2017 Salary Survey Results - Foreword

3 November 2017

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Headline figures

  • Average Salary Increase (Part 1s - Partners/Directors) = 2.6%
  • Annual Inflation CPI September 2017 = 3.0%
  • London staff paid 6.1% more than the average
  • Northern Ireland staff paid 21.4% less than the average
  • Gaining your Part 3 is worth on average around £4,200

Approximate % of Part 1s paid below "Real Living Wage"

  • UK (excluding London) = 11.90%
  • London = 5.26%

The last year has seen a number of shocks to the market with Brexit, Donald Trump entering the White House and another General Election. Thankfully, however, the fears for the economy have failed to materialise so far and at the beginning of 2017 especially, there was a particularly large number of practices actively recruiting. This is not to say Brexit has not had a big impact. Sadly, many EU Architects have said the UK no longer holds the same appeal and have since left the country. If workloads stay strong and Architects continue to leave at the same rate, skills shortages will soon arise and practices will have to compete even harder to attract the best staff. This may have an impact on salaries but when most firms are feeling pressures on fee levels, there may be little room to manoeuvre.

To try and build a better picture of the current situation, 9B conducted a salary survey which received more than 1,350 responses from architectural staff across the UK.

The headline figure of a 2.6% rise in architectural salaries hides many stories. Although this is probably far higher than we imagined last year, inflation rose to 3% in September and architecture salaries are therefore still behind the curve.

As you will see from the report, this increase has also been heavily influenced by the salary rises at senior levels, whereas junior staff have seen very little change. Part 1s are still on average earning just over £20,000 and outside London often quite a lot less.

Gaining your Part 3 though has become even more valuable with recently qualified architects being paid around £4,200 more than Part 2s with the same number of years’ experience in practice. This is up by £350 compared to last year.

New additions to this years’ report include the percentage of staff who receive a bonus and salary splits between genders. In both cases, women appear to be remunerated the same or slightly more than their male colleagues early on in their careers. Beyond 5 years though, there is a noticeable change when the salaries of men are consistently higher than that of women and the percentage of women who receive a bonus is far behind that of men with similar experience.

Although it appears there have been great efforts to improve the culture within architectural practices to make the industry more appealing to women, there are obviously areas which have some way to go.

The final section of the report, therefore, looks at the additional benefits practices offer, which in many cases, can have a greater impact on someone’s life than just salary and bonuses. Firms like EPR are making studio culture a strong priority within their business and offering far more flexible working with an emphasis on time management to avoid the long-hours culture sadly too common within the industry.

It is still notable though that these benefits are predominantly offered by the medium to larger practices and smaller studios often stick to what is statutory. Careerwise, however, smaller firms may offer more responsibility and variety that can provide excellent experience to help you move up the career ladder.

I hope you find this a useful guide to the current salaries and if you would like to discuss further, do please give us a call.

Download full report here

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