Architectural Designer – Portland, ME, USA | Jobs


Kaplan Thompson Architects is a Portland, Maine architectural firm that prioritizes sustainability, creative design, and technical excellence on every project. We believe deeply in working to reverse climate change, including a commitment to Architecture 2030 and the communities we serve. We are looking for a Architectural designer with 0 to 3 years of work experience. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to step in the door with an award-winning, mission-driven company named to the Architect 50: 50 best companies in terms of sustainable development in the USA

We are looking for candidates who live within commuting distance of our office in downtown Portland and are able to work primarily in person for the first six months of employment. Once this training period is over (and you’ve endured our terrible jokes enough), we offer you a flexible environment with options for in-person and remote work. Some of our team members have permanent desks in the office, others take advantage of flexible workstations, and some only come for required meetings and – of course – office parties.

No matter where you work, we value your time and a healthy work-life balance. We observe a 40-hour work week, and time spent on project work beyond your weekly obligation is reimbursed quarterly in the form of compensation time, hourly pay, or an “experience” of your choice (more information about this when hiring!).

Our workload and commitment to our customers and the environment is rigorous, but so is our desire to foster a sense of community among our team and our peers. We appreciate company happy hours, birthday lunches, and the occasional bowling alley, as well as a dedicated Slack channel for sharing photos of your canine companion. As if that weren’t enough, let’s just say that after hours, we’re not afraid to roll up our sleeves and turn the conference room table into a ping pong court.

If you’re ready to be wowed by our awesome assortment of nutritious office snacks (and meet the job requirements below!), we’re ready to meet you!

Remuneration, schedule and (excellent) benefits

We offer competitive salaries aligned with prescribed AIA rates at or near the top levels in the region.

This offer includes 3 weeks paid/personal/sick vacation annually. Our benefits package also includes 100% medical coverage on health insurance and 100% coverage on disability insurance. Additionally, KTA offers a 401K benefits plan that allows you to save for retirement. With this plan, KTA will match your contributions up to 4% of your salary. There is no waiting period to receive this benefit; you are eligible to join the 401K plan when you are hired.

We also offer 10 paid holidays and 3 paid floating holidays. A transportation allowance of $60/month. will be provided and may be spent on a parking space, bus pass or retained by you if other means of transport is used. Bonuses are distributed according to the hours worked and the success of the office. Each year, each employee has the opportunity to spend up to $500 and two days pursue professional development, which may include attending a conference, taking a course, or participating in another approved activity. Designers interested in obtaining a license also benefit from access to company-paid training materials and reimbursement of expenses from ARE upon successful completion of testing. We also offer a paid community day with the whole office and up to 24 hours paired during the year for any community service projects you would like to pursue.

Kaplan Thompson is the only architectural firm in Maine to receive the JUST label for a socially just and equitable organization.


Design competence

  • Undertake a variety of assignments requiring the application of standard architectural techniques for small projects or selected segments of a larger project
  • Show an ability to assimilate programmatic requirements into competent design solutions

Technical capacity

  • Provide building information modeling, research, renderings and presentation materials as required
  • Perform design layouts and features, which require researching, compiling and recording information for assigned project work


  • Act as a design assistant to more senior architectural staff with occasional client and builder contact
  • Write reports, notes and provide correspondence as required by projects

Team work

  • Work in a collaborative team structure with other architects and designers on single and multi-family residential projects, restaurants and institutions with a focus on sustainability

Industry awareness

  • Strive to integrate sustainable solutions throughout your work
  • Produce work consistent with the quality and design aesthetic of the company and region

Personal development

  • Participate in the office culture
  • Aim for professional and personal development



Mandatory: Minimum BArch completed and 0-3 years of relevant work experience; location within commuting distance of our office in Portland; ability to attend construction site tours within 3 hours of Portland, regular in-person client meetings, and in-person office events. Access to the office requires climbing stairs. Construction administration requires navigating construction sites that lack accessibility features.

Prefer: Concentration in sustainable design; strong macrame and/or needle felting skills


Mandatory: Excellent aesthetic and/or technical design skills, strong written and verbal communication skills, drafting with BIM modeling experience

Prefer: Training/interest/experience in the field of sustainable design, experience with ArchiCAD, software proficiency with Mac, Microsoft Office, Gsuite, Adobe Creative Suite, Keynote or Powerpoint


You bring:

· Friendliness and positive attitude

· Joy and creativity to your projects and workplace

· Emerging design vision, dynamism and deep belief in a more sustainable future

The ability to push boundaries and think unconventionally

You embrace :

· Work independently and achieve goals in a timely manner

Collaborate with other team members and external partners

Active participation in the health and dynamism of the company

Maintain rigor in the quality of work and written communications

You are comfortable with:

A flexible environment with options for in-person and remote work

An open and collaborative team approach and a collegial studio atmosphere

Communicate when you see opportunities for improvement and come to the table with solutions

You can expect from us:

· The opportunity to work on high-performance projects with net zero energy consumption, Living Building Challenge and Passive House, with all the rigors and joys that this entails

Professional development support and resources

A portfolio of mission-driven projects

To see some of our work and our philosophy, please see

Ready to join our firm? Please send a resume, brief cover letter and work samples to Our first test to consider is rigorous: please also mention your most useless superpower in your initial answer. No calls, thank you.


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