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Sluggish pay growth for US architects - but wages still higher than UK

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Pay packets for architects working in America are not growing as fast salaries in the UK, new research has revealed

However, the data published by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) shows professionals in equivalent positions in the US get paid, across the board, much more than those in this country.

The AIA’s latest salary survey, which covers the two years from 2013 to 2015, shows average compensation for architectural staff increased by 3.5 per cent over that period – equating to 1.75 per cent a year. The latest figures for AJ120 practices indicate architects on this side of the Atlantic pocketed rises of 5 per cent over the past 12 months alone.

The institute said that over a two-decade window US architects had averaged annual compensation rises of between 4 and 5 per cent, but that figure had dropped to ‘less than 1 per cent’ during the recession. It added that since 2008, architects’ pay had increased at a rate of around half that of the broader economy.

£58,000 - average salary of qualified architect in the US

One source of comfort for US architects is that their pay is significantly higher than their UK counterparts. The AIA said the mean pay for qualified architects and designers across all firm sizes was $91,300, which equates to around £58,000 at current exchange rates. The average salary for an architect at an AJ120 practice is £38,000.

Regionally, ‘Architect 3’ level professionals - those with 10 or more years of experience and who oversee large projects with many assigned staff - earned most money in New England, where their mean salary was $104,600 (£66,547). The lowest-paying region for Architect 3s to work in was East South Central, which includes Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Professionals there earned $77,500 (£49,000).

Separately, research published by the Association of Consulting Architects Australia (ACA) last month showed positive trends for members, but cannot be directly be compared to the AJ100 figures or AIA data.

The ACA said the two-thirds of practices were offering staff pay rises of 3% or more in 2015, up from just under half in 2014. It did not provide an average pay-rise figure.

Previous Story (AJ 04.06.2015)

Profession sees salaries rise across the board


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