Creative minds like an architect must have a side hustle alongside their day job to give wings to their creativity.
Indeed states that the average pay to architects in the US stands at just more than $87800 per year.
But, despite the steady earnings, more than 33% of people in America had a side hustle in 2021.
There are 2 key things worth looking at as to why side hustle being an Architect has become a requirement: (source: Federal Reserve Bank)
- The total debt balance across age groups beyond 18 years has risen up by 29.5% to reach $ 60.37 Trillion for the period ended 2021.
- Around 28 Million credit card accounts were opened between the period ended Q2 2022 and Q1 2021, which is an increase of 4% in a year (approx).
The above gives better clarity as to why we need to look for an additional source of income.
Thus, having a side hustle reduces the risk of falling into a debt trap and can boost our savings at the end of the month.
So, let’s dive into each one of them and see what’s in store for the architects…
In this Guide
List of Side Hustles to start as an architect
Before we get to talk about each of the side hustles in detail, here’s a quick summary of what we are about to cover today:
|Start a Blog||$1000 per month|
|Become a freelance content writer||$10 – $135 per gig|
|Courses related to architecture||$8 per course|
|Sell Merch online in the POD model||$20 per merch|
|Start a YouTube channel||$500 – $1000 per month|
|Sell e-books and guides||$18.99 per copy|
|Sell architectural designs||$995 – $1895 per design|
|Architectural photography||$5 – $20 per photo|
|Graphics Designer||$10 per gig|
|Sell art and sketches||$103 per sale|
|Consulting and advisory services||$100 – $250 per hour|
|Be a tutor||$40k – $152k per year|
|Applications or software||Earn $5 – $10 RPM from ads on apps|
|3D Printed models||$100k per year|
|Build a network of professionals||Earn commissions or get more work in future|
|Website for architects||$100 – $140 for websites|
|Create a Podcast||$29/month to $ 599-lifetime access|
|Offer freelancing services||$15 – $150 as a freelancer|
Let’s start with the first one, which is always my personal favorite and that is BLOGGING.
Start a Blog
A blog is a wonderful medium to connect with people and spread your creativity.
Anyone who fancies writing and connecting to their audience on their own platform can start a blog.
This is one of the best ways to connect with people to make money at a low investment cost as well.
Essentially as an architect, you can write on several topics such as:
- Dos and Donts while pursuing studies related to architecture.
- How to find a beautiful design for the house.
- What are the key elements that comprise a good design for being an architect etc.
As far as the income is concerned, one can definitely look forward to making around $1000 per month after 2 – 3 years’ time.
Source: 30*40 Design Workshop
The above is an architecture blog that receives traffic of 17.92 Million visitors each month (as per Similarweb data of Aug 2022).
And there are plenty of courses related to Architecture and Design which ranges from $20 – $1550 for each product (including guides and templates) sold on the site.
Now you can imagine that even with a 1% conversion of the estimated traffic buying a $20 guide, this would generate roughly $358k per month.
This is the power of BLOGGING and creating a website related to it.
Become a freelance content writer
If you are not interested in getting to the technicalities of running a blog, but instead would like to be a content writer, you still have a lot of options open to you.
Content writers can always find work provided they have a liking for their work with utmost honesty.
Many people are looking to hire the services of a writer to write topics for their businesses.
Content writing is something you must definitely think of as a side hustle as an architect.
You can reach out to fellow architects who are building their websites, interior designers, companies, etc to showcase your skills as a writer.
Here’s a quick glimpse at what to expect writing for others as a freelance content writer.
People are charging from $10 – $135 for writing as a freelance content writer for someone.
This goes to show the insane amount of opportunity you hold in the market as a freelancer.
Provide a course related to architecture
If you have a passion to teach people, then launching your own course would be the best step to take forward.
This involves creating a course and uploading it either onto a platform like Udemy or even selling it on other platforms such as Instagram or Facebook.
The above shows that there are almost 31,103 students registered for this course related to architecture.
Pricing for each course is around $8.
This goes to show that the course related to architecture has generated over $248k in revenue to date.
Here’s another example of a course that is based on the basics of Architecture that has sold around 695 copies worldwide.
The total revenue from this has garnered around $451k to date.
Sell Merch online in the Print on Demand model
Merchandise is one of the best ways to connect to the masses.
A POD model exactly works the same, its prints out the merch when demanded and sells the same to the customer.
Selling merch online is one of the low-cost side hustle you can start as an architect.
When creativity is in your genes, setting up your own Print on Demand store s not a big deal at all.
One can sell so many different varieties of stuff from their store such as:
- Pillows etc.
Here’s an example of a t-shirt that has been sold over 36667 times at a price of around $20 per shirt.
The total revenue anticipated from this would be $733k to date.
This goes to show how much you can make starting a store online related to selling only t-shirts.
Start a YouTube channel
A YouTube channel is probably the first side hustle that anyone would recommend to you.
Having a YouTube channel definitely adds an advantage.
As you upload videos onto the channel, you start to gain subscribers and build a community.
With this process, you get plenty of opportunities to scale your business in any direction possible and amass good money online.
The consumption of videos has been on the rise and will continue to do so in the future.
If you are someone who can produce videos related to your niche and audience, you will be able to bring revenue soon enough from your platform.
Again there can be several things you can share on the YouTube channel such as:
- How do identify a valuable design from an architect?
- Differences between architects and interior designers.
- Career path and opportunities for work as an architect.
- What are the expenses required for consultation with an architect? Etc
When it comes to earnings from a YouTube channel, there can be several ways of earning such as Ads, affiliates, sponsorships, or even courses, etc.
But one can definitely expect to earn at least $500 – $1000 per month building up the business online.
Sell e-books or guides
E-books or saleable guides (digital copies) are one of the best ways to monetize your content.
As these are buying guides and readable from a consumer perspective, this helps a person immensely when they are about to approach someone related to architecture.
There are plenty of ideas that you can work upon to package into a product and sell for money.
Here’s an example of an ebook that has sold over 822 copies priced at $18.99 at its lowest.
These are numbers only from Amazon, and if there would have been sales from other platforms, then the volume of business is phenomenal.
Some of the ways how you can make money from the sale of an ebook are:
- 10 Best tools required to work as an architect.
- 7 Best ways to design a flat illustration on a canvas etc.
These are some random ideas that can definitely be monetized for $9.99 or $19.99 per ebook and made money from.
Make money from selling designs related to architecture
If you have created a design that fits the needs of others, then chances are it would also fit the needs of plenty more people around you.
Any form of design 2D or 3D that is under your sole ownership can definitely be tested out in the market for a price.
This is again another digital product that can be sold for a price online.
House planning designs can be sold online from either your website or your YouTube channel as well.
Here’s an example of an architectural design that is being sold for $995 as a Single Build package online (PDF guide).
Here are the 4 payment options that you would find on the site:
|5 Sets + PDF||$1245|
|CAD – Unlimited Build||$1895|
There are so many exquisite and wonderful designs that are being sold online in a bundled up or single package at similar prices.
This can definitely expect to make at least $1000 just from one sale of the design.
Start your own architectural photography side hustle
Photography as a hobby is one thing that can bring you amazing returns if done correctly.
Being an architect, you have an amazing opportunity to take photography as a side hustle as an architect.
When you take amazing pictures that speak a lot about the depth and feel, you would definitely find an audience interested to buy that from you.
Here you can see that the people are providing architectural photography-related services to their customers for pricing as low as $5 – $20 for their customers.
There can be numerous ways of promoting your photography-related content in this niche as well.
Get into graphic designing as a freelancer
Graphic Designing is one of the best ways to express yourself when you are a creative person and looking to express your creativity.
As an architect, you would certainly hold experience and knowledge in the craft of designing stuff on the computer.
This is what you can definitely use to utilize your skills to the fullest and bring amazing returns from it.
Fiverr is definitely one of the best places to scale your business and develop the necessary skills to hustle as an architect.
This is a high-paying skill and requires constant effort to scale it in the right direction.
As an architect, you can earn around $10 per gig doing graphic designing online for others.
Sell your art and sketches
As an architect, you would definitely have a flair for making sketches and art in general.
Having this side of the trait definitely helps you scale revenue alongside day jobs.
You can start selling sketches and art related to your field or even other forms.
A piece of art is a digital copy of your creation which definitely holds a lot of value if marketed properly.
These blueprints are the ones that help to bring value to what you are about to implement while working on a client.
Here’s an example of a hand sketch custom drawn by a seller who makes around $103 per sale of sketch art.
This seller has collected over 1116 sales during its lifetime which means $114k.
It shows a sketch artists can definitely make a really great amount of money selling their digital art on various platforms such as Etsy.
Besides art, there are other avenues that are open as well, some of which are Calligraphy, Hand art, and more.
Provide consulting or advisory services related to architecture
As an architect, you possess a lot of technical expertise in your domain.
This is something that has come to you with experience and persistence.
The best way to capitalize on this knowledge is to spread it to others around you.
You can become a consultant or an advisor when it comes to finding the right designs and helping to bring in the revenue long term.
This can be a great way to make money online in the long run as you look to bring revenue on an hourly basis.
The hourly rates are around $100 – $250 for architects, while the per square foot charge is around $2 – $15 per hour.
Become a Tutor
Being a tutor is a solid profession when it comes to making money online.
Anyone who has conceptual clarity on a subject can work to make a solid return online.
Being a tutor can open doors to a lot of opportunities online when it comes to establishing your own brand identity and image.
You can start teaching about the subjects related to Architecture such as:
- Architectural Drawing
- Architectural Design
- Building Construction
- Architectural History
- Building Design
All of these subjects require time and patience to be able to deliver the course for the benefit of students which can bring about $40k – $152k during the year.
Launch your own software or application for architectural services
As an architect, you can definitely help people if you can provide them with something as a solution in the form of software or application.
An application can help in a lot of ways as people are looking to learn about things.
You can create your entire course or make videos based on your course which would reward students after asking them certain questions.
As an example, let’s say you are teaching people about the fundamentals of architecture wherein you have illustrated the entire thing in the form of a step-by-step video.
If the video is for 60 seconds, you can split the video into 10 different segments, i.e. 10 questions, and place an ad after each segment to get a response from the students.
If the student answer a question correctly they would win, let’s say 10 reward points.
Your monetization can be from various sources, such as:
- Running in-app ads after each question.
- Partnering with brand sponsorships related to your work.
- Making money from affiliate sales
- Asking for membership fees from the members who have registered on the platform etc.
These are some of the prudent methods of making money from applications or software for providing architectural services.
Sell products that are 3D printed
3D printing is a method where you can obtain a solid product in the form of 3D from a digital file on a computer.
Source: Google Trends
Printing a product in 3D is a great innovation that is solving many complex problems in real-life scenarios.
The major applications of 3D printing are coming in the gifts and fashion industry where people are able to get customized items of their choice.
3D-printed chocolates, arts, and dolls are getting more popular day by day and people are finding them more attractive to buy them too.
Having experience with specialized programs and software related to 3D printing definitely helps.
Prominent names include CAD programs which are designed to perform the task as required.
Here’s a quick video on the scope of 3D printing and how one can earn up to $100k per year from 3D printing.
Create a network of professionals and make money from their services
A network of professionals includes someone who is a destination wedding Guitarist or an interior designer etc.
If you are in the field of architecture, think of how well you can serve your customer beyond what you already are good at doing.
The network is always net worth.
If you have a strong community of people surrounding you, then you are always on the gaining side to get work on better terms.
Start connecting to other professionals on LinkedIn and build a strong network around your skill.
This is something every content creator must aspire to do in life as well.
Create a website for other architects
One of the primary reasons why many people miss out on opportunities to scale business is from their website.
If you are an architect and you don’t have a beautiful website to showcase to others, then you are losing out big time.
The creation of a website is critical to the success of any business that you come across and it must be good-looking enough to bring business as well.
As an architect, you can help other architects who are entering the industry and create a website for them.
When you have a beautiful-looking website and have all the must-have pages intact you always mean business.
Creating a website is very easy these days and you need to have only domain and a hosting to get started.
One can charge up to $140 for creating a website using WordPress or Wix as the CMS software.
You can reach out to contractors and other industry professionals using LinkedIn and check out their websites to find the things that haven’t worked for them.
This can be a great way to get started especially when you don’t have much time in hand.
Start a podcast
A podcast is an amazing side hustle, especially as an architect.
People are tuning in to several podcast channels daily to listen to what others have to say.
Podcasts are expected to see a growth of 10% over 2 years to reach up to 505 million users all over the world.
A podcast related to architecture is something where you can talk about a lot of stuff such as:
- Tools and software used in architecture.
- How to build better businesses with your skills as an architect.
- Courses and pathways to becoming an architect in life etc.
Balan Architect is a podcast that talks about the use of Revit and how to use it as a beginner to advanced user.
The above shows that the channel has gathered 904 patreons who follow along in the journey in the podcast.
Besides this, the site also offers a subscription package of $29/month to $599-lifetime access as well.
The data revealed above shows that the podcast channel earns at least $985 per month talking about stuff related to architecture.
Offer freelancing services as an architect
Freelancing is the last resort and one that shouldn’t be neglected at any cost.
As an architect when you start to go beyond Fiverr and Upwork, you will get to have a lot of opportunities to work on various projects in hand.
There are plenty of options to choose from when you look beyond your comfort as to where you can fit in.
You can be a voice artist, a music composer, a sketch artist, a digital marketing expert and so much more.
There are probably more options than I can possibly put in here for you.
All you need is a desire to start and get your first gig on the freelancing platform.
The ratings and money that you earn will follow with that.
There are plenty of options you will find that must be tried and tested out.
Final Words on a side hustle as an architect
Starting a side hustle as an architect is not a big deal, but choosing the right one definitely is.
If you are someone who finds fascination in designs and illustrations but is also looking to add more streams of income (especially passive), then you must have found some value here.
Working on a side hustle involves deep commitment and willingness to learn each day.
As an architect, the opportunities are endless, but all you got to do is START NOW.
Do share your thoughts in the comments section below on how you are going to start today!