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Senior Design Architect 

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  


As a Senior Design Architect, you are a highly experienced, registered architectural professional having an extensive background in generating design concepts into final solutions on a wide variety of project types.

In partnership with the Project Managers and Project Architects, you are accountable that design intent meets the project budget and schedule. You will lead architectural teams in developing design concepts through documentation in all phases within the established design principles. You will lead others through your creativity while also building peer relationships, using interpersonal savvy and building effective teams.

You will provide leadership in the design process within a multi-disciplinary project team during all phases of the design process, growing our business and mentoring other architects through organizing, presentations, and planning aligned with a strong customer focus.



  • Lead team members in all phases of the design process including predesign, schematic design, design development, construction documentation, bidding, and construction administration.
  • Ensure the overall design intent of the project established by the Performance Based Design is incorporated into documentation at all stages.
  • Clearly communicate your design ideas to the project team and clients.
  • Take charge of a situation, when necessary, while offering leadership and guidance in a positive manner.
  • Lead or guide others in Design Charrettes. Utilize hand sketching techniques to communicate design concepts.
  • Lead and oversee the preparation of documentation in all phases of the design process, including designs, graphic presentations, and 3D renderings.
  • Lead the architectural staff with the conceptual and technical design documentation of projects.
  • Provide leadership and oversee others in the coordination of building systems with consultants, confirmation of conformance with all applicable codes, and ensuring that the interface with municipal building department and other governing agency officials has occurred to ensure approvals have been provided.
  • Promote a culture of excellence in quality and design appreciation, ensuring this culture is embraced by all team members.
  • Attend interviews for new projects as well as interviews for potential staff as required.
  • In coordination with Senior Architect, make determinations on the overall strategy for producing the documents and identify 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).
  • Attend interviews for new projects as well as interviews for potential staff as required.


  • Review project designs with the Director of Design on a timely basis in relation to the project schedule.
  • Conduct field observations to monitor progress of construction or check in with others, if applicable, to help resolve issues such as unforeseen conditions, code issues and interpretation of construction documents.
  • Understand the overall strategy for producing documents and check in with team members in reviewing the content of the deliverables at each stage of the work.
  • Work successfully on multiple and complex projects, as well as designing projects of a routine nature.
  • Assist and oversee the project teams in product research and selection and attend meetings with product representatives.
  • Ensure that shared electronic documentation/ files are being communicated efficiently with internal and external project team members including clients, contractors and consultants.
  • Provide quality assurance/quality control measures for all projects.
  • Utilize and provide leadership in the best use of design software/technology, including Revit, AutoCAD, Adobe, SketchUp, BSD Spec Link and other emerging technologies, for presentation and production purposes.
  • Oversee and coordinate with other staff members to ensure that reports, submittals, drawings, estimates and calculations are completed accurately.
  • 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 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.
  • Check the work of less senior staff for accuracy, completeness, and clarity prior to submission.
  • Provide technical support and project communications to team members as required.
  • Demonstrate and share examples of quality documents and design with staff.
  • Develop performance plans for developing Architectural Design staff.
  • Coach staff on strategies for delivering high-quality work on schedule and within budget.

Project Quality

  • Exhibit expertise in multiple project type designs and delivery methods.
  • Provide leadership in ensuring the overall design intent of the project established by the Performance Based Design process is incorporated into the detailed documentation.
  • Provide technical leadership to project team members, as needed.
  • Lead and oversee others in the development of project specifications and their coordination with the drawings to ensure accuracy and completion.
  • Bring design thinking to the process of producing contract documents.
  • Coordinate technical and design aspects of projects with other internal disciplines and outside consultants. Lead communication and coordination among all disciplines, consultants, vendors, and contractors to ensure adherence to the contract documents and provides support as necessary.
  • Lead or oversee the communication and coordination with all disciplines, consultants, vendors, and contractors to ensure adherence to the contract documents and provide support as necessary.
  • Work with discipline leaders to establish best practices and quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) measures.
  • Coordinate and track shared electronic documentation and files with internal and external project team members including clients, contractors and consultants.
  • Regularly communicate with Project Managers, Project Architects, and Practice Leaders to understand and communicate any changes to project design, scope, schedule, and budget.
  • 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.


  • Ensure the design meets the overall project budget and schedule requirements.
  • Provide input on anticipated complexity and hours needed to complete work to help generate proposals for new work.
  • Ensure the design meets the overall project budget and schedule requirements.
  • In partnership with Pre-Construction Estimator, make informed decisions regarding construction costs during the design process.
  • Develop strategies for producing the design deliverables 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.
  • Clearly communicate, graphically and verbally, design ideas to clients during presentations or design charrettes.
  • Clearly understand the client's needs, goals, and aspirations, including better positioning clients in a competitive marketplace, understanding the key drivers that will lead to design adaption, and strong utilization of Performance Based Design tools.
  • Exhibit full comfort and confidence with client representatives and leadership regarding their area of expertise.
  • Maintain contact with the client at various levels, in conjunction with the project manager, ensuring a positive relationship of trust with Practice Leadership regarding their area of expertise.
  • Embrace the iterative nature of the design process and execute work in a timely manner.
  • Clearly demonstrate understanding of professionalism and exhibit a commitment to internal and external client service.
Position Requirements


  • Your Degree: Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture or equivalent in education and experience required for professional licensure. Master’s degree in Architecture preferred.
  • Your Licensure: Licensed Architect with current license. NCARB registration preferred. AIA membership preferred. LEED AP BD+C and WELL AP certification preferred. CSI-CCS, preferred. (Must be willing to complete CSI-CDT within one year in order to pursue CSI-CCS).
  • Your Knowledge and Experience:
    • Minimum 10 years of post-graduate architectural design experience.
    • Proven ability to lead multiple and complex projects, as well as designing projects of a routine nature, while consistently meeting deadlines and ensuring all team members meet their deadlines.
    • Advanced ability to coordinate and integrate work with architects, designers, engineers, construction administrators, consultants and any other members of the project team.
    • Advanced knowledge of trends in the design and construction industries, construction methodology, material application, and manufacturer-supplier appropriateness.
    • Advanced knowledge of architectural building systems.
    • Advanced ability to produce and develop excellent design deliverables.
    • Advanced experience with quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) processes.
    • Advanced knowledge of applicable codes and ability to assist in conducting research for requirements that may need to be incorporated into contract documents.
    • Sound knowledge of sustainability, universal design, and LEED guidelines.
    • Consistent background of strong leadership, mentoring, and team collaboration and client leadership skills, as demonstrated through your competencies.
  • Your Technical Skills:
    • Advanced knowledge of Revit/AutoCAD, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign required. Experience in producing design concepts and content, demonstrated through a strong portfolio of finished work.
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and Outlook required.
    • Proficiency in SketchUp and BSD Spec Link preferred.


  • Building Effective Teams—You blend people into teams when needed; you create strong morale and spirit in your team; you share wins and successes; you foster open dialogue; you let people finish and be responsible for their work; you define success in terms of the whole team; you create a feeling of belonging in the team.
  • Creativity – You come up with a lot of new and unique ideas; you easily make connections among previously unrelated notions; you tend to be seen as original and value-added in brainstorming settings.
  • Customer Focus – You are dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers; you get first-hand customer information and use it for improvements in products and services; you act with customers in mind; you establish and maintain effective relationships with customers and gain their trust and respect.
  • Interpersonal Savvy—You relate well to all kinds of people—up, down, and sideways, inside and outside the organization; you build appropriate rapport; you build constructive and effective relationships; you use diplomacy and tact; you can diffuse even high-tension situations comfortably.
  • Organizing—You can marshal resources (people, funding, material, support) to get things done; you can orchestrate multiple activities at once to accomplish a goal; you use resources effectively and efficiently; you arrange information and files in a useful manner.
  • Peer Relationships – You can quickly find common ground and solve problems for the good of all; you can represent your own interests and yet be fair to other groups; you can solve problems with peers with a minimum of noise; you are seen as a team player and are cooperative; you easily gain trust and support of peers; you encourage collaboration; you can be candid with peers.
  • Planning – You accurately scope out length and difficulty of tasks and projects; you set objectives and goals; you break down work into the process steps; you develop schedules and task/people assignments; you anticipate and adjust for problems and roadblocks; you measure performance against goals; you evaluate results.
  • Presentation Skills – You are effective in a variety of formal presentation settings: one-on-one, small and large groups, with peers, direct reports, and bosses; you are effective both inside and outside the organization, on both cool data and hot conversational topics; you command attention and can manage group process during the presentation; you can change tactics when something isn’t working.
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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