AIA Report Shows Rise in Average Architectural Compensation

As the U.S. economy continues to strengthen, compensation across all architectural staff positions averaged $84,000, up about 2.8 percent per year from early 2015 levels, according to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2017 Compensation Report.  The biannual report provides salary data for 39 architecture firm positions in 26 states, 25 metro areas and 17 cities as well as industry salary trends and analysis on where the market is headed.

Average compensation

Senior design/project management staff

  • 2017: $111,000
  • 2015: $103,400
  • 2013: $99,400


  • 2017: $82,800
  • 2015: $77,100
  • 2013: $73,000

Emerging professionals on the path to licensure

  • 2017: $53,100
  • 2015: $48,900
  • 2013: $47,000

Other key findings

  • Architectural salaries have modestly exceeded gains in the broader economy in the last 15 years.
  • Compensation gains, net of inflation, for architecture positions averaged 1.5 percent annually over the 2015-16 period.
  • Architecture firms continue to add new types of employee benefits to encourage staff retention and growth.

Salary calculator

Also updated for 2017 is the AIA Salary Calculator. This tool provides topline data on architecture position salaries by firm size and region of the country to emerging professionals and others.

The 2017 Compensation Report is available for purchase here.

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