What does an Architectural Designer do?

Architectural designers receive design specifications and utilize both physical and digital drafting tools to create 2D and 3D models upon request. This role requires designers to follow requests precisely while ensuring designs meet rigorous requirements, including safety standards and governmental regulations. Architectural designers may work for either private companies or government agencies and may work anywhere from high-population cities to rural communities. Advancement in this career often depends on years of experience as well as the successful acquisition of critical licenses.

Architectural designers must possess a Bachelor's degree in architecture or related structural design fields. A Master's degree in architecture may be preferred for upper-level positions or career advancement. Architectural designers may need to take and pass a series of tests known as the Architect Registration Examination in order to be fully licensed. This test is administered through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Architectural designers must have be distinctly detailed oriented and possess notable problem solving skills.

What responsibilities are common for Architectural Designer jobs?
  • Receive project requests and draft designs
  • Utilize necessary physical and digital tools to create initial drafts
  • Work collaboratively with team members and stakeholders to ensure accuracy of early design work
  • Finalize drafting projects using both 2D and 3D sketching
  • Revisit designs and make adjustments to designs as needed
  • Research and incorporate artistic elements into designs as needed
  • Ensure design specifications align to safety standards and governmental regulations
  • Liaise with various professionals and departments to coordinate project details
What are the typical qualifications for Architectural Designer jobs?
  • A Master's degree in architecture or related fields may be preferred for upper-level positions
  • Successful completion of ARE testing and licensure from the NCARB
  • 0-1 years of experience for entry-level positions
  • Ability to read and interpret various types of blueprints
  • Proven and successful experience creating structural designs
  • Working knowledge of and experience with computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • Strong familiarity and experience using physical drafting tools
  • Significantly detail-oriented with the ability to spot and fix potential design flaws
  • Ability to generate reports and deliver reports to stakeholders and team members
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Architectural Designer Salaries

Average Base Pay

$73,334 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$50K
Median: $73K
$107K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Architectural Designer Career Path

Learn how to become an Architectural Designer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Architectural Designer

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
19%
2 - 4
39%
5 - 7
19%
8+
23%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Architectural Designer Insights

Read what Architectural Designer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Riaz CapitalRiaz Capital
Architectural Designer/Project Manager
Jul 11, 2022

“I was provided many interesting and formative opportunities that allowed me to learn a lot and gain valuable experience quickly.”

Galliard HomesGalliard Homes
Architectural Technician
Feb 27, 2021

“I never expected such an amazing journey and am happy to have had this opportunity.”

TKDATKDA
Architectural Designer
Jun 30, 2021

“Great people who care a lot about you as a person and your career goals.”

AECOMAECOM
Architectural Designer
Jun 4, 2021

“My direct supervisor was encouraging and probably one of the best bosses I have ever worked for.”

RÀ
Junior Architectural Designer
May 26, 2022

“There's a role for everyone and many opportunities to learn and explore various aspects in the design development industry.”

ELEVEN18 ArchitectureELEVEN18 Architecture
Architectural Designer
Sept 8, 2022

“It was a good learning experience to be able to dive into a variety of project types.”

Sayla Estate Agency
Architectural Designer
Jul 15, 2022

“The conversation with the head of the company was easy and design freedom was the best things of working with this realtor firm.”

EDGE Studios (India)
Interior Architectural Designer
Aug 10, 2021

“It depends on your career goals if one wants to work in an offbeat and innovative studio then this is not the place for it.”

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Architectural Designer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of architectural designers

The typical day of an architectural designer includes planning and designing building projects. Some days they may meet with a client to understand their budget and needs. Other days they may be at a job site, overseeing day-to-day construction work.

Yes, architectural design is a good and well-paid career. Individuals in this field hold an important and in demand position as they provide a plan based on a client's needs and factor in things like cost, materials, labor, and safety regulations to move a project from initial plan to completion.

Yes, architectural designers get paid well. The average salary for an architectural designer is $73,334 per year on average in the United States. Architectural designers who have more experience or are certified may earn even more, up to $106,841 per year plus benefits.

Working as an architectural designer can be demanding, yet rewarding. Many problems can arise during construction, and one of the challenges of being an architectural designer is that it's their responsibility to solve them and ensure they still meet the client's goals. Becoming an architectural designer requires knowledge of the latest safety laws and dedicating time to keep up to date with any changes to these laws.

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Architectural Designer jobs