By Andrew Wyne
So you have decided to become an architect? In doing a little digging, I have found some statistics and information that you may want to consider as you complete your undergraduate courses. The job description of an architect is different then what is usually perceived and the qualifications for the job changes the expected salary of an architect. Architecture is more than just designing buildings and few people actually design huge buildings by themselves. It is a difficult profession. Below are a few numbers and statistics of starting architects’ salaries and what is to be expected.
“Median annual wages of wage-and-salary architects were $70,320 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $53,480 and $91,870. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,320, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $119,220. Those just starting their internships can expect to earn considerably less.” (http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos038.htm#earnings)
Notice the above statistic is referring to licensed architects. An architecture student must complete graduate school in order to become licensed. Undergraduate level architecture graduates are paid considerably less. Another source supports the theory that entry level architects make about half of the $70,320 salary listed above. Less experience correlates with less pay. (http://www1.salary.com/Architect-I-salary.html)
Another thing to consider is whether you love architecture or if it is simply a job to pay the bills. It is said that the architects that love their work have a higher success rate and earn a higher salary. It is not simply going to work and doing a good job, but being able to work harder than everyone else. Successful architects devote time outside of the job by buying endless amounts of books and magazines about architecture. They even plan their vacations around the projects on which they are working.
One last helpful hint about the business of architecture; never burn any bridges with anyone you know in the field of architecture. You never know when they may be a connection to a job or project and can often offer hints and advice on how to succeed in architecture. So to put it all simply: work hard, love what you are doing, and play nice.
(http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/architects-salary-wanna-know/) this is a link to a blog of helpful advice.