Software Architect Career Path

Are you thinking of becoming a Software Architect or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Software Architect, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Software Architect job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

How to Become a software architect

If you're considering starting your Software Architect career path, it's important to note the skills, qualifications, and time it takes to become a professional Software Architect and how to advance your career path. Below are the steps generally required to begin and advance your Software Architect career.
Contents

1

Earn a Degree

To begin your Software Architect career path, a Bachelor's Degree in computer science or a related field is usually necessary in order to remain a competitive option for employers. Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A Software Architect internship may be required to earn your Bachelor's Degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Software Architect?

73% of people working as a Software Architect earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Software Architect?

  • MS SQL Server
  • Javascript
  • Drupal
  • Cloud
  • Frameworks
  • Relational Database
  • Coding
  • AWS
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Software Architect in the United States.

2

Choose a Specialty in Your Field

As an Software Architect, you may be required to choose a specialty within your field. Determine which part of the Software Architect field you feel strongest in, and continue taking active steps toward growing in your chosen Software Architect specialty.

3

Get an Entry-Level Position as a Software Architect

Once you've acquired a Bachelor's Degree in computer science or a related field, you'll typically begin your career as an entry-level Software Architect. In general, you can become a Software Architect after completing your 4 year Bachelor's Degree in a related discipline. Depending on the type of Software Architect role you’re pursuing, you may want to explore certification in security.

4

Advance in Your Software Architect Career

Following entry-level, there are several Software Architect career path levels to advance into. It can take 2 years as an entry-level Software Architect to progress to the next seniority level position. Each advanced Software Architect position requires approximately 5 years of experience at each level to advance in your Software Architect career path. It may be necessary to receive additional education, an advanced degree such as a Master's Degree in a related field, or special certifications in order to advance your Software Architect career path.

5

Continued Education for Your Software Architect Career Path

Not all industries and companies require continued education to advance your Software Architect career path. However, earning this degree may help you advance to higher-earning positions more quickly. Earning a Graduate Degree in computer science can take 4 years to complete. People that have earned their Graduate Degree typically make $194,330 compared to $92,705 for those without that type of degree.

Seniority Levels

L3

Software Architect

5 - 7Years of Experience
$114,209 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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30% advanced to

L4

Senior Software Architect

2 - 4Years of Experience
$195,000 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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11% advanced to

L5

Lead Software Architect

5 - 7Years of Experience
$130,000 /yrAvg. Annual Salary
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Salary Trajectory

Software Architect Career Path

$220K
$165K
$110K
$55K
$0
L3
L5
L7
L9
L11
Seniority Levels

Related careers in the Engineering Industry

Interested in other Engineering careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Software Architect skills. Discover some of the most common Software Architect career transitions, along with skills overlap.