Senior Architect/Designer How to Hire, Salary Data, and Job Descriptions

What is a Senior Architect/Designer?

Every building, no matter how large or small, is the result of a team of talented professionals working — often behind the scenes — to design and build it. One of the most important members of this team is the senior architect/designer. 

Senior architects/designers bring considerable experience to their roles. They lead many aspects of architectural projects, as well as oversee junior members of the design team. They wear many hats, often representing their firm or organization to clients and the public as needed. 

The role of senior architect/designer is typically a very busy one with many responsibilities. Leading a design team and playing an instrumental role in bringing ideas to life can be very rewarding. 

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Average Salary and Compensation

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

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

$130,900

How to Hire a Senior Architect/Designer

Consider the following when hiring a senior architect/designer:

  • Recruiting: Do you have the internal resources and tools to source and recruit for this role successfully?
  • Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid, or even junior-level skills suffice?
  • Duration: Is this a one-time project, or an indefinite need?
  • Management: Can you effectively direct the work effort?
  • Urgency: Are there any deadlines associated with this need?
  • Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?

Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, various great options exist for every scenario, no matter how unique. We recommend the following options when hiring a senior architect/designer:

1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)

The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.

This is the best route to take when:

  • You need to fill the position quickly
  • You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
  • You intend to hire on a temporary, contract, or contract-to-hire basis and direct the work activity
  • You are hiring a direct employee but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff
  • You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
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2. Advertise your opening on a top job board

Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice. 

We recommend using a job board when:

  • Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
  • You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort 
  • You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
  • You are prepared to respond to all applicants

There are many career sites out there. Here are the two we recommend for a senior architect/designer opening:

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses. With this popular job site, you can enhance your brand and advertise your open position to a wide audience of motivated, qualified candidates. Job postings on LinkedIn are also extremely streamlined and user-friendly, making it even easier for candidates to apply. Additionally, applicants can use their LinkedIn profile instead of a resume to expedite the process. 

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CareerBuilder

CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.

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3. Leverage your internal resources

You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates. 

A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.

We recommend these options when:

  • Your brand has great name recognition
  • You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
  • You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
  • You have an effective employee referral program in place

If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.

Sample Job Descriptions

Example 1

What you will do:

  • 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

Qualifications:

  • 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 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.

**PLEASE SUBMIT RESUME AND PORTFOLIO FOR CONSIDERATION.**

Qualifications:

  • 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

Education:

  • 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.

Requirements:

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.

Responsibilities/skills:

  • 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

  • What is the role of a senior architect?
  • What skills are most important to a senior architect?
  • How do you delegate tasks among your team?
  • How do you deal with a difficult client?
  • What are some of your strengths? Your weaknesses?
  • What are your career goals?
  • 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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