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Architects picture    Architects image

Architects

Architects design, plan and oversee the construction of various types of buildings. An architect is responsible for the aesthetics, usefulness and safety of the building. They need to consider the effects their buildings will have on natural and artificial surroundings. They work on a wide a array of projects. Some architects have specialities such as shopping centers, factories, health facilities or school campuses. They collaborate with urban planners, engineers, landscape architects and contractors.

Architects design buildings that meet the needs of their clients while also conforming to applicable regulations and laws. The also need to take into consideration the needs of people that will use the building. An architect has to determine what type of design the building should have in relation to the site. They take into consideration the nearby buildings, climate and the slope of the site.

They typically use computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software to develop preliminary sketches of buildings. These sketches provide the general appearance of the outside and inside of the building and the building's location at the site. After an architect receives approval from the client they develop more detailed plans which indicate exactly how the structure will be built. When the construction project begins the architect frequently visits the project site to ensure the plans are being followed.

Responsibilities

  • Inspect the building site
  • Collaborate with clients to determine which contractor will be hired to construct the building
  • Create preliminary sketches
  • Provide specifications of the materials to be used and the methods for installation
  • Revise plans to meet client's expectations
  • Provide diagrams for heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts and show the paths for electrical wiring and plumbing pipes
  • Determine if the contract between the client and the contractor has been satisfied
  • Use detailed drawings to indicate placement and dimensions of walls and windows
  • Approve the materials being used for the construction project
  • Work with landscape planners, engineers and other personnel at the site

Job Characteristics

The amount of details that are taken care of by architects depends on the size of the company. In large architectural offices, other personnel take care of the smaller details. They spend a lot of their time working in offices. They also visit construction sites.

Architects need artistic, organizing, coordinating, planning and business skills. They need to be creative and understand spacial relationships. Architects need to have skills with computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 16 percent employment growth for architects between 2008 and 2018 which is faster than the average for all occupations. Some architecture firms outsource the basic design work for large scale residential and commercial projects and the drafting of construction documents to architecture firms located in other countries. This trend is expected to continue and could have a negative impact on employment growth for lower-level architects and interns who would seek to gain experience by developing these drawings.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states there should be a demand for architects that have knowledge about "green" design, also called sustainable design. Green design emphasizes the efficient use of resources such as water and energy. It also emphasizes conservation, pollution and waste reduction, and environmentally friendly design, materials and specifications.

In 2008 the median annual earnings for wage and salary architects was $70,320. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $119,220. In addition, approximately 21 percent of architects are self-employed.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Most states require an architect to earn a professional degree in architecture from an architecture school that has degree programs that have received accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board. However, state architectural registration boards establish their own standards, thus candidates that graduate from a non-accredited program may meet the educational requirements for licensing in a few states. In addition a growing number of architects voluntarily seek certification from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.

Most architects have acquired their professional degree from a five year bachelor of architecture degree program. Some architects acquire a master's degree after completing a bachelor's degree program in another field or after completing a pre-professional architecture program. Many schools of architecture provide post-professional degrees for individuals that already have a bachelor's or a master's degree in architecture or other subjects.

Every state architectural registration board requires architecture graduates to complete a training period which typically lasts at least three years before they can take the licensing exam. Every state adheres to the training standards set by the Intern Development Program, which is a program of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and the American Institute of architects. Most graduates complete their training by working as interns at architectural firms.

Every state requires individuals to be licensed before they are allowed to call themselves architects and contract to provide architectural services. Licensing requirements include earning a professional degree in architecture, completing a period of practical training or an internship and they must also pass all divisions of the Architect Registration Examination. Most states also require some form of continuing education for architects to maintain their license.

Resources

Major Employers

The top employers are architectural firms, engineering services firms, building construction firms, and federal, state and local government agencies.

Schools for Architects are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Architects

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Architects jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hoover 480 $79,300
Birmingham 480 $79,300
Huntsville 170 $84,690
Montgomery 140 $75,530
Mobile 70 $78,720
Daphne 50 $87,580
Foley 50 $87,580
Fairhope 50 $87,580
Tuscaloosa 30 N/A
Dothan 30 $60,110
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 140 $96,980
Fairbanks 40 $79,230
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 1320 $83,400
Mesa 1320 $83,400
Phoenix 1320 $83,400
Tucson 150 $77,150
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 290 $71,550
North Little Rock 290 $71,550
Little Rock 290 $71,550
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 5530 $81,180
Long Beach 5530 $81,180
Los Angeles 5530 $81,180
San Francisco 3970 $91,180
Hayward 3970 $91,180
Oakland 3970 $91,180
San Diego 1190 $86,190
Carlsbad 1190 $86,190
Roseville 800 $89,020
Arden 800 $89,020
Sacramento 800 $89,020
Arcade 800 $89,020
Santa Clara 520 $85,780
Sunnyvale 520 $85,780
San Jose 520 $85,780
San Bernardino 470 $76,050
Riverside 470 $76,050
Ontario 470 $76,050
Fairfield 120 $98,420
Vallejo 120 $98,420
Santa Rosa 110 $89,560
Santa Maria 100 $79,730
Santa Barbara 100 $79,730
Fresno 70 $85,940
Watsonville 70 $91,240
Santa Cruz 70 $91,240
Arroyo Grande 50 $48,640
Paso Robles 50 $48,640
San Luis Obispo 50 $48,640
Lodi 50 $95,550
Stockton 50 $95,550
Salinas 50 $115,580
Oxnard 40 N/A
Ventura 40 N/A
Thousand Oaks 40 N/A
Napa 40 $95,570
Bakersfield N/A $74,060
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 2050 $62,810
Aurora 2050 $62,810
Denver 2050 $62,810
Boulder 340 $59,190
Fort Collins 140 $54,960
Colorado Springs 140 $60,490
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 420 $74,830
West Hartford 420 $74,830
Hartford 420 $74,830
Stamford 320 $94,440
Norwalk 320 $94,440
Bridgeport 320 $94,440
New Haven 270 $63,140
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 1630 $82,590
Miami 1630 $82,590
West Palm Beach 1630 $82,590
Tampa 840 $74,310
Clearwater 840 $74,310
St. Petersburg 840 $74,310
Kissimmee 730 $69,290
Sanford 730 $69,290
Orlando 730 $69,290
Jacksonville 420 $74,280
Ocala 120 N/A
Tallahassee 110 $63,670
Cape Coral 110 $74,210
Fort Myers 110 $74,210
Palm Bay 80 $58,890
Melbourne 80 $58,890
Titusville 80 $58,890
Fort Walton Beach 60 $58,510
Crestview 60 $58,510
Destin 60 $58,510
Winter Haven 50 $97,570
Lakeland 50 $97,570
Gainesville 40 $91,600
Pensacola N/A $45,120
Brent N/A $45,120
Ferry Pass N/A $45,120
Deltona N/A $50,100
Ormond Beach N/A $50,100
Daytona Beach N/A $50,100
Naples N/A $59,370
Immokalee N/A $59,370
Marco Island N/A $59,370
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Atlanta 2020 $86,630
Roswell 2020 $86,630
Sandy Springs 2020 $86,630
Savannah 70 $90,570
Brunswick 30 $87,260
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 520 $84,670
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 170 $61,010
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rockford 90 $61,370
Peoria 90 $77,370
Champaign 60 $80,650
Urbana 60 $80,650
Springfield 60 $93,610
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 610 $80,590
Anderson 610 $80,590
Carmel 610 $80,590
Fort Wayne 120 $76,560
Elkhart N/A $61,280
Goshen N/A $61,280
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cedar Rapids 50 $76,440
West Des Moines N/A $69,950
Des Moines N/A $69,950
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 200 $63,370
Topeka 70 $56,820
Manhattan 40 $49,370
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 260 $63,010
Lexington 260 $63,010
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 380 $75,400
New Orleans 380 $75,400
Baton Rouge 370 $58,790
Lafayette 60 $56,640
Bossier City 60 $60,250
Shreveport 60 $60,250
Alexandria 50 $65,660
Monroe 30 $65,520
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 130 $74,110
Portland 130 $74,110
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 1390 $77,070
Columbia 1390 $77,070
Baltimore 1390 $77,070
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town N/A $85,270
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 1380 $70,930
Warren 1380 $70,930
Detroit 1380 $70,930
Grand Rapids 200 $73,750
Wyoming 200 $73,750
Ann Arbor 170 $66,150
Lansing 130 $65,550
East Lansing 130 $65,550
Kalamazoo 90 $69,450
Portage 90 $69,450
Flint 30 $60,880
Benton Harbor 30 $65,990
Niles 30 $65,990
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 30 $60,270
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 160 $62,540
Pascagoula 40 $73,520
Gulfport 40 $73,520
Biloxi 40 $73,520
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 150 $59,250
Columbia 70 $62,280
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings 130 $59,630
Missoula 90 $55,540
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 110 $73,400
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 280 $88,030
Henderson 280 $88,030
Las Vegas 280 $88,030
Reno 70 $67,410
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester N/A $95,250
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 270 $83,020
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 350 $61,060
Santa Fe 70 $64,480
Las Cruces 50 $71,820
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Niagara Falls 370 $87,840
Cheektowaga 370 $87,840
Buffalo 370 $87,840
Schenectady 310 $84,880
Troy 310 $84,880
Albany 310 $84,880
Rochester 260 $73,120
Syracuse 180 $85,960
Ithaca N/A $66,300
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 230 $72,850
Chapel Hill 180 $82,750
Durham 180 $82,750
Salem 50 $85,850
Winston 50 $85,850
Asheville N/A $58,200
Fayetteville N/A $67,920
Greensboro N/A $76,850
High Point N/A $76,850
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 40 $63,820
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 740 $70,310
Elyria 740 $70,310
Columbus 660 $74,150
Akron 230 $61,240
Dayton 160 $62,240
Toledo 130 $74,220
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 340 $92,400
Tulsa 320 $68,350
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 140 $59,150
Redmond 60 $60,640
Bend 60 $60,640
Salem 40 $60,460
Medford 30 $72,600
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 910 $68,830
Barre 160 $70,990
Hazleton 160 $70,990
Wilkes 160 $70,990
Scranton 160 $70,990
Lancaster 130 $61,980
Harrisburg 130 $65,450
Carlisle 130 $65,450
Hanover 60 $76,170
York 60 $76,170
Reading 60 $80,010
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 160 $49,060
Carolina 160 $49,060
San Juan 160 $49,060
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 240 $73,160
North Charleston 200 $63,950
Charleston 200 $63,950
Mauldin 180 $82,020
Anderson 180 $82,020
Greenville 180 $82,020
Beaufort 150 $59,950
Bluffton 150 $59,950
Hilton Head Island 150 $59,950
Spartanburg N/A $85,880
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 70 $73,160
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 430 $68,700
Murfreesboro 430 $68,700
Davidson 430 $68,700
Nashville 430 $68,700
Knoxville 230 $66,820
Johnson City 50 $61,440
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 3090 $83,730
Dallas 3090 $83,730
Arlington 3090 $83,730
Sugar Land 2570 $76,770
The Woodlands 2570 $76,770
Houston 2570 $76,770
Austin 1070 $82,620
Round Rock 1070 $82,620
New Braunfels 980 $62,340
San Antonio 980 $62,340
El Paso 100 $73,900
Corpus Christi 90 $59,490
Laredo 90 $61,480
College Station 70 $36,930
Bryan 70 $36,930
Lubbock 60 $59,230
Amarillo 50 $72,040
Abilene 40 $59,210
McAllen 40 $61,710
Edinburg 40 $61,710
Mission 40 $61,710
Port Arthur 40 $80,370
Beaumont 40 $80,370
Wichita Falls 30 $62,230
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 580 $65,180
Clearfield 70 $48,380
Ogden 70 $48,380
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 130 $62,410
Burlington 130 $62,410
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 440 $85,110
Charlottesville 170 $72,800
Roanoke 90 $70,220
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 3030 $73,940
Seattle 3030 $73,940
Tacoma 3030 $73,940
Spokane 150 $72,960
Spokane Valley 150 $72,960
Silverdale 70 $64,050
Bremerton 70 $64,050
Tumwater 70 $77,660
Olympia 70 $77,660
Kennewick 40 $93,020
Richland 40 $93,020
Yakima N/A $36,420
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 50 $74,190
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 580 $71,990
Waukesha 580 $71,990
Milwaukee 580 $71,990
Madison 250 $73,690
Green Bay 60 $69,020
Sheboygan 50 $56,560

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Architects

To find out more about building a career as Architects, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

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Most Popular Industries for :
Architects

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 98,050 88% $69,570
Construction 4,690 4% $71,870
Government 3,550 3% $80,520
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Architects.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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