Solution ArchitectJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

A solution architect is a role in IT that assesses a business’s needs and shows how IT support can bring better business outcomes. This position will align IT strategy to help every business meet their goals. They also act as the liaison between the business department and the IT department, relaying information that each party may need to know. A solutions architect may develop cloud infrastructure, adopt new security measures, make a business more efficient, with IT solutions, and more. Part of being a good solution architect is finding the right fit for each and every customer.

Sample job description

[Your company name] is looking to hire a driven solution architect who is enthusiastic about working hand in hand with our business and IT department to implement the most effective IT strategies to accomplish our productivity goals. As a solution architect with our company, you will work very closely with our customers to formulate the perfect IT equation for their success. If you enjoy technical concepts and problem-solving conflicts that may arise, our company would make a great career fit for you!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Analyzing technological environment and enterprise specifics
  • Documenting requirements
  • Preparing the cross-sector infrastructure
  • Creating prototypes 
  • Aid customers in their technology selection
  • Fostering solution development
  • Finding the best solution to solve existing problems
  • Describing the ins and outs of software to project stakeholders

Education and experience

  • B.S. in computer science, information systems, or equivalent education or work experience
  • At least 10-12 years of IT management experience

Required skills and qualifications

  • Excellent skills in computer and operating systems
  • Proficient knowledge in infrastructure and engineering design
  • Efficient at DevOps
  • Familiar with system security measures
  • Proficient at business analysis and database management
  • Knowledgeable in cloud development and web platforms
  • Expert verbal and written communication skills
  • Risk management and identification skills
  • Mastery of software development process and technical skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Proficient in solution construction and management

Preferred qualifications

  • Master’s degree in computer science or a related engineering field
  • Equivalent work experience in software engineering
  • Google cloud experience
  • Comprehension of the current state of machine learning, cloud migrations, continuous integration/deployment, SQL/NoSQL, security, networking, and cloud-based delivery models

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a solutions architect is $129,100 per year in the United States. Salary may vary depending on where you are located, the size of the company you’re working for, and how experienced you are. 

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$135,900$166,150
Los Angeles, California$153,300$187,450
Denver, Colorado$127,800$156,200
Washington, DC$155,650$190,250
Miami, Florida$127,200$155,500
Orlando, Florida$117,350$143,400
Tampa, Florida$118,500$144,850
Atlanta, Georgia$124,300$151,950
Chicago, Illinois$142,900$174,650
Boston, Massachusetts$154,500$188,850
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$123,150$150,500
New York City, New York$162,650$198,800
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$132,450$161,850
Dallas, Texas$128,950$157,600
Houston, Texas$128,350$156,900
Seattle, Washington$148,700$181,750
National Average$116,150$142,000

Typical work environment

Solution architects spend the majority of their workday in meetings with clients, the IT department, and business departments, finding out their productivity goals and explaining how to achieve those goals using technology solutions and software. They also spend time in their offices brainstorming prospective solutions for customers’ business problems and how to implement those solutions. This includes drawing up a literal plan that each customer can most easily comprehend. 

Typical hours

A  solution architect can usually expect a 40-hour workweek. They may be expected to work weekends and holidays if they have a strict deadline for an important customer. Most of their office hours will not be spent in an office, but in a boardroom on a conference call or virtual meeting with a customer.

Available certifications

Solution architects can work with a variety of different companies and clientele so a variety of certifications is vital for a successful career.

  • Open Group Architecture Framework (OGAF). The OGAF is used by some of the world’s leading organizations to improve business efficiency. Certification is achieved by passing two exams. Renewal is not required. 
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE). The MCSE requires two-plus years of education or training along with at least two years of work experience. Candidates are expected to pass an oral or written exam. No renewal is required. 
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional – Architecture (CISSP). The CISSP is an appropriate credential for chief security architects but is also useful to solution architects in any specialty as companies value security very highly. In today’s world, you can’t be too careful with IT security. This certification requires two-plus years of training or education after high school. Candidates also must have two years of work experience and pass an oral or written exam. Certification renewal is required every three years. 
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate. This certification is intended for individuals who perform a solution architect’s role. It requires more than two years of work experience. Candidates must pass an oral or written exam. Recertification is required every two years. 
  • CCNP Service Provider Operations (CCNP). The CCNP requires candidates to pass an oral or written exam and renew certification every three years. 
  • Emergency Management Certification (EMC). The EMC requires a minimum of two years of education or training after high school. It also requires two-plus years of work experience. Candidates must pass an oral or written exam.

Career path

One of the easiest paths to becoming a solution architect is by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in information technology, computer science, software engineering, or another related field. Some candidates go on to pursue a graduate degree in related fields, such as information systems, which some employers prefer. 

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 15-1241

2020 Employment165,200
Projected Employment in 2030174,200
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 5% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift9,000 increase

With more and more companies leaving behind traditional advertising methods, i.e. newspapers, brochures, or posters, the need for solution analytics will most definitely climb over the next few years. As long as marketing exists, there will always be a need for problem-solving, and solution architects do it best. Solution architects will continue to bridge the gap between marketing and IT for years to come. Gaining additional certifications only increases marketability and guarantees your chance of becoming a solution architect. 

Sample interview questions

  • In your experience as a solution architect, tell me about your most innovative solution.
  • How would you protect against an injection attack?
  • Describe your security protocols.
  • As a solution architect, how do you support functional analysts?
  • What goals do you set for yourself as a solution architect?
  • How would coworkers at your old job describe you?
  • Are you comfortable speaking about technical topics?
  • Explain to me what your ideal day at work would look like.
  • What is your desired salary range?
  • What is your most prized professional achievement?
  • What qualities make you a good fit for the job?
  • What skills do you think a solution architect should possess?
  • What is your reason for leaving your previous job?
  • Tell me about your favorite part of being a solution architect.
  • How many years of experience do you have as a solution architect?
  • What are the strengths that aid you in fulfilling your role of solution architect? What about weaknesses?
  • Have you ever had a project be unsuccessful? Tell me about it.
  • Are you fluent in any coding languages? If so, what are they?
  • What educational background do you have that prepares you to be a solution architect?
  • Tell me about the projects in your portfolio.
  • How would you improve our existing software? How would you go about implementing those changes?

Are You Interested in Becoming a Solution Architect?

If you are interested in becoming a solution architect, we are ready to connect you to one of our headhunters or recruiters to see if you are a perfect fit for one of our available job openings. If a job does not suit you, we will always keep you in mind as new positions open up. We have vast experience connecting professionals with some of the most well-known organizations in the country. Your next job or career path could be right around the corner. Take a look at our latest job openings and our blog for career advice.

Similar Job Titles and Careers

  • Business Systems Analyst
  • Computer Engineer
  • Data Architect
  • Systems Administrator
  • Systems Analyst

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