries. The top 10 percent had salaries higher than $119,000. The middle 50 percent had salaries between $53,000 and $92,000.
2016 Salary Information for Architects
Architects earned a median annual salary of $76,930 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, architects earned a 25th percentile salary of $59,000, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $99,790, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 128,800 people were employed in the U.S. as architects.