Graduating from college is a huge step for your career. It’s such an exciting and happy time, but, it can also be a little scary to figure out what you’re going to do next.
You’re probably asking yourself what it is that you really want to do with your architecture degree, while also wondering how much money you can make doing it.
You’re not the only recent or soon-to-be graduate in this position, which is why we created the following list. Here’s a quick look at seven of the highest paying architecture jobs you can get right out of college.
1. Associate Designer
If you’re not sure what kind of work you’d like to do in the future, or you just want to get your hands dirty with a few different things, you should apply for Associate Designer job openings.
This role puts you in a cross-functional position. It allows you to work on various aspects of the structural design process. As an Associate Designer, you’ll likely find yourself sitting in on client meets, helping to gather information for a project, and working on some of the conception and planning details, too.
Plus, you can earn an average of $53,000 a year doing so. That’s not a bad start for your first job!
Draftsman positions are ideal for anyone who is tech-savvy and has a passion for architecture. These are the people who help bring an idea to life: they create the 3D renderings of plans that are on paper.
If you were to end up in such a role, you’d be spending a lot of time on the computer. You’d be enhancing the visual appeal of a project while also specifying some of the more intricate details – i.e. plans for construction, building dimensions, and materials needed.
This role earns an average of $47,000 a year.
3. Specifications Writer
Does the thought of getting into the nitty-gritty of a project excite you? If so, you might want to look into becoming a Specifications Writer.
This job is all about honing in on the small details.
Spec Writers basically create the construction plan for contractors to work off. They look at every aspect of a project and decide how all the pieces will come together. This involves deciding what comes first – like the foundation and the interior walls – then moving onto the final touches.
Entry-level Specifications Writers can earn anywhere from $60-80,000.
4. Junior Architect
Up next on the list is a Junior Architect position. This is a harder position to land right out of college, but it is possible. You have a good shot of getting this kind of role if you have previous experience working architecture internships or part-time positions.
Junior Architects do a little bit of everything. They meet with clients to assess their needs and estimate a project’s overall cost and how long it will take to build. They start the design for a new building and meet with superiors to finalize the details.
They may even oversee a few other people who help with these new projects.
The work can be stressful at times. You need an ability to think on your feet and to solve problems. You have to be organized and highly attentive to detail, too.
If you’ve got what it takes, though, you can end up earning around $48,000 per year.
5. Interior Designer
Maybe it’s not so much building plans and floor layouts that excite you about the world of architecture, but the final touches. Maybe you love walking into a room and looking at how the furniture is set up and what kind of colors/textures have been brought into space.
Such an interest may lead you to a career in Interior Design.
Interior Designers have separate licensing and qualifications to meet, but, you can get your foot in the door with an architecture degree. You may have to work under someone before you start taking on your own projects. However, it shouldn’t take long to prove yourself if you show initiative and express your creativity!
You can even combine this experience with more traditional architect-type work, or use this time as a chance to earn other licenses and certifications. Read more here about additional learning opportunities available.
6. Industrial Designer
Another career opportunity worth is exploring is that of Industrial Design.
This is a niche within architecture that is all about the smaller details. Instead of building large shopping complexes or high-rise residence buildings, you’d be focused on building more intimate settings.
You may be hired to work on a doctor’s private practice rather than a hospital building. You might end up designing a person’s new home instead of creating an apartment complex.
You’ll enjoy this work if you’re detail oriented and if you want to build close ties with your clients. People who work with industrial designers are typically more involved with the design and construction process.
7. Furniture Designer
The final opportunity to consider is becoming a Furniture Designer.
This goes hand in hand with a lot of the things mentioned above.
If you like focusing on the small details, you’ll enjoy weighing the pros and cons of one tabletop material versus another. If the thought of becoming an Interior Designer appeals to you, you can take your passion for interiors and use it to create beautiful pieces that many people will buy and enjoy.
Furniture Designers can make about $50,000 a year on average.
How to Get Interviews for the Highest Paying Architecture Jobs
It’s one thing to educate yourself about all the highest paying architecture jobs out there, and another to actually get the job!
You have to learn as much as you can about the position you’re applying for and the company you’re trying to become a part of. You have to make sure your resume is the best it can be and present yourself well, too. This gives you an advantage during the interview process by setting you apart from the competition.
Here are a few tips you can use to succeed in your job hunt!