Top Reasons members join SDA and stay

Strengthening and advancing your administrative career is dependent on many variables today. Top among them are your ability to solve problems quickly and efficiently, development of your leadership skills, and staying on top of current trends and information.

  • Solve Problems and Access Industry Resources Quickly

  • Leadership Development

  • Educational Opportunities

  • Make a Difference in Your Community

  • Networking & Collaboration

  • Who can join SDA?

Anyone who is employed as managerial or administrative personnel in the A/E/C industry or anyone whose products or services support the industry. (Examples: Office manager, controller, marketing coordinator, CFO, receptionist, project administrator)

How much does SDA membership cost?

Houston Chapter Dues: $50.00

Professional & Associate National Membership
 $250/year + Chapter Dues
Certified Design Firm Administration (CDFA) Dues: $25/year




We believe that as a group we are stronger, and that collaboration, knowledge and the creation of relevant lifelong connections empowers and drives the professional growth of our members. We accomplish this through Education, Networking, and Resources that focus on the specific needs of Management and Administrative professionals in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry.”2019 Houston SDA Board


SDA’s primary objectives are:

FOR OVER 50 YEARS the Society for Design Administration (SDA) has been providing accredited education, best management practices, and training on professional standards to help design firm personnel grow professionally. Our membership stretches across the United States and Canada and is composed of personnel in the architecture, engineering, construction, landscape, and interior design professions.

  • To enhance practice administration through personal growth and continued education

  • To encourage career growth and excellence through a Certified Design Firm Administration (CDFA) program

  • To contribute to the development of office systems and materials

  • To work with institutions of higher education to establish a curriculum for the training of design field personnel

  • To cooperate with civic organizations whose undertakings are non-profit, non-political, and of vital interest to the community

  • To enhance the network of our members and their firms within the A/E/C community

Contact Your Local Membership Chair:

Brenda Jimenez– or 832.877.7707

Membership Categories Explained


Those persons employed as administrative personnel for an architect, engineer, or design professional related to the construction industry, whether in private practice, on the staff of a licensing or registration board, a school, or any other public or private institution or company, and consultants who perform design services administration for the entities described above. They shall pay Chapter and National Dues, and shall have the right to vote and hold Chapter and National office.

Professional members are office managers, marketing directors, business managers, bookkeepers, secretaries, human resource managers, etc., who work for architecture, engineering, interior design, and general contracting firms. Persons who offer marketing, finance, word processing, desktop publishing services, etc., to such firms are also regular members.


Those persons whose products or services support the design profession. They shall pay Chapter and National Dues. Associate members are vendors who provide products and other services to our member firms, such as office and drafting suppliers, travel agents, insurance agents, reprographics consultants, plan centers, etc.


Member-at-Large is available when there is no existing chapter in the same area. A Member-at-Large shall have the same eligibility requirements as a Regular Member..


Those members in good standing at the time of retirement from professional life in the design profession for a minimum of 12 years and SDA for a minimum of 10 years. Retirees shall be assessed National Dues to cover the cost of mailings, etc. Local Dues may be assessed as designated by the individual chapter. They shall have all the rights and privileges of membership afforded them prior to retirement, except the right to hold National office or that of President Elect or President of their chapter. If an Emerita/Emeritus member is certified (SDA/C) at the time of retirement, he/she shall maintain that status without the need to renew.


Those persons who are currently enrolled as full-time students in an accredited program leading to a certificate or degree in architecture, engineering, interior design, or with a professed interest in applying their studies to the professional administration of such businesses. They shall pay Chapter and National dues. They shall have the right to attend all meetings of SDA, to speak and take part in the discussions thereat, and to serve as committee members. They shall not have the right to vote, to serve as a committee chair, or to hold Chapter or National office.

If you have any questions about membership or would like to know if there is a chapter in your local area contact:

Stephanie Kirschner, CDFA SDA National Executive Director / 


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