Here, how much one earns with architectural firms depends greatly on
reputation (of course you know that). In my own mind, architecture can
be the most beautiful blend of engineering and aesthetics!
My comment about ad agencies is from some personal past experience in
Chicago. I worked for a year in the research department of an
industrial products ad agency. Research was mostly geared to marketing.
I later interviewed as an artist with a high end ad agency in Chicago
and ended the interview process quickly. I found the people there to be
pretentious while proclaiming great creative genius and superiority to
the buying public. That is not enough experience to be making
declarations, of course, but my understanding is that that attitude is
not at all uncommon. Nothing wrong will feeling superior, I guess; it
just isn't my style.
Architecture. One of my husband's friends was a very old fellow who had
been a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and he had many tales to tell
about the profession. He was also a follower of Wright, and was highly
successful. This was in the Oak Park (western suburbs) area of Chicago.
He enjoyed a fine living style. He did tell us that the field is
extremely competitive and that women were pushed into the more
decorative aspects--landscape, interior, that kind of thing. I would
hope that things have changed greatly since then. But the thrust of
this little anecdote is that architecture can be most lucrative. I am
guessing that it comes down to one's business acumen and
determination--both of which you have in generous amount.