From the winter issue: The last few years have been good for design professions in South Florida. Although the building boom has slowed some, there still are projects on local architects’ drawing boards in Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean. So, what do architects make? It depends on the property type and experience.
The Real Deal spoke with industry veterans and dug into public records to get a sense of the incomes across a dozen of the more popular fields in residential and commercial real estate, and to gauge the effects — if any — the market slowdown is having on earnings.
Joseph Dobos, a Fort Lauderdale architect who designs custom homes, said because there are fewer homes for sale, some people are buying land and building, thereby creating work for independent architects who haven’t had much business in the last five years.
Dobos said he gets paid per square foot for a home. In Miami, the per-square-foot charge for a residential architect ranges from $2 to $4, sources said. For commercial work, Dobos earns 3 to 4 percent of the total construction cost for a small-to-midsize commercial project. He is currently designing a $12 million multipurpose center in Broward County and earning a $360,000 fee.
In Florida, licenses are required for certain types of architectural design work. For example, an architect must hold licenses to design big projects such as a shopping mall, office building, hotel or apartment building. Having a license and years of experience will factor into salary. For example, a licensed senior architect with experience in an in-demand niche such as hotels could earn as much as $250,000 annually, said Kobi Karp, president of Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design in Miami.
In South Florida, there are more than 25,000 architects, who earned an average annual wage of $73,930 in 2016, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 employment data.
Click here to read more of “Making bank?” from The Real Deal South Florida‘s winter issue.