The word “architect” typically conjures an image of a worker who designs buildings, bridges and other types of infrastructure. While this is true in many cases, architects may also specialize in other fields, such as marine vessels, land areas and computer networks. The salaries architects earn depend heavily on their area of specialty.
Architects who design structures, such as residential and commercial buildings, factories, restaurants and theaters, earned an average salary of $78,530 per year as of May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Most states require that architects hold a degree in architecture and complete a three-year training period before taking a licensing exam. The great majority work in the industry of architectural services for an average salary of $78,040 a year; those who work for the government, earn an average of $88,980 from the federal executive branch and $74,500 from state governments.
Gardens, parks, playgrounds, campuses and golf courses are all examples of what landscape architects design. The average salary of a landscape architect was $66,880 per year as of 2010, according to the BLS. Most employers require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in landscape architecture, as well as a summer internship, and 49 states require landscape architects to obtain licensure by passing the Landscape Architect Registration Examination. The largest industry for landscape architects was architectural services, where the salary average was $67,600 a year. Local governments offered an average salary of $70,270 a year, and state governments offered an average of $82,900.
Naval architects design ships, boats, submarines and other marine equipment, a job which usually requires a bachelor’s degree for an entry-level position. Naval architects earned an average salary of $87,770 a year as of 2010, reports the BLS. The largest industry for naval architects was architectural services, where the average salary was $90,370 a year. Those working for the federal executive branch earned an average of $103,870 annually, while those working in the industry of ship and boat building earned an average of $68,800.
The BLS predicts an employment rate increase of 16 percent between 2008 and 2018 for building and construction architects, a rate which is faster than the average for all jobs in the U.S. Naval architects, which are classified as a type of engineer, are predicted to see an 11 percent increase in employment, while landscape architects will see the greatest growth at an increase of 20 percent. This growth is largely attributed to a growing population which requires more buildings, cultivated land space and transportation. As environmental issues become more of a concern, the bureau points out that employers are increasingly interested in architects with expertise in "green" design.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Architects, 2010-11
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Architects Wages, May 2010
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Landscape Architects, 2010-11
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Landscape Architects Wages, May 2010
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Engineers, 2010-11
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Marine Engineers and Naval Architects Wages, May 2010
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