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How Much Money Do Architects Make?

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 12/15/2010

While a career in architecture may be an interesting for some, many future architects will of course wonder about the salary that will be involved when they become professional.Just how much money do architects make? Find out in this article.

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    The Study of Architecture

    Students pursuing knowledge and a career within the study of architecture enjoy the thrill of designing and planning a variety of different structures. For these students, their ideas about bridges, buildings, and other constructs can easily be brought to reality one day. When people discuss the characteristics and structure of the building, the credit is attributed to the architects.

    While thoughts of being famous are of course not far from their heads, the thought of how much their future career will pay is also there. How much money do architects make? Well, that is dependent on the actual category of the architect and the company they work for.

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    A Career as an Architect

    The employment outlook for an architect is one of the fastest growing within all combined industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. About 21% of all individuals who pursue a career in architecture are self employed, three times more than that of other occupations that see self-employed individuals. Employment for architects in 2008 was over 141,000, with these workers inHow Much Money Do Architects Make?  architecture, engineering, and other services that are related.

    Architectural jobs will rise about 16% for the years leading up to 2018, with more buildings and other structures being built as cities and towns begin to grow or get started. With the concentration on more "green" technology and structures, the employment path of individuals going into a concentration of architecture also grows, as buildings will either need to be replaced or will need to be updated depending on a company's desire to go more toward environmentally friendly structures, design, and atmosphere.

    Architects can usually make between $40,000 and upwards of $120,000 a year within their chosen profession. The average salary for an architect was about $70,000 in the year 2008, though the middle of the road percentage of income was that of $50,000 to about $91,000. These numbers are of course dependent on the firm that employs an architect and what the actual job title and description of the individual is. Different business firms pay their employees differently, so it is important to understand a company's wages while in the interviewing process.

    With so much growth in different industries, the competition between architects is especially strong. Some self-employed architects may have trouble getting established and thus run the risk of expenses overcoming their income, while those architects that have an understanding or specialization in the realm of green technology will have an advantage over the competition, providing the firm they are applying for is interested in their specialty.

    To become an architect, students will need to enroll in one of the programs that is approved and accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Most will pursue the Bachelors of Architecture, which is about a five year program for those with no previous experience in architecture or those without training. Some will go to receive a masters degree in a subset or specialization in architecture, which can take about one to five years depending on the degree being pursued.

    Image content @ Morgue File