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What Does a Software Architect Do? - Salary & Job Description

Discover if being a software architect is a good fit with your interests. This article describes what software architects do and what it takes to become one.

Career Overview

Software architecture is a growing, well-paying field with several related careers. Explore the duties and responsibilities of software architects, educational requirements for the position, pay scale and other information to determine if this is a job in which you would be interested.

Degree RequiredBachelor's degree(Master's degree helpful)
Skills RequiredExtensive computer programming skills
Job Growth (2018-2028)21% (for software developers)**
Mean Salary (2019)$140,419 (for software architect)*

Source: *indeed.com, **Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Does a Software Architect Do?

Software architects are the developers and overseers of entire computer systems and software programs. They help businesses and organizations of all types develop unique software solutions for their particular needs. They design programs and write code to help solve complex business problems often within the IT department of a large organization. Software architects will troubleshoot computer, code and application problems to find solutions that will work with the most up to date computer systems and software. They may develop standards and give direction to software engineers, programmers and others to use to implement the solutions and goals designed by the software architect.

What Kind of Education Does a Software Architect Need?

Software architects need a bachelor's degree and a master's degree being required by some employers. They need extensive knowledge of computer programming and computer operating systems. Software architects need to have extensive knowledge several programming platforms such as JavaScript, C++, HTML, SQL, open source software and others. They need to know how to manage large software projects and be comfortable with team management.

What Is the Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 21% job growth for software developers, a closely related profession, between 2018 and 2028. The same source reports faster than average growth for other related fields such as computer systems analysts, web developers and computer research analysts.

How Much Do Software Architects make?

According to payscale.com software architects make between $89,000 and $180,000 per year with the average pay being about $123,355 per year. Pay increases with experience and job location is also important with technology hubs such as San Francisco, Seattle and Boston paying higher salaries, on average, than cities such as Dallas and Houston.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Several careers are related to software architect. Some of them are software engineer, software developer .NET architect, iOS architect, Java architect and mobile architect. UI developer and IT manager are other options.