How to Become an Architect

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the company you apply for and your specialization. Because architecture is a competitive field,  having at least bachelors degree and even a masters degree can be useful to help you stand out. You will also need to supplement your degree with on the job training before you can land a full time. Learn more by clicking our “Education Required” tab up top.

Begin your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited schools below that offer programs to help get you started as a architect.

How Much Does an Architect Make?
$73,090 (national median salary, to view salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab)

Expected growth from 2012-2020:
+107,040 additional people employed

Specialization Options:
Design, drafting, engineering, and project management.

(all information above provided by the BLS)

Discover the Best Places to Become an Architect

Employment & Salary Information by State for Architects

For architects, California offers the highest wages and employment opportunities in the nation, having an average yearly salary of $93,170 and employing roughly 10,000 people in the career. New York is second, having over 9,000 architecture jobs currently, but offering a somewhat smaller yearly mean income at $79,790.

Top states employing architects & architectural engineers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, include:

  • California (315,830)
  • Texas (233,820)
  • Michigan (120,260)
  • New York (100,320)
  • Florida (95,790)

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in architecture. Our detailed employment information is pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a highly credible government website.


Employment and Information Data for Architecture

Why Become an Architect?

A career in Architecture can be an exciting and rewarding experience that takes you around the world to help design some of history’s most iconic buildings, or create new homes for parents to safely raise their children in.  So whether you design the next Celinto Catayente Tower down the street from Estadio Olimpico, or go the Mike Brady route and design new homes, architecture can be an exciting and very lucrative career.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become an Architect

  • Introduction to integrated design
  • Architectural design
  • Introduction to architecture
  • History of architecture: Ancient-medieval architecture
  • Integrated technologies I
  • Architectural drawing
  • Introduction to CAD/spatial modeling
  • Natural Landscape and built form
  • Preservation law
  • Building/materials

Degree Options for Architecture Careers

Pre-professional Degree
A pre-professional degree in architecture cannot be used to gain accreditation to practice architecture. However, there are many fundamental courses in this program that can prepare you for other degrees like a bachelors in Architectural History.

Professional Architecture Degree
The first steps in becoming an architect are often taken at the undergraduate level in either a Bachelor of Architecture (B Arch) program or the Master of Architecture (M Arch) studies. Core requirements in these programs are needed to become accredited by National Architectural Accrediting Board (the sole authority for accredited US professional degree programs for architecture in the United States) or the Canadian Architectural Certification Board.

Post-professional Architecture Degree
The Bachelor of Architecture normally requires at least five years to complete, while the Master of Architecture requires from one to five years to complete depending on the individual student’s previous education.

Post-Professional Architecture Degree
These programs are designed to advance an architect’s career by focusing on specific niches in the industry such as design theory, health care facilities, preservation, interior design, solar design, etc.