10 Smart Ways For an Architect to Make Passive Income

10 Smart Ways For an Architect to Make Passive Income

An Architect is said to be the jack of all trades and master of none. As an architect, you can make those trades work for you and generate an income that is necessarily not from selling core architecture services i.e. A passive income.

What is Passive Income?

A passive income is a type of unearned income that is acquired automatically with minimal labor to earn or maintain.

Why is Passive Income so Important for your Financial Future?

The economy has two foes – inflation and tax. The only way we can fight these two is to increase productivity per capita. In today’s world, you cannot just rely on one income stream, it is easy to earn than to save these days. The money in your pocket today will not have the same value in near future. You need to have ways that can increase your pocket size. That’s where the passive income stream steps in. It helps you earn more by reducing your efforts too.  
For earning a passive income, you have to be very clear about the niche you want to work in. Choosing a niche requires rigorous mental toiling. No one will tell you the approach; it is just not the same as choosing your college or profession. You have to think from an all-rounder perspective.  
1 – What is my educational background?  
2 – What are my skills?  
3 – What problems I can solve with my skills?  
4 – How much time do I have to invest in my passive niche?  
5 – Will my side hustle business one day replace my 9-to-5 job?  
This five-pointer questionnaire you should be able to answer before deciding on your niche.

Why Passive Income for Architects?

Generally, a 9-to-5 job is not sufficient for an architect. Data shows architecture profession is undervalued and underpaid. Therefore, it is necessary for them to at least have a passive income other than their job. But as discussed earlier architects can have access to multiple revenues due to the nature of their course. 

The following are the 10 smart ways for an architect to make passive income.

1. Conduct Online Classes and Create Courses

The increasing culture of online classes may encourage participation from students who may not actively participate in traditional classroom settings be it because of lack of time, being in a remote location, etc. It is the best way architects can make money, have flexible working hours, and engage as many students as possible around the globe. A tutor who teaches online has a wealth of technology to make classes more interesting, grabbing more learners and directly adding to more income. Starting from Udemy to Campus to Skillshare and many more there are hundreds of platforms where you can teach online along with sharing your notes which again leads to an additional income. As an architect, you just have to find the differentiator you can offer in the online tutoring market. You can teach in-demand computer-aided design software, you can help others in preparing for online entrance examinations like NATA, JEE paper II and GATE. If you run an architecture practice, you can make others aware of the problems you faced during the practice and how you can overcome that. Also, if you hold a specialization like LEED certification. You must have passed an entrance examination for that. You can also make a start-to-end course around the specialization you hold as an Architect.

If you are an architecture aspirant looking to crack the NATA examination, this article can help you for sure. 10 Expert Tips to Crack NATA Exam by a Professional Architect

Online classes

2. Blogging

Blogging is highly flexible, lucrative, and easy to start and run business. You only need a good computer, an internet connection and a couple of hours after work. It is not a time-consuming passive income source, once you gain popularity you are good to go. So, if you are passionate and have good writing skills along with good content you can monetize your blog. Just keep your content good so that it attracts and engages the reader and they keep visiting your blog. Most architecture businesses look for good content, the content can be blogs, social media posts, copies, and content for affiliating with the products and services they sell as an architecture firm. However, if you wish to be an independent content creator you have to get yourself a domain and address people about the issues we face in the architecture industry, from business and consumer perspectives both. The usefulness of your niche will decide the traffic to your blog.


3. Selling Books

A passive source of income gives you security and extra money and writing is one of the best options among all others.  
Self-publishing an eBook can have no startup costs and still pay off big with a little work.  
So, turn your interest and your knowledge about your subject into books and earn royalties for as long as it sells.  
If confused about what to write about ask yourself what you are good at. And which topic do you have command? What are you passionate about? Do people often ask you about some topic that you have to explain over and over again? Do you have an idea that has been lingering in your head for years? Research suggests fiction sells better than non-fiction. Of course, in the architecture niche, you would be mostly writing non-fiction and self-help books. However, incorporating points of view in those books should be compulsory. An author should differentiate himself/herself by point of view and experiences on the subject. It will help the author carve a loyal reader base for him/her.

Before you move ahead, we suggest you read the following books. These books will help you understand architecture better and improve your skills as an architect.

10 Books Every Young Architect Must-Have

10 Essential Books for an Architecture Student, We Highly Recommend

4. Making a YouTube Channel

Nowadays everyone is aware of stories about regular people earning money on YouTube. Words and images are long dead in this quick entertainment society. Videos for architectural infotainment can be the highest form of expression you can provide from your side. Podcast channels like Blessed Arch and educational channels like City Beautiful are great examples to be followed.  
This is can be a passive means of income not only in architecture but in any profession, you just need to be consistent on it and create content that can grab as much audience as possible. When you reach a certain level of viewers and subscribers you get paid for it or you can monetize your channel. YouTube videos are free of cost to post. You just need a podcast setup and video editing software, most of these are of no and little cost. You are an architect; you are already being aware of the use of visual graphics better than professionals in other industries. Animation and motion graphics is one of those skills with which architects are equipped by defacto.

If you wish to browse the latest Interior Design Ideas, you may explore our official YouTube Channel PlannDesign 


5. Make Money being an Architectural Photographer

If I would say architecture is discovered by the masses only after the discovery of photography, then I would not be wrong. Architects create the art of designing buildings and structures but it is the “Photographers” that make it available to the masses, especially in this era of fast social media penetration. Today social media platforms are the biggest selling points for architectural designs and images. It acts as a call to action for consumers seeking architectural services. This makes photography important more than ever. So, being an architect if you do have a passion for photography and an eye for the right frame, you can opt for architectural photography as one of your income options. The nature of this job makes it a beneficial passive income option as time invested in the art would be less and the money required for it, would just be equivalent to one professional camera setup. However, we do have famous photographers who are doing this just with their mobile devices. Being an architectural photographer will not only allow you to work for firms as a freelancer but also as an entrepreneur who will be selling his photo to stock photo websites. If you're excellent at it, you might even start a blog to share your photographic knowledge with others.

Professional architectural photography demands high-quality equipment for professional results. Have a look at the 5 Best Cameras for Architectural Photography (Latest Models)

Cinematic frame

6. Make Money by Creating Consumer Products

Architects often are creative people. They are capable of making drawings of their ideas and they are used to thinking about how something should work for the end user. You see some problem repeating itself so you come up with the solution product for it. Architects are good at creating and executing solutions. Most architects work as interior designers also nowadays. Multiple consumer products constitute one single interior space. Therefore, architects are well-versed in consumer utility thinking. An architect can easily develop a product idea catering to the masses and ergonomics. We have Tom Ford, who is an architecture graduate working as a creative for multiple fashion brands.

Read 10 Products That Will Help You Feel Comfy After a Hectic Day

Product design

7. Make Money as an Architecture Developer

The linear architecture process goes like this. You get a client with an acquired land and project requirement; you simply handle them your design and even monitor the execution of the project. But architecture developer works inversely to this. They acquire land alone or in partnership, develop the property and then pitch it to clients for investment. Here, the architect is working akin to a real estate developer. With investment options like REITs, it is now also easier for the public to invest in real estate properties. This is a very lucrative career option only you just have to put the number game before your artistic acumen.

Property development

8. Have an Architecture Degree and Amplify the Skills in Other Industries

An architect learns to design for almost five years. This gives architects access to other design industries to work as professionals. An architect can venture into graphic designing, product designing, fashion designing, industrial designing, and many more sub-categories in the design sector. Not only in the design sector, but an architect can also work in the non-design sector. Information technology companies partner with architects for continuous consultancy. Even Investment banks hire architects to research and inspect the construction project they are financing. Architecture is just not a skill; it is a mindset. Even if you are working in a position that is not at all related to designing, you can still indirectly incorporate the knowledge you have. A coder with architecture education will face no problem designing an application's user interface or designing a software plugin specifically for the design and construction industry.

Sometimes after completing an architecture course, many realize that core architecture is not their true calling. And if you are one of those don't worry, this article can help you find an alternative career outside of the architecture course. 10 Career Options to Pursue after Architecture


9. Provide Consultancy Only

An architect consultant advises businesses and businesses representative on building and construction. Instead of selling full architectural services, you can do solution advisory for single-point problems. E.g., You can partner with financial organizations for property valuation consultancy, you can advise restaurant and retail owners on their business operational costing, You can assist people with their property purchases and home financing, etc.

Architecture consultancy

10. Do you have a Startup Idea?

An entrepreneur is an architect and an architect is already an entrepreneur. An architect is taught how to come up with an idea, create a solution around it, execute it and make it sellable to others. We have a term for it “Archipreneur”.  
Do you have an idea for a startup or a solution for a problem that affects the masses?  
Opening a startup is never been easier than today. Foreign direct investment and venture capital funds are all-time high in India. The attrition rate in the pursuit of entrepreneurship is also increasing. So don’t let your idea dry by not executing it. Be a part of the world’s largest startup ecosystem which is India by today. Who knows your idea is the next unicorn?


Architects love to create ideas. They can surely create them for passive income too. The article mentions 10 smart ways for an architect to make passive income. You can work on any of the above as per your convenience and economics or else you can come up with your new way too. Although, articles from Planndesign will keep feeding you ways to manage your economy in this architecture profession.

Let us know in the comments below what is your source of Passive Income and how did you achieve that. We would love to hear from you.

Lastly, take a read to the Importance Of Professional Experience For An Architect!! 

and How to Become a Freelancer Architect 

If this post inspired you, share it with others so that they can be inspired too!!

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