As the improvement in building activity continues, the labour market for professionals in architecture throughout Australia continues to gather momentum.

Unveiling its September quarter jobs market report for the sector, recruitment outfit Hays said demand for architects was being driven by a continued boom in apartment building activity.

“We are seeing more consistency in the architecture jobs market with a variety of architectural practices and builders requiring additional staff,” Hays said in its report. “There has been a big shift in the residential market, with practices that work within the multi-unit residential and high-end residential areas being the busiest.”

“More and more employers are hiring permanent instead of temporary staff because they want to retain employees with specific experience in Revit or multi-unit residential projects.”

The report comes as record levels of activity in new housing construction and especially in apartment building show no sign of slowing down, with New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania being the strongest performing markets.

At 58,647, more apartments and multi-residential dwelling units were approved for construction on a seasonally adjusted basis in the first five months of this year alone than were approved throughout the entire year as recently as 2011, ABS figures show.

Because of this, demand for architects and designers is growing. Recent figures provided by indicate that in May, the number of job advertisements for architecture and design professionals was up by more than 40 per cent in New South Wales and around 30 per cent in Victoria when compared with the same month last year, with major growth in areas such as illustration and animation, architecture, interior design, urban planning and landscape architecture.

In its report, Hays says architects and interior designers that are proficient with Revit and Building Information Modelling software are highly sought, especially those with commercial and multi-residential project experience.

With many new projects in the initial stages and a shortage of candidates due to a tendency on the part of graduates to specialise in project architecture rather than design, meanwhile, there is also a shortage of residential design architects to perform front end stage work. Mid-level project architects who can manage projects, be adaptable and are comfortable working with CAD are in demand for multi-unit residential projects.

From an employer’s perspective, Hays says a shortage of quality candidates has made temporary hiring more difficult, and that many now considering succession planning were hiring mid-level candidates.

A stronger market has seen job seekers become increasingly particular about their selection of roles and be more likely to receive counter-offers from existing employers keen to retain staff.

Those with Revit experience, meanwhile, are increasingly reluctant to go back to any roles which use AutoCAD.