Monday, January 2, 2012

Knowing your worth: the 2011 AIA Compensation Report

First of all, Happy New Year to all my readers.  I've received some good questions and post topics from some of you in the past month, and I hope to get those topics/questions posted on and answered in the next couple of months here.  

I wanted to kick the year off with a little something on the 2011 AIA Compensation Report, which was finally released for purchase in mid-December 2011.  It's available for purchase here for $249 if you're not a member and $195 if you are a member.  (A summary of the nationwide averages is here, if you're interested.)  As usual, I'm frustrated with AIA that the report is so ungodly expensive, especially for a document that is only available via emailed PDF.  By charging so much for the report, interns end up being excluded from having access to an arguably vital piece of information for our profession--the going rate for our specific experience level in our specific state or city.  

My husband and I bought it and split the cost, which I recommend all of you doing.  By doing so, we found out that my husband was on par with his colleagues and I was underpaid.  I used the information to bargain for (and receive) a good raise that put me level with others at my experience level in my geographical area.  This report could be worth having, especially if the cost is shared among a group of recent graduates or interns with little experience.  If you're looking to move to a different state or city, it's good to know what to ask for in those new locales and at your experience level.  (Regional reports are also available for $50 less than the full national report price, but I say spring for the whole shebang.)


  1. you know what would be really useful is a blog on what classifies an employee as an intern 1, 2, or 3 or whats the difference between intern and design staff. my firm is smallish (10-20) and doesnt really have a clear structure for this sort of thing.