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Brickies ‘earn more than architects’

Bricklaying raker

The average bricklayer earns 10 per cent more than the typical architect, according to new research

A poll of 320 members by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) found that small builders across the UK were paying an average annual salary of £42,034 to brickies.

This compared with a median annual pay of £38,228 for architects across the UK stated by the Office for National Statistics in its draft 2017 earnings figures

Floorers, scaffolders and plasterers all earn more than architects, according to the FMB report. One firm was paying London bricklayers £90,000 a year.

FMB chief executive Brian Berry said: ‘Money talks and, when it comes to annual salaries, a career in construction trumps many university graduate roles.

‘The average university graduate in England earns £32,000 a year, whereas our latest research shows that your average bricky or roofer is earning £42,000 a year across the UK.

‘In London, a bricklayer is commanding wages of up to £90,000 a year. Pursuing a career in construction is therefore becoming an increasingly savvy move. ’

Average annual salaries:

  • Plumbers £48,675
  • Electricians earn £47,265
  • Civil engineering operatives £44,253
  • Steel fixers £44,174
  • Roofers £42,303
  • Bricklayers £42,034
  • Carpenters and joiners £41,413
  • Plasterers £41,045
  • Scaffolders £40,942
  • Floorers £39,131
  • Plant operatives £38,409
  • Architects £38,228**
  • Painters and decorators £34,587
  • General construction operatives £32,392.

Source: FMB poll of 320 members
**Median annual pay in latest (draft) ONS earnings figures


Readers' comments (15)

  • Phil Parker

    How many on the above list pay tax? I have a neighbour who is a bricklayer. He drives a white van very dangerously and never pays tax. He doesn’t believe in it. He also voted for Brexit.

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  • Brickies work hard outside in all weathers, I sit in my warm office working on a computer all day.... and sometimes night too. Fair enough, I'm self employed. So like brickies, I get paid for each hour I work. Can't help thinking that this is about the fact architects will sometimes work for free on a 'passion project' or on a competition and do overtime for free for larger companies just to get through their workload. All of which leads to a devaluing of their own worth. If it's on your timesheet the architects who own those firms will still charge out at the same rate on overtime, given freely, and increase their profit dramatically. I think the solution to this issue is within each young architect's own grasp but it would be a good idea to stand together to change this culture of working for free.

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  • If you want to earn more, become a brick layer. You wont though, because you don't want to be one.
    Being an architect means you work with people who think, as you do, in artistic and creative ways - this would not be the case on a building site if you took up the hod.
    An Architect has social kudos - you wouldn't do what is seen as a menial job, even though the pay is better. You are slaves to your egos and are angered that the Gentleman's profession is paid less than a working class trade.
    People want to do a job they are proud of. People want to be an Architect because others are more likely to respect you at dinner parties than if you said you were a brickie.

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  • Thank you RIBA for protecting our earnings.

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  • Actually, it was really great for sharing this post with us. Nice to see this post. Great experience.



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