Friday, April 7, 2017

Why You Are Not Getting Paid what you think you should be paid

This an issue we all face, especially for the fresh graduates out there, when you go to a company and you’re asked for your expected salary, it’s kind of a struggle because your brain is confused between what you deserve and what the company can offer. however, there is much more to it than what you think, there is pros and cons to any given job and at the end it all come to priorities and the vision you have for your life.
A lot of architects settle for a salary much less than what they deserve because they need the years of experience or this is the only job they can find, but what they don’t know is that they are not even taking below the minimum of salaries.
Cindy Quarter wrote in his article “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 the lowest paid 10 percent of all architects nationwide received just under $43,000 per year.” Which is almost 3500$ per month and that is to all type of architects starting from drafters, designers and landscapers. In Egypt as a start salary in a regular firm you’re paid 2500 EGP which is almost 200$, you do the math! [1]
So, what can you do to make sure you’re taking the salary you deserve or at least know you're on the right track? Here are few things you might want to have in mind.



You must be aware of your capabilities, technical and personal ones. For example, a company can’t pay a drafter the same it pays a BIM architect or a GIS analyst for many reasons;
-   The number of architects that work in drafting is much more than those working in building information modeling and so the rarer your skill is the more it’s needed and the higher you’re paid.
-   All architecture students graduate with the ability to draft but not so many in other fields so it takes effort and time to learn another skill which is rewarded latter with a higher salary.
According to Payscale, When it comes to the skills needed to find  a proper jobs locally in Egypt, On top of the required skills that affect your paycheck comes Autodesk and 3dsMax. However, on the long term those 2 might not be very rewarding and here's why;

 Future of the profession

Some jobs have future more than another, according to the American institute of architecture. The AIA Guide predict the future needs for the profession and rates different architecture jobs; between the importance of the job in the future and how much that same job qualifies you in the present.
Working on Energy analysis has the highest rate when it comes to the future but leaves you with average qualification to present jobs. While signage standards; also known as drawing standards and drafting comes in the bottom of the list when it comes to the future, but makes you very qualified in the present time.


Firm Size

The size of firm is very vital when it comes to salaries but each has its advantages and disadvantages
-   5 to 10 employees
Smaller firms usually pay the least salaries, have more flexible working hours that enables you to learn other skills outside the firm, it’s most suitable for fresh grads as they can learn a lot from colleagues and are directly under the supervision of the manager who probably have years of experience.
However, I’ve tried this myself and it can be time consuming, so if you can’t control the number of your working hours or just ended up doing everyone’s job, then you might want to reconsider another firm.
-   11 to 50 employees
Slightly higher in payment, abided by a working schedule. It might be useful if you are looking for a certain skill you want to grasp but other than that it’s not very rewarding.
-   More than 50 employees
Startup salaries are certainly higher in such large firms but comes with a lot of prices if so to speak.
§ Large companies usually consume all the time you have, working at least 10 hours/day and have maximum of 2 days’ vacation.
§  The amount of time to develop your skills is narrowed down to very few hours per day, if you think of spending more time on your skills you will start reconsidering your sleeping hours, or family time.
§ The chances of a developing a career in a large company is very small, even annual raises are not fair enough as they range between 1 to 2 %. how you see this can vary from one person to another but from my point of view, on the long term it can’t be very rewarding.

  Gender and Region

Although this shouldn’t be criteria but gender plays a vital role here, many small companies prefer hiring male architects over female ones, not in favor of the gender itself but because male architects have more flexible hours to work at night, stay in late in the office for late delivered projects. This might be only related to the region they work in. For example, according to Payscale the ratio of female architects in Egypt is 25% which is very small compared to male architects 75%. However, on the world-wide scale the ratio is 44% females to 56% males which is more reasonable.
Accordingly, some cities are better than others when it comes to architects’ salaries, male and female.
Different regions inside the city itself have different salaries and it can vary to a very wide range, a job in the city center for example can’t be the same as one in the outskirts because of the different types and prices of accommodation and transportation.

To sum it up, there can be lots of other elements beside the already mentioned ones, your efficiency, the time you spend to deliver a certain task, your personal skills and your willingness to improve your self over time. 
A lot of comparison needs to be done between what qualifies you now and what is more important in the future.
What I know is, that if you haven't found the right job yet, you eventually will. Just make sure you're spending the right amount of time and effort in the right place.

No comments:

Post a Comment