Use this issue to benchmark your practice, whatever its size. Christine Murray tells you how
This year, we have published the results of the AJ100 survey in such a way to make it easy for you to compare your practice with key figures from the AJ100, no matter the size of your staff or turnover. Whether you’re a director or an employee, a large practice or small, here are my suggestions on how to use the information in this issue.
Benchmark your fees
For the first time ever in the AJ100, we’ve published AJ100 fee scales for new build and refurbishment projects on both design and build and traditional contracts. The smallest practices in the AJ100 employ just 22 architects, so will be in direct competition with myriad smaller practices of 20 architects or less, making these fee scales relevant to a wider audience than just the AJ100 practices. Examine the median fee scale rates, and the fee scales by practice type, to benchmark your fees.
Compare your salary
The median salaries by job role (director, architect, Part 2, etc) are published. Do you pay your staff more, or less, than the going rate? Is your practice paying you enough?
Calculate your fees per UK architect
Take the architectural fees you earn on projects delivered by your UK office(s), and divide that figure by the number of qualified architects you employ in the UK. Then compare your fees per architect to the median of £142,419 for the AJ100. This will be a good benchmark for how your practice income should cover the staff you employ with a healthy profit margin, or a buffer for downturns. The full data on AJ100 fees per UK architect is published in a table.
Compare overseas fees per architect
Examine the amount of overseas fees earned by AJ100 practices abroad, and once again divide this number by the number of qualified architects working overseas. Does having a base abroad really bring in more overseas fee income? Would setting up outside the UK be worth the investment for your practice?
Read the analysis
AJ100 research guru Bruce Tether, professor of design and innovation at Imperial College Business School, outlines some general trends based on practice type. Classify your practice – are you design-led, generalists, multidisciplinary or specialists? – to glean insight on how your type has fared during the economic downturn.
Why is the AJ100 arranged by the number of qualified architects employed?
The AJ100 is more than a decade old, so we’ve inherited this way of ranking. However it is appropriate that, as The Architects’ Journal, we celebrate practices which value the professional title of architect – now more than ever, as the profession reflects upon its role within the wider construction industry.