The Five Areas That Make Larger Architecture Firms Unique and Different from Smaller Firms

Large Architecture firms operate at different paces and work on projects that are usually larger and more international. This creates a need for a wide variety of professionals and usually covers management, IT, business, and architecture. As architects at larger firms practitioners there are 3 key areas that are considered distinct and different from smaller firms.

Salary Differences

A firm that is able to command a higher price on projects, than generates higher revenue, and thus will have greater potential to share that revenue and provide greater resources for their employees.

The 2012 AIA Firm Survey Report showed that the net revenue per employee for a firm of 100+ employees was $64,000 more than the revenue per employee at a 2-4 person firm.

According to the AIA compensation calculator, the average salary for Intern 1 level positions at a firm with revenue between $250-999k is $37,900 whereas a firm with revenue of $15 Million and up on average pays $43,000.

The income gap between small and large firms gets even bigger as experience level increases.

Resources available

A larger firm will have more people, therefore you will have greater access to human resources.  At a large firm, you are likely to find a variety of specialists such as:
•    Computer Technicians
•    Building Detail Experts
•    Specification Experts
•    Accountants
•    HR Specialists

At a small architecture firm employees are required to wear multiple hats. Each situation has its strengths.  Having more people to learn from could be a huge benefit but you could also find yourself pigeon-holed at a larger architecture firm.  On the contrary, at a small architecture firm you may get a more comprehensive experience because you will have to do a little bit of everything.

Making an Impact

At a small architecture firm, you have the ability to be a big fish in a small pond.  You will quickly get to know your colleagues and make stronger connections.  As a jack-of-all-trades, you are likely to gain a more comprehensive experience at a small firm.

At a large architecture firm, some people might not even know your name.  As an intern, you are likely to be stuck on more entry-level work for longer periods. Remember, larger firms tend to be more specialized therefore; the newbies will specialize in the grunt work.

When considering your next career move, plan proactively and create Portfolios that include your best work. Consider looking into finding a mentor with Architect-USand improving your Portfolios with our Portfolio Plans and Career Advice Program. We provide coaching and personalized mentorship, so you can have a professional and experienced take on your next steps in your career, as well as a great team to confide in.



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