If designing homes and buildings are your thing, then Tennessee is a good place to call home. In fact, the Volunteer State is actually the 15th best state for architects.
In Murfreesboro alone, there are 16-architects with an active architecture & engineering license and 2 with applications in process. In Smyrna, there are 3-architects with an active license, while only 1 lives in La Vergne and a second in Eagleville. In case you're curious, 3-licensed architects live in Lascassas and 433 call nearby Nashville home.
When looking at the bigger picture, there is not a lack of opportunity for architects throughout the U.S. An ongoing shortage of housing contributed to the dramatic spike in housing prices over the last two years, illustrating a need for professionals who can help make design and construction more affordable and efficient. The threat of climate change has further increased interest in designers with expertise in energy efficiency, sustainability, and resilience. And the landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in 2021 will pour billions of dollars into projects requiring the services of architects, engineers, and other design professionals.
A housing report released by MTSU earlier this month showed that single family home permits increased by 9.5% since last year in Tennessee. At the same time, the housing inventory in the Nashville market, which includes Murfreesboro, has dropped by 12.8%.
While demand for architects’ services appears likely to remain high and even grow in coming years, the future of overall employment in the field is more uncertain. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 3% growth in employment for architects by 2030, a rate slower than the average for all occupations. While retirements and transitions to different industries will continue to create job openings, improved software and technologies have made architects more productive. This means that fewer architects will be needed to handle similar volumes of work.
An architects’ earning potential can vary significantly between locations in the U.S. When adjusted for cost of living, the typical salary for an architect is highest in Arizona, where the median adjusted wage is $97,153 per year. The list of best-paying states also includes Alaska, Massachusetts, California, and New York.
These top states also host many of the best-paying cities for architects. Locations like Phoenix, Boston, the Bay Area, and New York City are fast-growing areas that provide plentiful opportunities for architects. Median wages in these locations far exceed the national median for architects, in some cases approaching six figures annually.
To determine the best-paying locations for architects, researchers at Construction Coverage analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The researchers ranked states according to the median annual wage for architects adjusted for local cost-of-living differences. In the event of a tie, the state with the higher unadjusted median annual wage for architects was ranked higher.
Tennessee ranks as the 15th best state for architects to earn a living. In the Volunteer State, the median annual wage for an architect is $85,426. The median annual wage nationwide is $80,180 annually.
Here is a summary of the data for Tennessee:
- Median annual wage for architects (adjusted): $85,426
- Median annual wage for architects (actual): $78,720
- Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $37,700
- Concentration of architects (compared to average): -35%
For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:
- Median annual wage for architects (adjusted): $80,180
- Median annual wage for architects (actual): $80,180
- Median annual wage for all occupations (actual): $45,760
- Concentration of architects (compared to average): N/A
For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Construction Coverage’s website: https://constructioncoverage.com/research/best-paying-cities-for-architects-2022