Senior Architectural Designer Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Senior Architectural Designer Do?

Senior architectural designers lead the design and development of architectural projects for commercial buildings, residential homes, and public spaces. Their responsibilities include interpreting client briefs, preparing designs, and planning projects. They also manage the engineering and construction teams, ensuring projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the highest quality standards.

Successful senior architectural designers focus equally on aesthetic and functional considerations. They must apply creative thinking when designing while maximizing space usage and meeting all functional requirements. The role requires an ability to communicate and collaborate with clients, engineers, contractors, and other team members. They often wear many hats, which include managing junior staff, presenting new design concepts, and representing their firm or organization to clients and the public as needed. 

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National Average Salary

Senior architectural designer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site

The average U.S. salary for a Senior Architectural Designer is:


Senior Architectural Designer Job Descriptions

The first step when hiring a great senior architectural designer is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.

Example 1


  • Demonstrate creativity, foresight, and architectural judgment in developing architectural solutions
  • Produce construction documents using REVIT
  • Understand construction assemblies and best practices
  • Actively coordinate design and equipment with consultants and other disciplines
  • Research and select building products and compose written specifications
  • Participate in project meetings and document discussions through meeting minutes
  • Actively participate in quality assurance/quality control review sessions at project milestones
  • Compile all documentation required to submit projects to Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) for review and approval. Tracks submissions and responds to comments and requests from AHJs as required to obtain permits
  • Manages project through Construction Administration phase by routing RFIs and shop drawings to the appropriate team member, responding to RFIs, reviewing shop drawings, issuing ASIs and RFPs, and reviewing pay applications
  • Travel to and visit project construction sites to observe construction progress and compose field report. (Site visits may require travel involving both day trips and some overnight stays to out of town project locations)
  • Continually learns and stays informed of new systems, methods, and sustainable practices to benefit the collective team and clients
  • Actively supports strategic goals of the firm, studio, department, and manager, as well as understands how your actions contribute to them

Key success factors:

  • Self-motivated; ability to work independently and in a team environment to coordinate and maintain positive working relationships with other design professionals
  • Excellent problem solver and independent thinker with good listening skills and strong follow-through
  • Excellent graphic, communication, organizational, and collaborative skills
  • Willingness to work on a variety of project types, building typologies, and architectural styles
  • Strong proficiency modeling in REVIT and SketchUp
  • Growing understanding of building codes and how to apply them


  • Professional degree from an NAAB-accredited architecture school
  • Commitment to obtaining licensure as an architect
  • Preferred 3 to 10 years of professional experience
  • Experience working on hospitality and/or multi-family housing projects
  • LEED or similar accreditation preferred
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States for any employer without any restrictions or visa sponsorship

Example 2

An ABC Company Senior Architectural Designer is passionate about design and takes leadership. This individual will be the go-to person to use their high level technical/computer design skills to turn ideas into reality. The ideal candidate must be able to quickly and readily generate concepts for multi-family, hospitality, and mixed-use design in a fast-paced studio environment using advanced skills in SketchUp, Revit, and Adobe Suite.

The successful candidate must have the ability to express oneself clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing, and communicate ideas in presentations to firm leaders, team members, and clients. They must also possess strong architectural design and planning skills. An exceptional portfolio representing recent work is required to be presented during the interview.



  • Strong design and form-giving skills required
  • 6 – 10 years of experience in architecture, with minimum of 5 years in multi-family and mixed use design
  • Proficient in Sketch-Up, Revit, and Adobe Suite
  • Ability to create architectural designs and concepts through hand sketching and digital media
  • Experience with several housing types, building typologies, and vocabularies
  • Possesses strong architectural design and planning skills
  • Knowledge of major code issues and construction types
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills


  • Bachelors in Architecture required
  • (State) licensed architect preferred

Example 3

A Senior Architectural Designer is responsible for implementing all architectural project(s), including Design, Construction Documents, Permitting, Bidding, and Construction Administration. Included are coordination with and responsibility for communicating with other disciplines and the client.


A Senior Architectural Designer shall have 8 years of experience as an Architectural Designer or Project Coordinator. This position requires a thorough understanding of building construction methods and techniques and advanced knowledge of the applicable codes.


  • Revit Experience
  • Maintains C-P/Client standards and QC throughout projects
  • Assists PM in setting scope and budget
  • Assists client’s interests in public hearings and meetings
  • Capable as serving as the main P.O.C. for a project or running projects
  • Assists in providing full CA services
  • Assists in proposal preparation
  • Run projects with minimal oversight from PM/PA
  • Production, designs, CDs, and have an understanding of specs
  • Complete scope within allotted time/budget
  • Manage permitting process/response to comments
  • Manage bidding procedures
  • Field assistance with CA
  • Research and apply applicable codes/contact with AHJs
  • Coordinate with other disciplines, runs kickoff meeting
  • Main P.O.C. with limited input from PM or Principal
  • Coordinate Owner revisions, RFIs, and AHJ comments
  • Coordinate Peer review and QC of documents
  • Design & produce architectural designs/CDs/specifications
  • Checks completed work against markups prior to returning to PA
  • Incorporates C-P/Client drafting standards and conventions into CDs
  • Prepares plans and details from sketches/redlines
  • Receives and sends drawings electronically
  • Other duties as assigned

Sample Interview Questions

  • Describe your experience leading architectural design projects.
  • What is your largest project to date?
  • What was your most challenging design project (and why)?
  • What has been your most rewarding project?
  • What was your most difficult construction project (and why)?
  • What skills are most important for a senior architect to have?
  • How do you delegate tasks among your team?
  • How do you deal with a difficult client?
  • What are some of your strengths? Your weaknesses?
  • Which software tools have you used for design?
  • Which software applications have you used for project management?
  • How do you approach balancing aesthetics and function?
  • When have you had to troubleshoot a design problem during construction? What was the outcome?
  • What is the balance between design style and structure?
  • What was your biggest success as an architect?
  • How do you handle multiple tasks at the same time?
  • What is your leadership style?
  • How do you prioritize your work as an architect?
  • How do you ensure that a building is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations?

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