what is a solution architect?

As a solution architect, you ensure your employer has the best software solution to solve a business problem. You develop or design a solution for an organisation's specific issue. You rely on your software management knowledge to evaluate the available software products and determine if a new product is required to solve a particular business problem. A solution architect creates a strategic vision like a blueprint to guide developers in creating a software product. You present the solution to stakeholders for approval and oversee the development of the software product.

Your job is to ensure the project is within the stipulated budget. While you are not the project manager, you are in charge of specific aspects of the project, including overseeing the budget and timeline. You also assign duties to each team member and manage their participation in the project.

Solution architects provide software products to solve problems in various companies. For instance, you can develop software solutions to automate some of the processes in the mining industry. In manufacturing, you create software solutions for solving production problems and improving manufacturing processes.

Working as a solution architect requires exceptional project management skills to assign tasks and create a budget and specific timeline for the project. You also rely on analytical skills to identify the best software features for solving a business problem.

solution architect jobs

average salary of a solution architect

The median remuneration package of a solution architect is $165,000 per year. Entry-level solution architects with minimal experience take home $160,000 yearly, while experienced workers earn upwards of $180,000 annually. Solution architects usually earn high salaries due to the complexity of the role and the extensive knowledge required.

how to increase the salary of a solution architect

A solution architect is responsible for assessing computer systems, developing new technologies, or integrating software and hardware to fit the existing enterprise environment. Your salary depends on your experience and qualifications and the project's complexity. That means you require extensive knowledge of computer systems and software development. 

Your years of experience also increase your earning potential. When you are new in the role, you perform minor tasks. Hence, your earnings are lower than experienced solution architects who perform more complex roles. Extensive work experience also increases your expertise. Therefore, you have the opportunity to become the senior solution architect for the entire software development process.

Working in metro areas and large cities with high demand for solution architects improves your remuneration prospects. Small or medium-sized companies in smaller cities don't require software development solutions simultaneously.

Want to know what you will earn as a solution architect? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.

solution architect salary

types of solution architects

Some of the types of solution architects include:

  • technology-based solution architects: you oversee the implementation of complex technologies to assist in various business processes. You require extensive knowledge of underlying technologies to help the company decide on the best software solution.
  • domain-based solution architects: you may focus on finding software solutions for specific domains like telecommunications or retail. You analyse business practices and evaluate the software and hardware landscape to improve efficiency.
  • product-based solution architects: your job is to create specific types of software products for business management. You also assist the company with running the day-to-day operations of the software products.
Smiling male holding an tablet standing in a servers room.
Smiling male holding an tablet standing in a servers room.

working as a solution architect

Working as a solution architect involves creating software products that solve specific business problems. Let's explore solution architects' specific responsibilities, work settings and career prospects.


education and skills

A solution architect requires extensive training, including:

  • bachelor's degree: to become a solution architect, you should learn the basic principles of developing software applications and programmes. Hence, you require a bachelor's degree in information systems, software engineering, computer science and information technology. The courses equip you with the necessary skills for the role.
  • postgraduate degree: since the role requires specialised skills, consider completing postgraduate training to advance your knowledge in the field. One of the postgraduate degree courses focusing on systems architecture is a master's in software engineering. A master's in business administration also helps improve your leadership and management skills.
  • industry experience: since you require extensive industry experience, you can join work placements after your bachelor's degree. Another way to gain experience is to join entry-level roles focusing on system design, programming languages or software development.

skills and competencies

Some of the transferable skills that a solution architect needs include:

  • project management skills: as a solution architect, you supervise and oversee the implementations of the solutions you develop. Hence, you require project management skills to coordinate complex tasks. Your project management skills help you budget and schedule various tasks for the team members.
  • technical expertise: you rely on your technical expertise and in-depth knowledge of IT to develop solutions for business problems. Your programming skills and knowledge of system design enable you to find creative solutions for various issues.
  • business expertise: you require business acumen to develop cost-effective solutions that improve business functions. Understanding business analytics and processes helps you develop IT solutions to enhance business operations.
  • communication skills: you require exceptional communication skills to bridge the gap between business goals and technical terminology. Your communication skills enable you to make convincing presentations to the stakeholders and communicate well with clients.

FAQs about working as a solution architect

Here are the most asked questions about working as a solution architect:

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