Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.

Career and Education Opportunities for Architects in Seattle, Washington

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for architects in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 4,180 working architects in Washington; this should grow by 34% to about 5,600 working architects in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for architects, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.2% over the next eight years. Architects generally plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, and other structural property.

Architects earn approximately $33 per hour or $70,000 annually on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $33 hourly or $70,320 yearly. Earnings for architects are better than earnings in the general category of Architecture in Washington and better than general Architecture category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: principal, structural designer, and location worker.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree as an architect. Given that the most common education level for architects is a Master's degree, you can expect to spend about six years training to become an architect if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.


Architect video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, architects plan and design structures, such as private residences, office buildings, and other structural property.

Architects integrate engineering elements into a unified layout. They also direct efforts of staff working on preparing drawings and specification documents. Equally important, architects have to ready data regarding layout or construction time. They are often called upon to confer with clients to establish the functional and spatial requirements of structures. They are expected to conduct periodic on-site observation of work during construction to track adherence to plans. Finally, architects administer construction contracts.

Every day, architects are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for architects to ready operating and maintenance manuals, studies, and reports. Somewhat less frequently, architects are also expected to conduct periodic on-site observation of work during construction to track adherence to plans.

Architects sometimes are asked to represent clients in obtaining bids and awarding construction contracts. and formulate layout of projects. And finally, they sometimes have to ready operating and maintenance manuals, studies, and reports.

Like many other jobs, architects must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Seattle include:

  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Civil Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of civil engineering in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of structures and facilities under the direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Landscape Architect. Plan and design land areas for such projects as parks and other recreational facilities, airports, and commercial, industrial, and residential sites.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.


University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA

University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Architecture which graduated forty-two and forty-seven students respectively in 2008.


Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional: AEE's Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional (CLEP) program is designed to provide recognition for professionals who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field of lighting efficiency.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Certified Lighting Management Consultant: The lighting industry prides itself on distinguishing those persons who have accomplished this professional and personal achievement.

For more information, see the International Association of Lighting Management Companies website.



Licensing agency: Department of Licensing
Address: Board of Registration for Architects, 405 Black Lake Blvd., Bldg. #2, PO Box 9045, Olympia, WA 98507-9045

Phone: (360) 753-1153
Website: Department of Licensing Board of Registration for Architects


Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.