Titles and Positions in an Architecture Firm

My goodness there are so many titles in an architecture firm, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out where you land on the chart.  Sometimes in a firm your tasks and assignments can span two or more positions, especially in small firms.

From the AIA’s Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice (15th edition), it has several positions:

  • Senior Principal/Partner: Typically an owner or majority shareholder of the firm; may be the founder.  Titles include president, chief executive officer, or managing principal/partner.
  • Mid-Level Principal/Partner: Titles include executive or senior vice president.
  • Junior Principal/Partner: Recently made a partner or principal of the firm.  Title may include vice president.
  • Department Head/Senior Manager: Senior management architect or non-registered graduate; responsible for major department(s) or functions; reports to principal or partner.
  • Project Manager: Licensed Architect or non-registered graduate with more than 10 years of experience; has overall project management responsibility for a variety of project management responsibility for a variety of projects or project teams, including client contact, scheduling, and budgeting. (Also called Project Architect)

These more junior positions can also be referred to as Job Captain, Architect Intern, Graduate Architect, Design Tech, Architectural Designer, Project Designer, BIM Manager, etc…

  • Architect/Designer III: Licensed architect or non-registered graduate with 8 to 10 years of experience; responsible for significant aspects of projects; responsible for work on minor projects.  Selects, evaluates, and implements procedures and techniques used on projects.
  • Architect/Designer II: Licensed architect or non-registered graduate with 6 to 8 years of experience; responsible for daily design or technical development of a project.
  • Architect/Designer I: Recently licensed architect or non-registered graduate with 3 to 5 years of experience; responsible for particular parts of a project within parameters set by others.
  • Intern: Unlicensed architecture school graduate under supervision of an architect. (I proposed this be changed to Architect in Training (AIT), if they have a professional degree)
  • Entry-Level Intern: Unlicensed architecture school graduate under supervision of an architect.
  • Student: Current architecture student working during summer or concurrently with school.

Just for fun:

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