Determining architect and engineer salaries involves careful weighing of several factors - not just the talent and experience of the candidate, but also how much you can afford and what other companies pay their employees. You want to strive for a figure that's high enough to attract top talent, but not so much that you can't afford to keep them.
Engineers and architects go through years of schooling and may have several certifications and degrees; a one-size-fits-all approach to setting their salaries isn't enough. Competitive and individualized compensation is key to attracting and retaining them.
Salary guidelines for architects and engineers will depend on:
- The average salaries for architects and engineers.
- The candidate's education, skills and level of experience.
- The size and budget of your company.
- The cost of living in your state or city.
- What other firms in your region pay their architects and engineers.
Compare salaries of architects and engineers by geographic locationYou may want to start by finding out what the going rate in your city is, or you may want to find out what other cities in your region pay, so that you can make your company stand out. There are several online tools that compute the engineer and architect average salary based on city or state, and can tell you how average salaries translate from region to region.
Research the engineer and architect salaries other companies are paying via online job boardsOnline salary tools are a useful starting point for finding architect and engineer salary info, but they may list salaries at the high end of the scale, or provide a wide range of possible salaries. Online job boards tell you what companies are paying right now, and how salary corresponds to the size of the company or the job requirements. And, by looking at boards that cater specifically to architects or engineers, you won't have to wade through dozens of listings looking for one that's relevant to you.
Supplement engineer and architect salaries with a generous benefits packageMany job applicants are looking for more than a nice salary; they also want a creative and relevant benefits and incentive package. Sometimes, these benefits can be what entices a candidate to choose one firm over another. Put as much effort into creating your benefits package as you do setting salaries, and consider more than just the traditional health coverage and retirement plan, for example. Current trends in benefits include profit sharing, stock options, employee assistance, tuition reimbursement, flex time and perks like health club membership reimbursement.
- Stay current on trends in salary guidelines for engineers and architects not only when you're in the process of hiring someone, but even when you have no positions to fill. This will save you research time while you're interviewing prospective employees, and alert you if the salary you pay current employees doesn't meet industry standards. This could prevent valued team members from leaving your firm for another that pays better or offers more attractive benefits packages.