Posted by DC on July 30, 2003 at 15:06:06:
In Reply to: Re: Why architects so underpaids in architectural firms. posted by Peter on March 14, 2003 at 09:53:37:
The compensation system for Architects is hopeless, as testified by many of the posts. I used to complained endlessly about it. But now I am convinced that on an individual level, architects can improve their financial situation. It is fair to say that architects in general are creative, well educated, have pretty good understanding of the construction and real estate business. Then why not use these assets for financial gain?
It's a fact that real-estate brokers collect 6% fee on property sold (which is more like 10% of construction cost, and in effect, same as architect's fees) for considerably less work than architects. Contractors / builders make 15% or more net profit (compare to architect's meager net profit, if any). It takes only 75 hours of class time to be eligible for real-estate license exam in NJ. The license exam is a walk in the park compared to the ARE. And as an architect, taking on the role of a general contractor is not much of a leap.
That's just what I did about 4 years ago. I took the real-estate class and license exam. Signed up part-time with a real-estate office to gain excess to the MLS. When I came across a promising property, I purchased it and collected sales commission (The property was purchased with a conventional mortgage). I subdivided the property into smaller lots. Designed the houses and acted as general contractor in building the houses. All the while keeping my full-time job as a project manager at an architecture firm. It was not without financial risk nor physical stress, but it was very profitable. Ironically, now that I am more financially sound, I can afford to practice architecture with its low pay.
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