How to Become a Principal Architect

Step 1: Understand the job description and responsibilities of a Principal Architect

What does a Principal Architect do?

A Principal Architect manages and supervises all related activities of a staff of architects and technicians. Directly manages the development of architectural designs and preliminary construction details. Being a Principal Architect ensures architectural design work is completed on time and adheres to the established specifications and standards. Directs development of new methods or techniques. Additionally, Principal Architect may prepare project schedules, bids, or proposals. Requires a bachelor's degree. Requires a state architect's license. Typically reports to a head of a unit/department. The Principal Architect manages a departmental sub-function within a broader departmental function. Creates functional strategies and specific objectives for the sub-function and develops budgets/policies/procedures to support the functional infrastructure. To be a Principal Architect typically requires 5+ years of managerial experience. Deep knowledge of the managed sub-function and solid knowledge of the overall departmental function.

People's Opinions on Principal Architect responsibilities

A principal architect serves as one of the owners in an architectural design firm.

01/19/2020: Scranton, PA

In a single-person firm, the founder not only serves as the principal architect, but also handles all business and design decisions on his own.

12/07/2019: Omaha, NE

Large firms may have multiple principals, and the responsibilities for each of these individuals can vary from business to business.

12/23/2019: Albany, GA

The principal in an architectural firms fills a similar role to partners or principals in other professional businesses, such as legal firms or medical offices.

01/01/2020: Provo, UT

Unlike staff architects, principals at a design firm are responsible for decisions related to business management.

12/02/2019: Sacramento, CA
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Step 2: Learn best tips to become a Principal Architect

Best tips for those who want to become a Principal Architect

Here are some tips to become a Principal Architect.

Step 3: View best colleges and universities for Principal Architect

Best colleges and universities for Principal Architect

  • Cooper Union
  • Princeton University
  • Columbia University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Wellesley College
  • Yale University

Step 4: Think about whether is it worth to be a Principal Architect

Is being a Principal Architect Worth it?

People's Opinions on lifestyles

Program Architect, CommunicationsProgram Architect, CommunicationsVlocitySingapore1 week ago.

01/30/2020: Waterloo, IA

Second, look at the type of work the architect has done in the past to see what they excel at and what their limitations might be.

03/02/2020: Lowell, MA

With a truly diverse and international background, Greg is an experienced Architect & Design professional with a demonstrated 25 years of experience in the AEC, Planning and Real Estate industry.

01/17/2020: Daytona Beach, FL

Greg has worked for renown Architects abroad in Seoul, Korea and Osaka/Kyoto, Japan.

01/31/2020: Rapid City, SD

Working with an architect is typically very different than working with a designer.

12/31/2019: Greensboro, NC
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Step 5: Prepare relevant skills for being a Principal Architect

What skills do you need to be a Principal Architect?

A manager is often judged based on the success of their team and those working below them, as such, many skills are needed.  Success in this role depends on a critical ability in the following: Architecture, Building Codes, Computer Aided Drafting & Design (CADD), Construction Estimating, Project Management, Project Planning.  Skills may vary from job-to-job, but these skills are the ones most commonly associated with this role.

People's Opinions on Principal Architect skills

Experience in managing design sessions with technology architects, developers and analysts to achieve design alignment.

01/22/2020: Columbus, GA

Experience with enterprise class and scale application architect, design, development and deployment in an Agile environment.

02/12/2020: Rapid City, SD

Provides direction for diverse and complex initiatives and is accountable for a variety of tasks to architect and deliver data warehousing solutions that exceed customer expectations in content, usability, accuracy, reliability and performance while assuming a leading role within agile teams (both on-shore and off-shore).

12/24/2019: Troy, NY

A principal architect is a licensed and experienced design professional who usually holds a senior management position at an architectural firm.

11/28/2019: Temple, TX

According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), this individual is often a co-founder or partner of a firm, in which both parties usually have previous experience of working together.

02/06/2020: Alamogordo, NM
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Step 6: View average salary for Principal Architect

How much does a Principal Architect make?

The average salary range for a Principal Architect is from $125,371 to $158,503. The salary will change depending on your location, job level, experience, education, and skills.

Salary range for a Principal Architect
$125,371 to $158,503

Step 7: Find relevant Principal Architect jobs, and apply.

Looking for Principal Architect jobs?

Here are some Principal Architect jobs in the United States.

Search Principal Architect Jobs in the United States

Step 8: Explore Career Path of Principal Architect