Architecture Salary Survey Results

Welcome to our first Architecture & Design salary survey. We're really excited to be able to present this data, and will be using it each year, building on it, to provide invaluable insight into the Architectural sector pay and conditions, as well as gauging overall job satisfaction.
To produce this report, we've combined our own data on placements we have made this year and vacancies we are currently work on, along with the results from an external salary survey that we created, sending the survey out to candidates on our database along with distributing it across our social channels. We believe this report will help us continue to improve our service levels and give us a greater understanding of our market, enabling us to serve our clients and candidates better and better. It will help us to ensure we work with the best clients and place the best candidates in roles that are well-remunerated and where job satisfaction is paramount.

How do salaries meet with expectations?

According to data taken from the RIBA Business Benchmarking 2021 report, the Architecture sector contributed over £3 billion to the UK economy and employed over 38,000 people. With a huge focus on the importance of the Construction sector and its role in the UK economic recovery, it is clear that demand for Architecture professionals is soaring, and thus this will have a knock on effect on the salaries that can be commanded. However, one startling observation that we made from the responses we had from our survey, is that the majority of respondents (over 61%) believed their overall salary and benefits package to be lower than their expectations, and most were not happy with their overall package, as can be seen from the charts below. It is worth noting that this is a relatively small set of data and might not necessarily represent the wider market, and might be more of a reflection of the current cost of living crisis and inflation levels leading to falls in real income.

And what about job satisfaction? Around 59% of respondents were happy in their current role, but we were surprised to see that almost 31% were not.

Salary Survey Results

Breaking the data down from the survey, the results below show the average salary by job title. These tend to be in line with RIBA's guidelines which is positive.

When we looked further into the data and split it by location, we saw that salaries for Architects for the North East were lower than average, at around £35,000, and the same job in the North West was higher than average, at £37,600. There are fewer big Architectural
companies in the North East, which could account for the slightly lower salaries, with less competition around. Conversely, the average salary for an Architectural Technologist was higher across the North East than Yorkshire and the North West, with the number of years
worth of experience coming into play and meaning employees have been able to command a higher salary. Respondents of the survey who hold the position of Senior Architect in the North West have higher average salaries than those that responded in the South East - we are seeing and are working on a huge rise in job vacancies across the North West in the Architecture sector. The switch to a more hybrid working model, along with many large construction projects across the North West is leading to a rise in average salaries, especially for those with lots of experience. 

What additional benefits did our respondents receive and what's deemed most important?

Around a third of respondents received some sort of annual bonus; some as a percentage of their salary, others as a fixed quarterly or annual amount. In addition approximately 38.5% of the people who responded have private health insurance as part of their remuneration package.
What is clear to see is the switch towards remote and flexible working. Almost 75% of respondents have the ability to work from home or work on a more flexible basis. The normalisation of hybrid and flexible working is something positive that has arisen from the pandemic, and what we are seeing is that almost all of our vacancies that we work on have some element of this, giving candidates much more choice. 
We also tried to determine what aspects of a role people find important other than their salary. This really helps us to understand what candidates are looking for in their job searches and ensures we work with clients who are the best fit. We asked people to rank how they viewed certain factors of their job package, including being able to work flexibly, hybrid working, their work-life balance, the culture of the business etc. The results are shown in the chart below. Key findings we found interesting were that over 50% (53.9%) of respondents
ranked the culture of the organisation as the most important, along with the importance of a work-life balance. As mentioned previously the cultural shift towards flexible and hybrid working has been immense since the covid pandemic, as businesses have realised employees do not need to be chained to a desk 9-5 in the office in order to carry out their work; over 50% of respondents said that their work-life balance ranked as most important.

Linear Recruitment Placements

What about placements that we have made and how do they compare to the results of the survey?

Linear's Architecture division began at the start of 2022, and in that short time, we have placed a large number of candidates into placements across the country. We've broken down some data for the main job roles that we work on, with the average salaries being displayed in the table above. On the whole, the salaries are similar to what our salary survey indicated, with regional variances accounting for some of the differences. Salaries in the North West are stronger than average, particularly for Architectural Technologists and Senior Architects, and we've seen salaries for Architects and Architectural Technologists performing well in the North East.

We've also included details of some of the vacancies that we are currently working on. The below tables have the minimum and maximum average salaries for some of these roles, and we've split it by location.

Linear Recruitment works in partnership with Architectural and Interior Design practices, engineering and multi-disciplinary firms, Property Developers, Landscape and Urban Design Consultancies, Retailers and Local Authorities. We have developed strong links with leading Design and Architectural Clients and whatever the stage of the cycle, our expert Recruitment Consultants are experienced in locating and placing contract and permanent industry professionals. With a large number of recruitment agencies out there, competing, we understand we need to stand out from the rest and earn the top recognition, and we do this in a simple way - we work with you. We have an honest and dedicated approach. We know our markets, we really take the time to understand the businesses we work with and their recruitment requirements, and ensure we match the right candidates and talent into the right positions. For more information and to see how we can help you, you can get in touch with either Elliot Birtwistle or Adam Hawisa, our two experts in Architecture.