Architectural Project Manager: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become an architectural project manager. Learn about education and licensure requirements, employment outlook, and salary potential to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering AutoCAD Drafting & Design Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Architectural Project Manager?

Architectural project managers are generally licensed architects who've advanced to supervisory roles. They oversee groups of other architects while planning architectural and building projects. Managers will need to be responsible and organized, leading their group through the different steps of the job while keeping them motivated. Some of their duties can include setting up meetings between architects and clients, creating teams for projects, scheduling projects, budgeting, and creating building designs.

The following chart provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor of Architecture or Master of Architecture
Training Required Internship needed for licensure
Key Responsibilities Supervising projects and teams; managing clients; creating project design schedule and budgets
Licensure Required in all states, must pass the Architect Registration Exam
Job Growth (2014-2024) 7% (for all architects)*
Median Salary (2016) $69,911**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Are the Job Duties of an Architectural Project Manager?

As an architectural project manager, your main responsibility is to manage the development of architectural and building projects. You often work within an architectural firm, and are responsible for handling all of the practical and organizational details related to a particular architectural project. For example, you might facilitate meetings between the architects and clients, help to develop a project plan, assemble and manage a team of architects and assistants, oversee the creation of architectural designs, strategize a project schedule, and create a project budget.

You typically need to be a licensed architect in order to secure a position as an architectural project manager. You should have several years of experience working in architectural design before advancing to a project management position. You also need to have the ability to motivate and manage a crew of coworkers and take responsibility for the overall success of any particular project.

What Education Will I Need?

Most states require you to hold a professional degree in architecture before you can gain licensure and start working in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 123 schools in the United States with professional degree programs accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board. You can either enroll in a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) program, or you can complete a related bachelor's degree program as well as a graduate degree in architecture.

While you are enrolled in a professional architecture degree program, you study construction methods and materials, architecture, building design, building structures, computer-aided design, drafting, and mathematics. You might also choose to minor or concentrate in business, management, or urban planning if you are considering a career as an architectural project manager.

What Licensure and Training Options Are Available?

Every state in the United States requires you to gain licensure before you can become an architect and then an architectural project manager. Most states require you to have a professional degree program as well as three years of supervised training experience before you are eligible to earn licensure. You must also pass the Architect Registration Examination.

What Salary Can I Expect to Earn?

While the BLS reports that architects in general held about 93,720 jobs in the U.S. as of 2015, it does not report specific data for architectural project managers (www.bls.gov). However, according to PayScale.com, most architectural project managers earned between $47,608 and $98,490 per year as of 2016, with a median salary of $69,911.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Construction managers coordinate groups of construction workers. They also handle various components of a complete project, including planning, organizing, and budgeting. They must have a bachelor's degree in order to be employed in this position. Civil engineers design and build construction projects for buildings, roads, bridges, and various other infrastructure. They supervise the projects from start to finish. These professionals are also required to hold a bachelor's degree. Urban and regional planners create plans for how to use specific areas of land in order to develop communities and existing facilities that may have become disused into thriving centers for activity. These professionals must have a master's degree.

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