The Benefits of Contract Work for Architects and Designers

Over the past three years it has become so much easier for architects and design professionals to find freelance opportunities. Now that more employees prioritize work-life balance and want to be in charge of their own schedules, contract work or freelancing has become a great way for designers to grow their career and gain experience. Here are a few of the many reasons why you shouldn’t fear temporary and contract work.

Gain Valuable Experience

One of the best ways for new architects and designers to gain some on-the-job experience is through contract work. Yet, many recent college graduates are reluctant to even consider contract work just because it lacks job security. Contract work is a great way to learn how to promote yourself while building-up your brand. Even if you’re a seasoned designer, freelancers are often exposed to a variety of different projects in short amounts of time. This type of work allows you to multiply your skillset rapidly making you a valuable asset to design firms in both a contract and full time capacity.

Build Your Portfolio

Many new candidates struggle finding their first design jobs because they don’t have projects to highlight in their portfolios. Accepting contract work is an effective way to bridge the gap between having no experience and promoting your brand. It’s also helpful if you are trying to move into a new niche and you need to build a certain area of your portfolio.

Gain Entry to a Great Firm

Many architecture firms mitigate the chances of making a bad hire by vetting potential full-time employees with contract work. If a hiring manager is unsure whether or not you would be a good fit for a permanent role, then you might be able to get your foot in the door by offering to accept a temporary position to impress them with your design skills.

More Flexibility = Less Office Politics

If you’re dreaming of a job that you can complete and go home at the end of the day, contract work is the closest thing that you’ll find. Most full-time jobs also come with plenty of other strings attached like office meetings, trainings, annual performance reviews etc. Contract work is suggested for those professional designers looking for a better work-life balance.

Enjoy Exceptional Hourly Pay

Instead of negotiating an annual salary, independent contractors can receive up to 100% higher gross pay because employers don’t have to consider permanent expenses like health benefits, unemployment compensation, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes.

Basically you have very little to lose with contract work, and many things to gain. You’re more likely to receive great pay, flexibility, experience, and more often than not, these temporary positions lead to better permanent opportunities at prominent architecture firms.


Are you looking for top talent in architecture or interior design?

Contact us to discuss how we can bring top leadership talent to your firm. David Brown International is s a global leader in executive recruiting and placement of top tier talent in Architecture, Design, and Technology. Our mission is to create a lasting legacy of success, growth, and profitability for our clients, candidates, and employees.

Are you a professional looking for a new opportunity?

Contact us to discuss your career options or browse our open positions.