How to Find the Best Cities in the USA for Architects and Designers

A successful architectural career is not something that happens overnight! You must also consider where you are going to move to pursue your career. Your choice in city can be just as important as your choice in firm!

As you are trying to navigate which cities to target and how to find costs of living, we have a nice ranking of cities according to many different stats.

To start off, according to ZipRecruiter, the average pay for an architect in the US is $83,072 per annum. That can be a healthy salary to work with in most US cities, but for first starters, you might be getting half of that. Depends on where you are in your career and what focuses you are interested in.

You should not just focus your search on high job pay, but also other factors that impact your quality of life.

  • The standards of living
  • Job opportunities- How many firms are there? Do you only want to work at a small firm or large firm?
  • Further licensing and education – Are there quality resources and educational opportunities there?

1. San Francisco, California

To start off, San Francisco ranks highest for average pay coming in at $97,319 per year for an Architect. The pay is even more for top-tier architects, with the highest pay at $165,266 per year. The lowest pay was $42,782 per year. 

You should consider how much it costs to relocate here, but if you are given a favorable salary closer to 100,000 per year, this may be an option you want to consider. As well as how it would look on your Resume or CV when moving to another region or back home.

With over 500 architectural firms, you will not run out of options.

2. New York City, NY

New York was ranked as the third-highest paying city with an average pay at $93,908 per year. Coming in at just under the average of San Francisco. The lowest pay possible is $39,943 from what was reported.

New York is known for its architecture and creative dynacism as a global city, where artists and business people alike, come to the city looking for new opportunities and strong networks.

New York City also has one of the highest number of architectural firms. For example, Gensler has over 254 local and 1,177 international architects or HOK has 224 local and 1,171 international architects.

Not only this, but you have more room for creativity and new construction technology is quick to reach the Big Apple, so specialization is quite common. Before applying for any job make sure that you have a solid sense of the legal and technical languages among the various parties involved in the processes when building.

3. Seattle, Washington

Washington was ranked 9th by Zippia with an average salary of $86,749 per annum. 

It was ranked the 4th highest paying city for architects as of January 8th, 2020. The average pay for an architect is at $90,189 per annum. The lowest pay possible was around $39,627. 

Seattle has some of the most well-read citizenry, and are known for having some of the top cutting edge technologies nearby, which means a strong well for funding new projects. By providing a mix of technical skills and design sense, you can make it even further here in Seattle.

4. Boston, Massachusetts

Similar to Washington, you have a strong technical background in this city, and it is among the top three states for architecture in the US.

Massachusetts design style has Puritan settler roots along with the native people’s influence on how to survive in the region, the colonial architecture started to become more prominent within Boston, A design brought by settlers from England. 

Boston is ranked the 5th highest paying city. The average salary for an architect is at $89,707 per annum. The lowest salary reported was $39,415. 

With these example cities you can now profile other cities you are interested in, and dive deeper into the right fit for you and your career!

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.


Add comment


Follow Us!

Don't lose anything about-us