The designers of the country, the person behind bringing the envisioned to life, and the one who spends endless hours making designs come from 2D to 3D, when asked how much they earn, the answer is usually a sarcastic grin and disappointed smile. Yes, this is how architects respond to questions of annual income and monthly in-hand income, because of the way they are paid and how much they receive, they consider it to be not only shameful but also find it worthy to pity themselves.

In a country where thousands of architects graduate every year and hundreds of them get their master’s degrees, the supply has become more than required. This has substantially increased the competition amongst the architects and thus somehow lead to the overexploitation of skill, labor, and talent all at the same time.

However, this trend doesn’t start only a student gets graduated, it starts right from their internship program in college where the pay-scale ranges from zero to a maximum of 12k. When compared to students belonging to engineering, medical, or law fraternity, one can notice an immense diversion as there the pay scale is much-much higher than what the architecture-under graduates receive.

This gets carried forward to once they graduate and continues to remain so for many years ahead. On average a fresher in a role as an associate has an annual income of 10-18k per month which yields to a package of around 1.2- 3.8 lakhs per annum. This includes an expected appraisal in salary every year by 10-20% in the best firms in the country. As per the facts and figures taken by a recent survey, the average monthly salary range for female architects in their mid-career in India – is ₹ 54166 to ₹ 112500, and the average salary range for male architects in their mid-career in India – is ₹ 745200 to ₹ 125500

How much money does an architect make? - Sheet1
Architect’s average salary increment  in India as per 2022 ©
How much money does an architect make? - Sheet2
architect salary comparison by gender_©

As one gets to experience and continues to work in the same firm while still developing his/her skill sets and required assets, after they reach a level of a senior manager, it is observed that they get paid somewhere in the range of 50-70k per month and further increases to 80k to a maximum of 1.2 lakhs on becoming the Executive Architect of the firm.

How much money does an architect make? - Sheet3
Salary comparison by years of experience, ©

If this range of income is compared with that of engineers, it brings a mountain of disappointment on the shoulders of the beholder, as what an architect earns after working for 3-4 years, is the same amount that an engineer is expecting as his bare minimum salary right after graduating for a position of fresher. This shows the disparity between professions and how underpaying is evident in a field as prominent as Architecture, where one pays lakhs for the elaborate 5-year course just to get paid in pennies.  

With the bitter truth with which the professionals live, they tend to find ways to make their living as per their standards as well as to uplift that by working as a freelancing architect, construction managers, project managers, UI/UX designers, Journalists, AI architects and many such allied fields where the results of their work are seen sooner or they are paid more or the chances of getting faster pay hikes is more. The range of possible professional fields after graduation doesn’t end here. Many of them even tend to do part-time jobs as assistant professors or as visiting faculty at universities or even take architectural entrance exam preparation classes, working a few hours extra than their standard practice. Lastly, what most architects aim at doing is work in the same firm for a year or two, gain experience and professional practice techniques, and then either go for studying master’s degree in profound Institutes (mostly them being in abroad, and if in India, the choices are restricted to SPA Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, and CEPT Ahmedabad) or start their firm in the cities or towns they belong to. 


Seeing this standard practice and behavior of architects, it is evident that to have a better income, having a firm of their own is considered best.

When the scenario is compared to foreign countries like Singapore, France, Australia, the United States, Dubai, and Canada, the situation is slightly better with fresher architects earning between 3-4 thousand dollars. This yields in many of them having further studies and then settling there thus ultimately making the Indian talent go away. With the entire conversation and after going through the facts and figures, it can be said that somewhere architecture is a profession struggling in terms of the pay scale, long working hours, no benefits on joining a firm, and exploitation of skills and labor. However, as this field opens up several career opportunities even after their immediate future, somehow or the other one maintains to sustain themselves in the fast-growing expensive world.

With a lot going in the present times, architects would need to stick together as a fraternity to have a stand against the odds, make a bareable position for themselves and get valued for the work they do, thus saving from the water to gush into the ship and make it sink faster than ever. The guidelines, the rules and regulations, the restrictions imposed, and most importantly the degrading value for the work we do, all have and will continue to leave a negative impact on the upcoming generation,. However, a few amendments and would ensure the betterment and prosperity of the profession.



Unknown, Ambitionbox,, 11.9.22

Unkown, Salaryexplorer,,11.9.22



Masira is an undergraduate student at Sir J.J. College of Architecture, a passionate designer, learner, and self-taught writer. She aims to learn a wide variety of architectural topics and to research them extensively to increase her knowledge bank. She believes that architecture is means of shaping people's lives and making this world not only liveable but habitable too.

Write A Comment