Architectural Designer


Kaplan Thompson Architects


Portland, ME

Do you enjoy debating which Muppet you would be with your colleagues? Would bags of foraged fungi suddenly materializing in your workspace delight you? Are you pleased by the sound of laughter and aroma of lobster rolls (Highroller is our downstairs neighbor)? If these scenarios have you cantilevering off our every word, we might just be the team for you.

Kaplan Thompson Architects is a Portland, Maine architecture firm seeking an Architectural Designer with 2 or fewer years of professional experience for work on varied projects, all with a creative design and deep sustainability focus.

This is a unique opportunity to get in the door with a mission-based, award-winning firm named to the Architect 50: Top 50 Firms in Sustainability in the U.S. We’re looking for an affable individual with emerging design vision, ambition, and motivation. You must have the ability to push boundaries, think unconventionally, and be interested in growing the design department inside an existing architecture studio. Exceptional creativity, strong communication, writing, and editing skills are vital. You will get the opportunity to work on Living Building Challenge and Passive House projects, with all the rigors and joys they entail.

We believe deeply in working to reverse climate change, including a commitment to Architecture 2030 and the communities we serve, and strive to practice what we preach. We are the only architecture firm in Maine to have received the JUST label for a socially just and equitable organization.
We are seeking candidates who live within commuting distance of our office in Downtown Portland, but offer a flexible environment with options for both in-person and remote work. You must be able to attend construction site visits within a 3-hour range of Portland, Maine, attend regular in-person client meetings, and in-person office events. Some members of our team maintain a permanent desk in the office, others take advantage of flex work-stations, and some only pop in for required meetings and - of course - office parties.

Regardless of 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 as comp time, an hourly payout, or an “experience” of your choosing (more on this upon hire!).

Kaplan Thompson maintains an open, collaborative team approach and a collegial studio atmosphere. Our workload and commitment to our clients and the environment are rigorous, but so is our thirst for Phil’s custom craft cocktails. We enjoy company happy hours, birthday lunches, and occasional bowling parties, as well as a dedicated Slack channel for sharing photos of your canine companion. As if that’s not enough, let’s just say that after hours, we aren’t afraid to push up our sleeves and turn the conference room table into a ping pong court.

If you are ready to be dazzled by our stunning assortment of nutritious office snacks (and meet the position qualifications below!), we are ready to meet you!


To Whom the Position Reports
Project Managers, Principals


General Responsibilities
Work in a collaborative team structure with other architects and designers, primarily managing single-family and multi-family residential projects, restaurants, and schools; act as a design assist to the Project Manager with client and builder contact; resolve many office problems independently and facilitate solutions; provide Building Information Modeling, research, renderings, presentation boards as required; participate in office culture.
Qualifications, Skills & Knowledge Requirements
• Excellent design skills
• Strong communication skills
• Education / interest / experience – and passion – in the field of sustainable design
• Passion for architectural aesthetics and building science
• BArch or BS completed
• Although not required, preference will be given to candidates who have experience with ArchiCad; 3D Drafting with BIM modeling experience required.
• Although not required, preference will be given to candidates who have achieved licensure.
• Ability to work independently and meet timely goals as set forth
• Solid macramé and/or needle-felting skills


Compensation, Timing and (Excellent) Benefits

Anticipated salary range for this role, commensurate with experience and potential: base salary of $46,000 - $58,000 with a total compensation package of $54,600 - $67,000. We offer salaries at or near the top levels for the region.

This offer includes 3 weeks of paid vacation / personal / sick time annually. Our benefits package also includes 100% medical coverage on Health Insurance and 100% coverage on Disability Insurance.  Additionally, KTA offers a SIMPLE IRA benefit plan that allows you to save for retirement. With this plan, KTA will match your contributions up to 3% of your salary. There is no waiting period to receive this benefit; you are eligible to join the SIMPLE IRA plan upon hire.

We also offer 10 paid holidays. A commuting stipend of $60/mo. will be provided, and may be either spent towards a parking space, bus pass, or kept by you if an alternate form of transportation is used. Bonuses are distributed in accordance with hours worked and success of the office. Annually, every employee has the opportunity to spend up to $500 and two days pursuing professional development, which might include attending a conference, taking a class, or participating in another approved activity. We also offer one paid Community Day with the entire office and up to 24 matched hours over the year for any a Community Service project you would like to pursue.


Possible Career Path Options
• Potential to develop into a Leadership Sector position.


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



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