An architect’s salary is one of the most talked about topics in the design community. Most of us earn excellent wages, but it is possible for us to make more income. We can hit six-figures! In this blog, we’re going to tell you how to reach that goal. Here are the ways to become a six-figure architect:
For fresh graduates, start right
Let’s say you’ve just graduated from design school and landed your first job as an architect. There are small chances of landing an architecture job that pays more than 100k annually. Like most of us, you must work your way to it and claim it when you deserve it.
Start right, my friend.
Gather the right experience during your internship. Observe and study the work of the architects that influence your community. Read. Strive to improve your current skill set.
Above all, work for the right people. Choose a company that allows you to grow and become a better designer, without burning you out.
Acquire your license
Obtaining a license is a sure ticket to earning a high salary.
For one, larger firms always hire licensed design professionals. Also, the longer you hold a license, the worthier you are in the marketplace.
With that, we recommend that you get acquire yours right after you finish the gruesome years of architecture school. Pass all the examinations and render all the required internship hours.
Remember, when you start early, you will finish ahead of your competitors.
Invest in yourself
By this time, you already have a job as an architect. Are you going to stop there?
Of course not.
We encourage you to develop a new set of skills — the ones you can use to be a better architect and to climb the corporate ladder.
First, there are HARD SKILLS. These are specific abilities that you can learn because of experience and training. It could be a new drawing skill, knowledge of new software, foreign language, data analysis, etc.
Then, there are SOFT SKILLS. These are harder to quantify yet highly-useful especially when dealing with clients and colleagues. We firmly believe that an architect should develop his/her communication skills, problem-solving, decision making, creativity, time management, leadership, listening skills, teamwork, and enthusiasm.
Dedicate every single workday to improve these skills. These will help you fast-track your architecture career.
Remember, the richer the experience, the more skilled you are, the better positioned you are when you request for a higher salary.
Develop a specialisation
We’re about to tell you an industry secret.
All top and highly-paid architects have a specialisation. They specialise in a lucrative, non-competitive niche. And, they’re very good at it.
Above all, the architects with a unique specialisation earn the most.
Focusing on designing a few types of structure allows you to learn more about it and possibly improve it. You have the time to be the best in that niche.
We, at Superdraft, know that people don’t pay for the architect’s skills.
They pay for the design solutions they give to the table. If the architect can address the needs and wants of the client while working within their budget, then they’d be happy to pay the architect’s fees.
It is never too late to specialise in a particular type of building. We believe in you. You can do it.
Be a joy to work with.
Start with doing your job right and minimising your errors. When you do, you reduce the stress of your colleagues. Nobody must exert more effort to make up for your mistake. Above all, your everyone in the office will see you as a model employee.
Take on more responsibility
Sometimes, you have to go above and beyond what their firm expects you to do. For instance, if your firm asks you to manage a certain project, take it. Opportunities like this do not come every day. When you’re entrusted with a responsibility, accept it and do your best to fulfil the job.
Taking on more responsibility means your boss and colleagues trust you. In most cases, this leads to a promotion. However, getting more responsibility in the office doesn’t mean you have to double your work. Strive to be more efficient and productive.
Participate in your company’s regular performance reviews
All companies conduct regular performance reviews. It’s their way of monitoring the contributions as well as the growth of their employees. If you think about it, it’s a second job interview. When you think you’ve done a great job, it’s the time to discuss it with your supervisor. Performance reviews help the executives decide on who to promote and give a salary increase.
Serve another firm, when necessary
In some cases, an architect finds it hard to get a substantial salary increase from their employer. If this is you and you think you deserve more, consider looking for a new job in a larger firm who agrees to give you higher pay. It’s sad to leave your company, but you need to do what’s best for your career. Apart from salary increase, starting a new job can expose you to more people and help you acquire new skills.
Move your practice to the city
It is the fastest road to a six-figure income. As we all know, construction in urban areas never stops. More and more building projects demand architects. Also, city-based architecture practices offer high salaries
Take on a sideline job
When you want to reach a six-figure salary, create multiple sources of income today. Find ways to earn extra cash.
The first thing to do is identify which of your skill sets can generate additional income. It could be a freehand drawing, 3D rendering, drafting etc. You can take on another architectural project as a sideline. Some side projects are even more profitable than your day job.
Consider partnering with Superdraft. We’re always looking for architects, designers, structural engineers, landscape architects, and builders to join our network. We can give you high-paying clients and opportunities to take on large construction projects.
Repeat work for high-paying clients
If you’re lucky to design houses of prominent people, the government, hospitals, corporations, and universities then getting high-paying clients isn’t a worry for you. If you can’t find them alone, our Superdraft network can help you do repeat work for them.
Become a consultant
In the big city, some architects stop designing and start consulting jobs. They work as construction managers, development consultants, etc.
It’s a smart way to reach your six-figure income without drawing and stamping more papers.
Launch your own firm
Choosing this path is one way for architects to hit a six-figure income too. But, it’s not going to be easy.
First, you need to be a firm leader and dedicate your skills for the benefit of the firm. Apart from architecture, you need to know how to manage a business. This includes managing clients, managing staff, and bringing in new work.
Also, running your own business doesn’t guarantee any income. There is no guaranteed success. But, it’s a fulfilling journey. You can take on anything possible and even walk your way to a global operation.
The best way to earn six figures or more as an architect is to acquire networking skills. When you do, clients will rain!
Networking is the most valuable skill you can learn as an architect. It brings more work to you. Meaning, being a skilled networker will help you grow your own business, in case you’re taking that path.
There is no get-rich-quick scheme
Obtaining a six-figure salary is possible, whether you’re just an employee or a business yourself. But, there is no shortcut. There is no get rich scheme. We all have to work smarter, not harder to get there.