Survey: Compensation Still Strong in Architecture and Design

According to an annual salary survey conducted by the journal DesignIntelligence for the Design Futures Council, salaries remain strong in the architecture, design and engineering professions, despite the economic downturn.

The 2009 Compensation and Benefits Survey, which drew data from 460 professional practice locations in the United States representing more than 25,000 full-time staff, reports that average compensation continues to grow for recent architecture school graduates. The mean salary for a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree has risen from $39,333 in 2008 to $41,012 this year. The mean salary for a graduate with a Master’s degree has risen from $42,985 in 2008 to $47,263.

Additionally, the survey data indicates that seasoned professionals continue to see increased compensation as well. Those with 20 or more years of experience earn an average base salary of $100,723; however, the top 20 percent of this group can make $142,200.

Also included in the survey are projected compensation increases for 2010, as well as current benefits, perks, demographics, and strategic practices such as signing bonuses and cost-of-living differentials. For more information, visit