Principal ArchitectJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Principal architects serve as the leading architectural voice at their firms, guiding design projects for buildings and structures. They discuss requirements with clients, negotiate contracts, create building plans, incorporate building systems, collaborate with construction engineers, and report to clients. Principal architects also oversee and often mentor other members of their firm, and develop and manage relationships with clients. The role is a crucial one and holds great responsibility.

Sample job description #1

In this leadership role, you act as a figurehead for commercial clients in all senses: collaborate in project ideation, project review, align and define strategic pursuits based, mentoring, and client attraction and retention, as well as playing a role in defining and communicating the brand. Join an established and industry leader in architecture and design.

Ideal candidate attributes

  • Leader in commercial architecture projects
  • Business Development – track record of winning projects
  • Highly organized, detail-driven, and conscientious
  • Leadership quality and capability
  • A proactive and positive attitude
  • An outgoing personality with a team-focused approach


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in Architecture from an accredited school
  • 10-15+ years of architecture experience, with recent commercial architecture experience
  • Architectural Registration
  • LEED accreditation and/or WELL accreditation strongly preferred
  • Experience working with firms for thoughtful design solutions to complex, larger-scale client requirements.
  • Track record of winning work through in-depth knowledge of commercial building trends in the area
  • Genuine business development acumen
  • Knowledge of political, social, and economic factors affecting commercial building in the local market
  • An established network of influences/industry professionals who rely on you as much as you rely on them for ideas and information
  • Strong ability to think strategically
  • Leadership, collaboration, and team-building skills
  • Compelling personal presence with strong oral, written, and graphic communications skills

Sample job description #2

We hire based on “MET” – Mindset, equipment, and willingness to train and seek individuals that take accountability and deliver results being Humble, Hungry to succeed, and Hunting for opportunities to win. We train our team to engage with each other by modulating between their intellect (iQ) and emotional intelligence (eQ) applying Facts, Finesse, and Force when they communicate.


  • Development and solutions architecture for website and future customer facing properties across fleet, consumer
  • Partner with SME’s to Identify, recommend, and implement advanced technical solutions and product innovations across the company’s ecosystem
  • Mentor peers and consult with technical partners on best practices for advancing and integrating in support and consideration of the company’s enterprise and product roadmaps
  • Integrations and customization of controls and elements within Salesforce platform
  • Extending Contentful CMS capabilities to further enable internal content partners and publishers
  • Partner with DevOps to implement best practices and controls around repository and source control, deployments, testing, and refining a mature and consistent standard for continual integrations
  • Author Solutions Architecture Documentation and Dev/Contributor-facing resources for compliance teams within Confluence, Team Portal, or other KT platforms
  • Set strategy and frameworks for integrations with data, security, and other critical partner systems
  • Translate functional and creative requirements and assets into standardized production elements, reusable libraries, and extensible development kits
  • Partner with UX/UI Developers and Designers to fulfill creative vision and extend a unified experience across properties and digital product landscape
  • Support Agile ceremonies and provide technical analysis and solution reviews to provide accurate story and overall scope estimates
  • Lead strategy, specifications, governance, and implementation of product and service APIs and required gateways for owned and external system integrations


  • Experienced in frontend technologies including ReactJS, AngularJS, WebPack, RequireJS, Bootstrap, Materialize, JQuery, Gulp, JSON, Java script, html5, CSS, etc.
  • 5+ years experience with HTML5, CSS, Responsive web design, and UX/UI principals
  • Working proficiency with development tooling. ESLint, Strorybook, webpack, etc.
  • Advanced knowledge of software development methodologies. FP, OOP, etc.
  • Experience with Automated testing. Bonus: Cypress and Browserstack
  • Proficient with key DevOps tools including Jenkins, Maven, Gradel, Docker, XLRelease, JFrog, Git, JIRA, Bitbucket
  • Extensive experience in AWS services and serverless technologies including EC2, ECS, ECR, S3, Lambda, Terraforms, Cloud Formation, Glue Catalog, CloudWatch, CloudTrail, SQS, SNS, IAM, DynamoDB, Kinesis, KMS, EMR, Elastic Search, etc.
  • Efficient with common styling libraries including Chakra, StyledComponents, mui, etc.
  • Expert in core dev methodologies and principles including AOP, MVC, JMS, Actuator, JPA, ORM, Test, and security modules
  • Extensive experience with a broad array of industry standard libraries and modern frameworks including Cloud Foundry, Java 8, NodeJS, Netflix libraries, and Spring’s Core

Desired skills

  • Experience with React SSG/SSR frameworks such as Gatsby or Next
  • Experience with Content management solutions such as Contentful, sanity, etc.
  • Knowledge of Salesforce Experience Cloud

Sample job description #3

A Principal Architect is a network automation leader who drives organization-wide baseline standards for the company. They are network automation gurus that are able to dive deep in code themselves, provide peer review, and are experts in network automation architecture and design. They have the ability to clearly and concisely communicate highly technical concepts in a way anyone can understand including senior leadership as well as technical peers.

A day in the life

  • Builds and documents the comapny’s architecture and associated training material
  • Develops the reusable tooling that empowers the solutions that the company brings to their customers
  • Advises the technical delivery teams on network automation architecture
  • Connects the business needs of the client(s) with technical delivery plan(s); together with the Managing Consultants (MC), owns the definition of the technical design to meet the objectives and requirements of the higher-level business needs of the customer(s)
  • Supports the company’s sales teams to help determine and craft project SOWs, budget, and timelines for network automation projects
  • Provides support in developing functional and technical specifications
  • Performs peer reviews, guidance, and contributes to best practices of code
  • Translates manual workflows into high-level and low-level designs
  • Develops well-written technical documentation and assessments for both clients and internal needs
  • Quickly adopts new technologies and continuously demonstrates technical excellence
  • Supports sales and meets with potential clients within the presales process as a network automation subject matter expert (SME)

What you bring

  • Passion for customer experience and success
  • Solicitude in helping customers throughout their automation journey
  • Honesty and empathy to those around you on a daily basis
  • A focused and solution oriented approach necessary to see projects through to completion
  • Confidence and decisiveness in moving the ball forward while being flexible and open
  • Ability to demonstrate the latest technology in a way that resonates with customers
  • As a Principal leader, you will bring enthusiasm to coach and mentor engineers and Architects in the soft-skills of technical consulting, client-facing conversations, and technical network automation architecture

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a principal architect is $140,000 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$139,250$188,350
Los Angeles, California$157,100$212,500
Denver, Colorado$130,900$177,100
Washington, DC$159,450$215,750
Miami, Florida$130,300$176,300
Orlando, Florida$120,200$162,600
Tampa, Florida$121,400$164,200
Atlanta, Georgia$127,350$172,250
Chicago, Illinois$146,350$198,050
Boston, Massachusetts$158,250$214,150
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$126,150$170,650
New York City, New York$166,600$225,400
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$135,650$183,550
Dallas, Texas$132,100$178,700
Houston, Texas$130,900$177,100
Seattle, Washington$152,300$206,100
National Average$119,000$161,000

Sample interview questions

  • Why did you want to become an architect?  
  • Tell me about a time that someone you managed was not doing their job correctly. What did you do?
  • Where do you see your career heading in the next five years?
  • What do you do when you are falling behind when trying to meet a deadline? 
  • What do you like about management within architecture projects?
  • What do you not like about management within architecture projects?
  • Who is an architect you admire? Why?  
  • Can you describe how you delegate tasks in your team? 
  • How do you balance aesthetics and function in a project?  
  • Tell me about a time where your actions didn’t line up with your core values.
  • What is your ideal workspace environment?
  • What programs do you like to use when designing your projects? 
  • Tell me about your favorite project you have ever been a part of. What part did you play? 
  • Tell me about a time you made a mistake. How did you handle it? 
  • What expectations do you have for yourself as an architect?
  • Describe a time you received criticism from your supervisor. How did you respond to it? 
  • What trends do you think are important in architecture and design?

Principal Architect Jobs in Ashburn

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