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Senior Architect for Higher Education 

About the Organization What is it you want out of your career?

If you're looking for an opportunity to grow, to be challenged, to work hard and to be part of a growing team, then Progressive AE may be the place for you. We work hard to surround ourselves with professionals who are more than just good at their job. We want engineers, architects, designers and support staff who have a desire to help shape our company. We need colleagues who will help us grow by thinking outside their job description. The work we do here is challenging, and sometimes the hours are long. But we're committed to serving our clients and providing the best solutions possible.

Progressive AE is a full-service, forward-thinking design firm. With offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Charlotte, North Carolina, we work on projects around the country that offer a variety and challenge you won't find at many other firms. And we don't relegate creativity just to 'creatives'-we encourage original thinking in every part of the organization-from support staff to engineering.

Since we're an employee-owned company, you'll be able to see the benefits of your hard work. And in return, we'll invest in you. This includes an in-depth wellness program with fitness classes and health coaching, flexible schedules, continuing education, mentorship, volunteer opportunities and internal leadership positions. In fact, we've been named one of the Best & Brightest Places to Work for since 2006, named Business Leader of the Year, received the Community and Educational Partnership Awards, and are the proud winners of the Governor's Fitness Award.

We are always looking for talented individuals to advance the strategic goals of our firm. If you are a big picture thinker with unique technical skills, we'd like to consider your application.

Category Architecture  
Location Grand Rapids, MI  


Our Higher Education team is growing, and Progressive AE is seeking a Senior Architect to join us. As a Senior Architect, you are a highly experienced, registered architectural professional with an extensive background in generating design concepts into final solutions on a wide variety of project types.

In partnership with the Senior Project Manager(s) and Senior Project Designer(s), you will be accountable for the overall project quality, financial performance, meeting project schedules and team communication. You will help establish the standard(s) for the technical design content of documentation in all phases of the design process, coordination of all disciplines including consultants, and internal quality assurance/quality control measures.

You provide leadership in the building systems integration process within a multi-disciplinary project team during all phases of the design process.



  • Ensure the overall design intent of the project established by the Senior Design Architect is incorporated into the detailed documentation.
  • Monitor and contribute to the design process from the conceptual phase through construction administration, ensuring the design intent is consistently and properly executed.
  • Make determinations on the overall strategy for producing the documents and identifies the drawings and related documents required for each stage of the work for the project team. This includes the level of development and/or need for a full Building Information Model (BIM).
  • Promote a culture of excellence in quality and design appreciation, and ensuring this culture is embraced by all team members.
  • Provide extensive expertise in the technical aspects of the design including code compliance, specifications, systems integration and constructability.
  • Resolve complex technical issues, ensure integration of disciplines and provide strategies for meeting aggressive schedules and budgets.
  • Help resolve any disputes and errors and omissions that arise from contract documents.
  • Attend interviews for new projects as well as interviews for potential staff.


  • Attend site-visits to expedite construction and resolve issues encountered in the field such as unforeseen conditions, code issues and interpretation of construction documents.
  • Work with authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) to resolve code related items on projects.
  • Execute document modifications, reviewing submittals, reviewing substitution requests and answering requests for information during bidding and construction.
  • Assist and/or oversee the project teams in product research and selection and attends meetings with product representatives.
  • Ensure overall coordination of the contact documents including the work of other disciplines and consultants.
  • Provide quality assurance/quality control measures for all projects.
  • Utilize and encourage best use of design software/technology for presentation and production purposes. Examples include Revit, AutoCAD, SketchUp, BSD SpecLink and other emerging technologies.
  • Foster and maintain a collaborative professional working relationship with all the various disciplines, including consultants and vendors.

Staff Development

  • Mentor and direct the work of less experienced staff and may lead or participate in professional development sessions such as “Lessons Learned†in order to grow staff and eliminate repetition of quality issues on future projects.
  • Provide technical support and project communications to team members as required.
  • Demonstrate and share examples of quality documents with staff.
  • Develop performance plans for developing Architectural staff.
  • Coach staff on strategies for delivering high-quality work on schedule and within budget.

Project Quality

  • Provide expertise in multiple project types and delivery methods.
  • Provide leadership in ensuring the overall design intent of the project established by the Senior Design Architect is incorporated into the detailed documentation.
  • Provide leadership in the technical resolution and coordination in response to design intent and code compliance.
  • Bring design thinking to the process of producing contract documents.
  • Heavily involved in the preparation of building models and detailed contract documents.
  • Supervise preparation of technical drawings by other less experienced staff.
  • Responsible for technical coordination of projects with other internal disciplines and outside consultants.
  • Responsible for developing project specifications and their coordination with drawings.
  • Review completed reports, submittals, drawings, estimates and calculations for accuracy.
  • Lead communication and coordination among all disciplines, consultants, vendors, and contractors to ensure adherence to the contact documents and provides support as necessary.
  • Work with discipline leaders to establish best practices and quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) measures.
  • Coordinate use and track shared electronic documentation and files with internal and external project team members including clients, contractors and consultants.
  • Regularly communicate with Senior Project Manager(s), Senior Project Designer(s) and/or Client Leader(s) to understand any changes to project design, scope, schedule and budget.
  • Provide leadership in the best use of design software/technology for presentation and production purposes. Examples include Revit, AutoCAD, SketchUp, BSD Speclink and other emerging technologies.
  • Act as an ambassador for company-wide values and ethical standards of practice.
  • Attend and participate in or lead professional development activities including “Lessons Learned' sessions.


  • Provide input on anticipated complexity and hours needed to complete work in order to help generate proposals for new work.
  • Work with Client Leaders and Project Managers to establish the internal project budget for projects and advises on strategies to meet the project schedule.
  • Develop strategies for producing the contact documents that are efficient and consistent with the scope of work, schedule and fee allotted to complete the work.

Commitment to Client Service

  • Foster a commitment to external and internal client service.
  • Exhibit full comfort and confidence with client representatives and leadership regarding their area of expertise.
  • Maintain a positive relationship of trust with Client Leadership regarding their area of expertise.
  • Embrace the iterative nature of the design process and is able to execute work in a timely manner.
Position Requirements


  1. Bachelor's Degree in Architecture or equivalent in education and experience required for professional licensure. Master's degree in Architecture preferred.
  2. Licensed Architect with current license.
  3. Minimum of 10 years of post-graduate architectural experience.
  4. NCARB registration, preferred.
  5. AIA membership, preferred.
  6. CSI-CCS, preferred. (Must be willing to complete CSI-CDT within one year in order to pursue CSI-CCS)
  7. LEED AP, preferred.
  8. Advanced knowledge of trends in the design and construction industries, construction methodology, material application, and manufacturer-supplier appropriateness.
  9. Advanced ability to coordinate and integrate work with designers, engineers, construction administrators, consultants and any other members of the project team.
  10. Advanced knowledge of architectural building systems.
  11. Excellence in producing construction drawings and specifications.
  12. Advanced knowledge of quality assurance/quality control processes.
  13. Advanced knowledge of building codes, and the ability to research and apply/incorporate into technical documents.
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt  
EOE Statement Progressive AE is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is committed to providing equal opportunity to all qualified individuals in its employment practices. Progressive AE strictly prohibits unlawful discrimination against employees and applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, national origin, disability, age, qualified veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Applicants with a disability, who require a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process, may email for assistance. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis.  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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