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Profession sees salaries rise across the board


A rise in architects’ confidence has resulted in pay increases across the profession

More than 90 per cent of AJ120 practices claimed to have raised salaries in the past year, and the result seems to be a happier workforce. According to the employees’ survey, 79 per cent of architectural staff said they were happy with their salaries.

Directors and partners continue to reward themselves for the growing success of their practices. The median pay for management staff rose by four per cent to £80,000. There was no movement at associate level.

However the greatest increase has been in jobbing architects’ pay. Architects at AJ120 firms are now taking home an average £38,000 – up by an inflation-busting 5 per cent. The rise sees pay head back to where it was in the pre-recession years of 2008 and 2007.

Dave Madden, director of architectural recruitment firm Mustard, said: ‘Salaries around the UK are catching up with London quickly as companies are busy and aware they will lose staff to the bright lights if they don’t offer a good package.

‘We recently had a Part 2 turn a job down at £30,000 as they had an offer elsewhere at £35,000.’

Adrian Dobson, RIBA director of practice, added: ‘The AJ120 salary data broadly correlates with the findings of the RIBA Architects Annual Earnings survey, which last year saw the first above inflation increase in average earnings since 2008. 

‘There is now plenty of evidence that the jobs market for salaried architects is improving significantly and salaries are rising. However, there remains a lot of ground to make up in terms of architects’ earning power.’

Further comments

John Assael, chairman, Assael
‘Directors and partners salaries are going up less (as a percentage) than the architects that they employ so evidence perhaps of prudent management.  

‘I am delighted that salaries are increasing across all levels and surely this means that practices are getting either more efficient or charging more fees; let’s hope it is both. Construction costs are going up so fees are probably increasing in line with this, although the percentages reported are likely to be static.

‘This is all good news for architects as long as practices can afford to pay more. This means that they should   promote their special skills and not being taken for a ride by unscrupulous clients who aren’t prepared to pay appropriate fees;  if they are too low, now is the time for architects to walk away.’

Ben Adams, founding director, Ben Adams Architects
‘Directors and Partners pay is up because it has been suppressed over the last few years (along with everyone else’s pay) and there is now greater optimism about the economy.

‘Architects pay is up because there is a shortage of qualified and experienced architects, and they find themselves in demand. Good luck to them too. Our profession is not particularly well remunerated and we should ask for money if we think it can be had.’



Readers' comments (2)

  • I would be very interested to see an article in the AJ about how Architects' Job Vacancies, and salaries compare across the country. I have just done a very quick tot up on the AJ job site and here are the jobs available as best as I can see via regions:-
    London 235 vacancies/ South East 327/ Midlands 21/ Yorkshire 10 /East of England 36/ South West 19/ North West 13/ and North East 5.
    So in terms of a North /South divide 617 in the South
    49 'up North'.

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  • A nice start..but how much are fees increasing? If they are not, then it will just impact cashflow and profitability.
    There is a ridiculously low salary level pattern amongst architects.
    An upturn in the economy is simply not enough - being helpless in the face of the market is an indefensible position and to hear RIBA sounding happy is less than edifying to be honest.

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