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2005 AIA Compensation Report Says Architects Pay Outpaces the Economy

The AIA’s 2005 Compensation Report, released in July, revealed that salaries for U.S. architects increased at a faster rate than those of other professions between 2002 and 2005. Architects’ pay grew by about 10 percent over that time, or at about an average yearly rate of 3.3 percent. In comparison, jobs within the rest of the economy only grew at an average yearly rate of 2.5 percent. Architects salaries have now reached an average of $62,600, says the report.

Still, salaries for architects grew less than they have in the recent past. Between 1999 and 2002 architects’ salaries grew at a rate of 5.1 percent compounded, and from 1996 to 1999 the rate was 5.3 percent. According to the recent report, salaries have grown the most at larger firms. Average compensation for firms of 250 or more employees now stands at $74,200, but it decreases in proportion to firm size. Salaries at firms under ten people stand at an average of $59,400.

  While architects’ salaries continue to grow, they still pale in comparison to lucrative professions like law and medicine. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, the mean yearly income for architects in 2004 was $66,230, compared to $108,790 for lawyers and $137,610 for physicians and surgeons. At the other end of the scale, an artists’ mean annual income is $37,490.

Sam Lubell