I see poor people


How much architects from all over the world actually make…


Recently I’ve noticed a traffic increase on one of my polls about the architects’ financial status. In 3 days ~1000 people have voted on the poll. Nice start for a new year. So I decided to check where all the voters are coming from. I’m not obsessed with the amount of readers as some other bloggers. Of course more people read my essays happier I am, but to me my blog is not a commercial enterprise or some sophisticated business strategy. It’s a pure hobby which combines two of my favorite things: architecture & literature. I enjoy playing with writing in 2 languages & I have fun by presenting my ideas in the most radical, free & at times shocking way. Being satisfied emotionally traffic is a secondary topic to me. I check it rarely; my stats system is very basic. Yet with some difficulties I’ve found the source of the interest. It was a tiny publication on Archdaily.

Archdaily is a popular site dedicated to the architecture. I don’t read it because it’s not oriented towards deep analysis; it’s all about the quantity of the info rather than the quality. To read it for architectural professionals would be like for classic music composer to listen to Britney Spears or even better… can you imagine a Chef of some exquisite French restaurant having a dinner at McDonalds? Nevertheless it’s a widely popular site for general public.

In their publication they have asked architects about their salaries. That question has generated 180+ comments. People from all over the world provided their answers. Obviously it was done in a very chaotic way. Yet it is clear that everywhere architect’s pay is pretty low and people are highly dissatisfied with the financial rewards. So I thought of organizing that massive wave of replies. I thought of building a chart of architectural incomes based on those comments… Remember those numbers are coming from the personal answers. So this is not an ultimate true. However the trend is crystal clear… architects are underpaid. Underpaid big time.

Wow, I almost forgot about the issue that brought me to that. How come that all of the sudden people from Archdaily, that powerhouse, that architectural McDonalds have visited my small “homemade bakery” blog? Apparently few readers of Archdaily read my blog as well. In their comments they’ve posted a link to my poll which is related to the theme. That’s so nice. Thank you. Another surprise was to see that I have some enemies! My mystery “enemies” trashed those guys who posted links to my poll. One of the “enemies” pretended to be me! He posted some nonsense under my name & provided a link to my blog… Go figure! All that “fight” about me is a perfect illustration of the old rule “bad publicity is the best publicity”. Anyway I have no idea of who those “enemies” are & I wish them well. Being hated means a lot to me. It means I (or rather my position) is worth something. Something powerful enough to make some folks to hate me. You can’t be loved be everybody, unless you’re a spineless liar. I ‘ll leave it to politicians. I don’t care of being hated, as long as I’m not ignored. So thank you “enemies” for not being indifferent & for the publicity.

And now forget this weird episode from blogger’s life and enjoy the chart. I have sorted the info by the countries & continents. I have also included some original comments from the authors…Most powerful & painful are by the end… Read it. Very interesting stuff!


(If your country is missing – don’t hesitate to drop a comment. I will proudly add it. Let’s make the list perfectly complete!)




Bulgaria:  3 – 6  Euro per hour | Young architect (Somebody comments “This is a dream in Lithuania”)

Latvia:  7 – 12  Euro per hour | My boss earns 15 Euro per hour

Switzerland: ~30  Euro per hour | Young architect (“Some people with a foreign diploma would accept less, but they shouldn’t, really”)

Finland:  ~21  Euro per hour | Brutto. 6 yrs experience

Belgium:  10-18  Euro per hour | Brutto. 1-5 yrs experience

The solution in Belgium to get better paid, leave the profession or the country

Albania:  2 – 3  Euro per hour | 3-6 yrs experience

Austria:  22 – 29  Euro per hour | 7 yrs experience

Lithuania:  ~ 3.6  Euro per hour | Net pay. 2 yrs experience.

Serbia:  ~1.25  Euro per hour | A beginner. Paid in cash! (illegal)

No insurance, working every second Saturday. Monthly rent for flat € 120. Still alive!

Russia:  ~ 2.15 – 18  Euro per hour | There’s a huge difference between Moscow & the rest of the country.

Croatia:  ~ 6  Euro per hour

Monthly payment ~€ 900, average  price for 1 sq.m of new apartment is € 1800 (just for navigation!)

Bosnia & Herzegovina:  ~ 2.5  Euro per hour | Net pay. 2.5 yrs experience.

Ukraine:   1.25 – 4  Euro per hour | 1-6 yrs experience

Live with my mom, thanks God! no other opportunity I have here for now.

Slovenia: ~ 7  Euro per hour | Net pay. No paid vacation

Sweden:  ~ 21  Euro per hour | Brutto. 7 yrs experience.

Czech Republic:  ~6 Euro per hour | Brutto. 5 yrs experience

Portugal:  2-6 Euro per hour | 1-3 yrs experience. In Portugal young architects are treated like garbage…

France:  ~12 Euro per hour

Finland: ~15 Euro per hour | 2. 5 yrs experience.

Tax 24%  5 weeks holiday per year. Holy s***. And I thought I was a slave…

Germany:  8-12.5 Euro per hour | 3-7 yrs experience.

…thinking about becoming a dental technician or flautist…

Norway: 25-43 Euro per hour |  Brutto. 1- 10 yrs experience

Hungary: ~3 Euro per hour | Net pay. (If you have a job! But this is not typical.)

…I’ve just booked a one way ticket to Norway!

Norway: A beer costs 8 pounds here! That money’s gonna disappear…

Netherland:  ~11 Euro per hour |  Brutto. A beginner.

1800 €/month. Other professions – the same educational level standard pay is 2200+ €/month

Denmark:  25-30 Euro per hour |  Brutto. Beginners – 5 yrs. experience. Tax around 45%!!!

But you don’t pay for healthcare, education, etc. Notice that the cost of being alive is sky high in Denmark. The highest tax in the world, most expensive food in Europe, etc.

Poland:  3-6 Euro per hour |  Beginners – 5 yrs. experience.

There’s always a fool that will work for 2euro. Bloody true!


England:   11.5 – 33  Euro per hour

33 | London. As an architect assistant at a large international firm. Is that ok in London?

22 | London. 5 yrs experience. Project Architect

11.5 | Newcastle. I consider myself lucky to even have a job in these times, I volunteered for 4 months before I found this job


Italy: 4 – 8  Euro per hour

Free | First year after school. In Italy the young architect have a strong life.

4 – 5 |  Net pay. 1+ yrs experience

8 |  Net pay. 5 yrs experience. The Ukrainian cleaning woman was taking 10 Euro per hour to clean the studio… And this was 3 years ago


Spain (Madrid):  ~9 Euro per hour |  5 yrs experience.

Annual € 19,000 brutto. (21% below the average Spanish salary for men. What a shame!)

On the other hand most of the young Spanish architects are unemployed. Living costs: rent € 490 per room in a shared flat


Romania: 2.75 – 3  Euro per hour | 5 -7 yrs experience.

That makes ~€ 500 monthly – it’s exactly what my mortgage is; I’m married & I have a son (I’m lucky with my husband).


Ireland: 5 – 10  Euro per hour | A beginner

When you factor in all the extra unpaid hours it probably drops it down below the minimum wage.

With near 50% unemployment for architects you have to take what you can get unfortunately.

Greece:  5-8 Euro per hour |  Net pay. 1 – 5 yrs. experience.

No health insurance. Waitresses get the same + health insurance.






15.5 $ / h | starter ($ 30,000 per annum)

41 $ / h | 7-9 yrs experience ($ 80,000 per annum)

77 $ / h | 20 yrs experience ($ 150,000 per annum)



Free | students/new immigrants work 3-4 months for free

14 $ / h | starter ($ 30,000 per annum) Tax ~25%

25 $ / h | 5-7 yrs experience ($ 50,000 per annum) Tax ~ 35%

30-35 $ / h | 10+ yrs experience ($ 70K – 80K) Tax ~ 40%  No wonder a lot of people move to US.

For a lot of people it might look like a good money. But given the Canadian prices (cars, food, homes) this is on the level of being “very poor person”. Survival mode.

– ha, I wish! are you hiring?





Argentina:  6-10 $ per hour |  Worked in London as a mason and carpenter for x5 higher salary

Chile: ~7.5 $ per hour

Bolivia:  2-3 $ per hour | If you find work. Good luck! Most prefer work in the illegal commerce

Brazil:  10-30 $ per hour | Depends on the State. Vacation?… Never

Ecuador :  ~6 $ per hour | Quito





Philippines: ~1 $ per hour | 2 hours site visit. 8 yrs experience.

China: ~7 $ per hour |  7 yrs experience

India: ~2 $ per hour |  3 yrs experience (renown studio in Mumbai)

S. Korea: ~12.5 $ per hour | 1.5 yrs experience (M. Arch.)

Jordan: ~5 $ per hour | Fresh graduate

Kazakhstan: ~4 – 10 $ per hour | Mostly doesn’t exceed $ 6 .

No health insurance as a rule. Flat rent is $ 500-1000 per month. Hard to survive, but I guess architect’s salary in Kazakhstan is highest in Central Asia.


Indonesia:   1 – 15 $ per hour

1-3 | Beginners

5-15 | 10 yrs experience


Iran:  1 – 25 $ per hour

Free |  First year after school

1.5 |  Young architects

up to 25 | Experienced architects


Australia: ~18 – 90 $ per hour | …I’m still getting paid less than most of my friends.

New Zealand: ~13 – 30 $ per hour

13-15 |  Beginners

18 |  2-5 yrs experience

20-30 | 5 + yrs experience


Unless you are Santiago Calatrava, you will be making nada’ with this handicap economy!! It’s a shame! It’s a shame I tell you how this career field is coming to a vanishing point with less of prestige and appreciation. I think i agree that Architects make less money regardless of their skill.”


– Nice profession – terrible pay… Take it or leave”

– Nice hobby or obsession – terrible profession. Terrible pay.”


My boss drives a Porsche – we come by bike.

That is really sad! In Holland working at McDonalds would pay better!!!

Oh god, why didn`t anyone tell me this 7 years ago?!


IN PORTUGAL ARCHITECTS WORK FOR FREE!! As we are required to do an internship for the professional organization, this is unpaid. So the main architects take advantage of this fact, substituting employees architects who would have to pay, for interns for free! We do not need others to fool us. We do this to professional colleagues. Shame on us, architects…


I look at these numbers, at your emotions and I am asking is this profession worth such pain? Just a question… Don’t rush to say out loudly “Hell, yeah…” Life is more complex than any emotional exclamation.

Depressing! It took me most of my study years to realize those “architecture…not recommended” sighs and comments from the older architects around me …


Out of 175 comments there’s practically NOT a single positive reactions. Almost all comments are anonymous, incl. this one – mine. (Some links to a cool blog in the first few comments, that’s all…) Screw you architecture. You are dying anyway as a creative profession… It’s not about the pay only. After 15 yrs of hard work I’m about to leave you. Enough is enough.


58 Responses to “I see poor people”
  1. Sofia says:

    Greece: 1-5 years experience_ 5 to 8 euros per hour plus taxes without health insurance. Waitresses get the same plus the insurance!!

  2. Albert says:

    Thank you Mr. A. Yergalee for providing a data about Kazakhstan through the Facebook.

  3. iain meek says:

    Brilliant page. Very interesting to see the world view. Well done, Albert.

    I shall spread details of your page to other architects.

  4. Part 3 architect says:

    18 £ per hour/ 1,5 years post Part 3.

  5. Neil says:

    Don’t forget Scotland! Huge variance up here – chief divide being between central/eastern urban and highland/island rural locations. Edinburgh salaries highest (but property values and living costs also significantly higher than elsewhere) – still lower than London though.
    Until I was made redundant in January I was on £26000 per annum as a recently-qualified Architect (large commercial practice). Not great for nearly 10 years’ study, but better than unemployment!

  6. Zbig says:

    Zarobki we Francji…. Poczatkujacy po studiach – rok stazu za kilkaset euro/mc.
    2-3 lata doswiadczenia ( czykli, sorry, zadne doswiadzcenie) to 1100 -1500 e/mc ( do reki, nie licze “skladek ZUS”). Kilka lat doswiadczenia – nadal “architekt – kreslarz – to w Paryzu 1700-1800 E na reke /mc/ caly czas pisze o etatowej pracy.
    10 lat doswiadczenia, region Paryski, – ok 2500 E/mc (pensja na reke, 20 lat – maksimum 3500 E/mc, a jak jestes cudzoziemcem, max. 3000/mc.
    Jesli jestes na honorarium – to roznie….
    Zatrudniam mlodych ludzi z Polski i okolic, bardzo rozny poziom, zadaja czasem 1800 E/mc, ale pracuja 2 razy wolniej niz Francuzi !!!! co kiedys bylo nie do pomyslenia. Ogolnie uwazam ze Polacy strasznie sie rozbestwili… poziom absolwentow jest strasznie niski, jedyne co potrafia to 3D i Photoshop, mierna wiedza o materialach i konstrukcji, wygorowane zadania, minimalna lub zadna motywacja.

  7. Magda says:

    I left. 10 years later I call myself a “reformed architect” at parties, it gets the giggles from those in the know. Even more than the low pay prognosis, it was the politics, the stress, the very slow pace of change in the profession. I have utter respect for my friends who are in it out of love – architects are the Jedi knights of the professional world.

    • Albert says:

      Jedi knights?… Yeah… that’s a nice definition…
      I call myself sometimes a captain of the drowning ship, ’cause I’m afraid our beautiful ship called “Architecture” is sinking.
      And you’re so right, money is not the main issue…

  8. Sarah says:

    Thank you Albert for this more than useful information. It should actually be sent to all 1st year students in architecture.

  9. Fred says:

    Suggestion: become an engineer. I’m sure lots of people will think this is stupid, but architects have lots of great transferable skills they can apply to all sorts of jobs.

    Architecture is a very cool thing to do, but how much time do you actually spend doing the good bits? Other jobs can also have elements of design, depending on the job, and architecture can happen after 5.30 when most people go home.

    Engineers are still generally able to get fees which cover their costs, they don’t work long hours and the pay is fairly decent even straight after graduation (around £14 per hour, £17 per hour after a few years – London prices). Engineering isn’t that hard, although you need to be a bit mathematical for the calculations, the rest is drawings, emails and meetings.

    I love architecture but chose engineering because I wanted to do the science too. It has probably saved me a lot of late nights. We still get to design things, although not in such an aesthetic or conceptual way. It’s not architecture though, although there are specialisms which are more aesthetically led.

    • Albert says:

      Fred, you’re not the first one who’s raising this issue. It is very interesting point. I wish I could hear on my blog more engineers like you presenting their ideas with tact and purpose…
      I’ve always had an enormous respect for the people trying to turn arch. visions into the real things. My blog is always open for their comments, ideas & essays…

  10. Thomas says:

    Your Switzerland evaluation is far from accurate. I, and a lot of people I know with a swiss diploma, make, as newcomers on the job market, around 35/40 CHF per hour, which makes around 30€. Some people with a foreign diploma would accept less, but they shouldn’t, really.

    • Albert says:

      Thank you, Thomas. As I said the evaluations were coming from the individuals, so not always you can trust the emotions… Your numbers look much more realistic to me. I have fixed it.
      I appreciate your remark, it’s important to provide a truthful picture. As much as possible of course…

  11. enw5 says:

    I’m not sure this completely correct..
    But I appreciate the post!

    • Albert says:

      I’m not so sure by myself. That’s why I’ve made this remark:
      “Remember those numbers are coming from the personal answers. So this is not an ultimate true. However the trend is crystal clear…”

  12. Laurie says:

    “Architecture” is about how humans interact with the land and their environment. It can be a creative expression, as well as necessarily deal with the realities of economics and ecology. Which is why I’ve chosen to move in my professional career into the arena of true sustainable habitation by limiting human impacts on the land, and using regenerative process to heal what’s been destroyed. I link up with other people taking up the cause: conservationists, biologists, watershed experts, geologists, engineers, artists and other designers in the cause of projects that serve human social as well as ecosystem needs. It’s a radical movement, but I think it will prevail and redefine the nexus of architectural services. Eventually the services provided will be of much more value than they are now.

    Lots of ways to do this, on my blog at Greensward Civitas.

  13. lemi says:

    I laugh at the lack of money but more at the hollywood fallacy about the prestige of the Architect. But i’m sickened when hollywood celebrities pursue the architect ‘inside of themselves’. chin up lads , architects making money are in the business of architecture and most of them are spitting out crap and driving new earopean cars and failing marriages. Lets compromise to the business of architecture only enough to put food on the table and leave time for the hypotheticals in preparation for that wonder patron. keep the fire burning.

  14. Chris says:

    The only way to make money in architecture is:
    1. to run your own practice. You have to be the boss, & not an employee. Fortunes will always favour those who take th risks of setting up there own practice, however modest
    2. Use the cash flow from your practice to undertake meaningful small property developments (ie become your own client in some small way. Do what your clients do)
    3. always have a project going on the side for yourself. Start small, and build from there.
    4. Use the stunning & clever projects you do for yourself to extend your brand to your cash flow clients.

    • Albert says:

      You suggest logical and reasonable strategies, Chris. In a few words it can be described as: be independent and be creative (in design & in business as well). Sounds great! Unfortunately life is not that simple and realization of these obvious steps is not easy at all… And very often, as architects say, the devil is in the details… )

      • Chris says:

        I hear you. It’s true this strategy may work well in certain places. I’m in Melbourne Australia, & I have employed this strategy consistently for 10 years now, after starting my practice in 1995. The 1st 5 years I made just about every business mistake possible for an architect, & found I had effectively bought myself a job. A couple of great developer clients & a smart accountant had turned my focus from getting rich from architecture to using the cash flow from my business to invest in property. In Oz good property is a very reliable investment, but I understand that it’s not necessarily like that everywhere. In any case, investing the cash flow in some other income producing or longe term investment is a sound strategy. Use your cash to plant income sources around you. I found property the best, because it tapped into something I had an intimate knowledge, and used my skills specifically as an architect. In the end the architect becomes his own client. Ultimately, I dream of ditching all of my cash flow clients, but I rekon that’s about 10 to 15 years away. It’s what I’m focusing towards. Until then I’m happy to build the practice conventionally, but always having I small project running parallel with the practice at a time. So far it seems to be working quiet well. Let’s hope the property market in Oz remains healthy. In the end, this parallel project work, has lead to us being more independent over the years. We can be a little more selective with the clients we now choose to take on, & we generally try to only take on clients that are willing to accept fair & reasonable fees. Because we are now a little more independent, we can tell the clients who like to squeeze architects fees to take a hike. In this way we can maintain a better balance. This is only my experience, & I’m happy to share it, especially if it gives other architects some hope, or guidance. Chris D

    • Alex says:

      If every architect becomes a boss, who are they going to be the boss of?
      i think this survey refers to the other architects… the ones that are necessary for bosses to exist.

  15. In Mexico

    Starter $ 5,000 – 7,000 (USD) per annum
    5-10 yrs experience $ 17,000 – 20,000 (USD) per annum
    with Master or PhD degree + experience $ 25,000 – 40,000 (USD) per annum

  16. mushmelon says:

    In USA, near Washington DC… I am licensed architect and LEED AP after having worked my way to this point after starting as an intern draftsman some 25 yrs ago at $13,000 USD per annum. I now make $75,000 per annum and feel it is below market rate for a good economy, but better than good under the current circumstances.

    I realize I will never be rich working for an employer, however, I am deeply grateful to have a job at all; particularly one that i enjoy- and it enables me to support a small family in a modest degree of comfort thanks to some prudence and a lot of luck.

    Thank you for this informative blog. I see that worldwide we share many of the same problems, and should consider myself even more fortunate..

    Best of luck to all of you. I sincerely hope that the global recession turns around soon and we can all enjoy better times ahead.

    • bnan7 says:


      I have a freelance job in D.C. but live in the West. Could use some pointers on design in that area.

      • mushmelon says:

        What sort of job? In the District? Step 1: Do your permit / regulatory homework- but don’t expect the guidance you get not to change during the course of the project. Have contingencies for AHJ requirements changing… check DC Green Communities if applicable… note local job creation requirements… etc.

  17. gnomasaurus says:

    I can try to throw in some numbers about the salaries of architects in Turkey
    an architect working for a municipality gets paid around 2200-3000 TL monthly as net income. (1€ equals roughly 2,5 TL so lets say 880 – 1200 €/mo.)
    this is the good pay with 9-5 jobs 5 days a week.
    for people who are working for private companies the ranges seem to be:
    1-5 years of exp. 1000-1500 TL / mo. (400 to 600 €/mo.)
    5+ years of exp. with master or phd. 2000-4000 TL / mo. ( 800 to 1600€/mo.)
    we are talking about at least 50hr weeks, so lets stay optimistic and say 200 hrs. in a month

    1-5 years of exp. 2-3 €/hr net income
    5+ years of exp. with master or phd. 4-8€/hr. net income

  18. Suzanne says:

    Depressing but so very true. I’m “second thinking” it after 20 years….a shame really. The economy in the US has devastated careers. It’s no wonder the work, production, has gone over seas. Those are “sweatshop” numbers trained people are willing to work. It’s for sure a dying proffesion with “DNR” forms signed.

  19. Kayla says:

    Emm I really do need some help here. I am now fresh out of college and was thinking majoring architecture in university. I knew the economics was and is still really bad, but I kept on convincing myself to just do it and pursue what I like. But after seeing this, I’m really worried now and is really rethinking my option. Maybe I should just pursue engineering? Will I be regret later on in my life? Help??

    • bnan7 says:

      Do what you’re passionate about and you’ll find a way to make money at it. Architects who adapt to the shift happening in the market will identify new opportunities, evolving with the market rather than being left behind by it. Many industries are experiencing a shift and teh leaders are those who respond to rather than ignore the trends. Find a forward-thinking firm to start with and never stop learning.

      • George says:

        Do something that will pay you enough to create the opportunity to explore your passion. Otherwise you will drown in depression and not have enough money or years or energy left to pursue your creative dreams. If you have very wealthy parents, then go for it and design your folks a vacation home and get it into a magazine and build a practice on the backs of economic support. If not, don’t do it!!!!!! This is the real world!

  20. bnan7 says:

    I agree with the general message of this data, but seriously wonder if people from any profession would answer the same; don’t most people feel overworked and underpaid?

  21. Stefano says:

    Very nice blog.
    In Italy the real conditions of architects working for employers are usually terrible. The majority of the studios, big and small, rely on interns. Internships are never paid.
    If you make it through your internship months after having to deal with very high expenses, you might get offered a monthly salary of around 700-800 euros a month before taxes. In addition to this, you are required to work very long hours (a minimum of 10 a day often Saturdays included plus crazy overtime for submissions) and almost for certain you are asked to register yourself as a private freelancer, so that the employer can benefit of you as a regular employee but never pay for your insurance and pension, no paid holidays, no maternity leave, no overtime refunded, no contract defining the working relationship, and very high taxes because, from the state’s point of view, you’re a professional and are supposed to be well-off.
    This situation usually never improves year after year. I received a bonus from a well renown studio after 2y of work of 50 euros a month before taxes, so something like 30 net. After 3y I was making 1000 euros a month before taxes, so just about 600 net, Consider that the rent in a city like Florence jumps up to 400 euros a month for a single room in a shared apartment, utilities are 100 euros month, a pizza costs more than 10 euros and it’s not even that great!
    If you open your own practice, you just end up increasing the group of the self-employed, one-person run, one-person employed firms in Italy, with no projects to begin with, no money to be made, no clients whatsoever. In both cases, as a waiter in university I used to make much more money and had a lot more free time.
    After that,I left Italy and came to China, and here at least we are paid decently. Nobody’s rich as an architect, but you get contracts and holidays and life costs little. Projects are often interesting even though Chinese clients are usually awful pretentious new rich people expecting to go from concept design to built towers in 9 months. Nevertheless, after 5 years in Beijing, I can really look at my future in a different way now, and understand the meaning behind the word “possibilities”.
    Keep with the good work on this website.

  22. Costin says:

    Hi to all,
    It’s very sad to hear about the negative part of this profession.
    ” I see poor people” indeed.
    But what is more disturbing for me in this title is the contrast. We, as architects, are so “rich” and some of us, so poor. After 4-6 years of hardwork, struggle and loss of almost all your friends you end up getting paid a lot less of what you should be paid, no matter from wich country you are.
    And some of the employers treat you (how i like to say) like office rats. They just want you to work a lot more than you should and if they can pay you less than agreed or nothing, it would be perfect for them. Not to mention the clients. Most of them don’t even know the skills, abilities, inteligence, passion that you have to invest in this proffesion to be able to do a goog architecture. They don’t even apperciate it. Most of them are not educated enough to understand the effort and investment that an architect makes. And sometimes, the hard part for an architect is to educate his client.

    I read above someone’comment: “Will I be regreting later on in my life?”
    Why do some of us have to queston that? It’s not fair…this amazing profession is not apreciated as it should be.

    My way of looking to all of this is: if it’s you’re passion, you’ll find a way to make money with it.
    “Things are not hard to do. Hard is to put yourself in the state to make them.” Constantin Brancusi – that is my motto and i think some people will find it appropiate for our job.

    I apreciate your post Albert. I am not trying to get someone’s oppinion or reply. I just felt like I could speak out my mind.

  23. Chris says:

    I’m a young architect from Poland (2yrs xp) and I’m pretty convinced I will leave the proffession as soon as I can. I work at my father’s design studio, he’s also an architect. If it wasn’t for my mother, who is a child doctor, I would be going hungry. I work 260-300 hours per month for the equivalent of roughly 350 euros, sometimes I don’t even get that. And that’s the money a boss gives to his own son, meaning others get even less. A trainee construction worker earns more than I do for less work time. I teach the english language to kids to pay the bills when I have the time. That is, when I get a day off to recover from a 30 hour crunch because a deadline has to be met. One guy who was working with us had turned into an alcoholic because of the working conditions and had to quit because he couldn’t take the stress. Most clients treat us like garbage, claiming we “only make some scribbles on paper, everyone could do that” and that “computers do everything for you, anyways” and demand we make sweeping changes to generally complete designs overnight, threatening not to pay us for our work. Unfortunately there’s no good way to force them to. Legal cases like this take up to five years to reach a verdict in court, and we pretty much can’t afford a lawyer anyway. When someone talks to me about sticking to my job because of the passion of designing architecture, well, sorry but to me that’s a pretty much humiliating joke straight to my face.

    • mka says:

      Chris, I think you exaggerate a bit. Maybe that deepens on the region in Poland but I live in Warsaw and I have some friends in Gdańsk. We work for approximately 900 – 1000 Euro a month. That is with 3 – 4 years experience. I think the estimation in the article is correct.

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  25. fahmi says:

    Hi, I live Indonesia. I earned $2.5/hr with 2.5 yr exp. the chart is correct afterall. the most depressing part of being architect in Indonesia is, not only the clients underestimating the value of an idea, but some people who -so called- themselves as an architect also ruining the profession. I try making extra money by helping a friends of my friends to designing her house. I named the price for her, based on per sqm. I used per sqm cause that’s the only way she understand to calculate the fee. she’s not accept my price cause she found on some website somebody offer a design fee about $1 / sqm! that’s just about 10% of my proposal. meanwhile the common price for an A3 sized working drawing by professional drafter is about $10/sheet. try to see those kind of websites, it’s true they offer some low fee and fast working. it turns out they apparently stole somebody’s design by googling images of houses, offering to the clients to choose and make the preliminary drawing themselves. it’s like your french fancy restaurant can’t compete with mcdonald’s.

  26. mushmelon says:

    I just went back to the chart at the top of the page… and think your figures for the US are overestimated. $30k to start may be about right, but 7-9 yr experience should be more like $45-55k, and 20 yr experience more like $70-90k. It is unrealistic to expect $150k unless you are the principal in a very successful firm.

  27. djimy says:

    i’m a fresh graduate architect from algeria , and i make 250 USD per month ,,haha,, what a shame

  28. Алина says:

    Sorry me, please, I have no relationship to architects. But I ‘ll say that the teachers don’t get more money, than the architects. Teacher’s hourly rate is 10$/hour. If you have 18-hours week as I have, it’s easy to calculate, that you get about 720 $ or 25000 rub/month.Therefore we are working for the inspiration, too ! So, money isn’t the most important thing in our life.

  29. Shuva Chowdhury says:

    In Bangladesh the salary structure is so poor that no one can imagine. For every initial two years in job the amount stands maximum of 0.74 $ per hour and it will reach to 2.6 $ per hour only after having 8 years of experience. So the rest of the world’s architects are quite bit in better position compare to ours.

  30. praveen says:

    its crazy out here in India, I run a fairly successful practice in New Delhi and have executed projects all over the country and now in some places abroad. When I started work abt 22 yrs ago with one of the most renowned firms, we were paid a paltry sum less than 100 USD per month.
    Most of my classmates shifted their loyalties to other professions.Not much construction work was happening and I dare to say many generations of Architects were lost thus.
    As of now, a fresh grad gets paid about 500 USD per month in good offices in larger cities like Delhi and Mumbai going to 1000 USD pm for 5yrs exp.
    With tightening economy, the immediate future does not show more promise..
    But the mantra, as someone rightly suggested is to think of alternate streams of cash flow form related streams like real estate investments and being your own master. Of course one has to keep high standards of design and delivery

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  32. frengky says:

    I’m Indonesian, I’ve work for at least 5 years in office. My salary till now just around $1/hour, not because my boss sucks, it just because in here client doesn’t see an architect work as something that complicated. Lot of people see an architecture just like you take a picture from somewhere (book, web, bla bla bla) and put it in their project. So much creative and idealism young architect around me almost give up.

  33. Hinn Ong says:

    Singapore was left out of Asia. Breaks down roughly like this:
    Intern architect with decent credentials:
    $48,000 a year.
    Architect with 5-7 years experience:
    $60,000 a year. ( there are some with more)

    Yes architecture is a poor mans profession but if you are one of the very few that start your own firm and have good contacts amongst developers and influential people, then you could be quite well off. Unfortunately I do not have any of that so I am just stupidly breathing on “passion”.

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  1. […] via I see poor people « Archi Alternative. […]

  2. […] property managers and underwriters are “unprestigious.” Fine, but architecture pay is pure shit. (Check out the Italian guy making less than his cleaning lady.) It’s not even a rich kid […]

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