Even as remuneration levels stagnate across the economy, salaries and wages in the architecture sector have risen by between two and ten percent as demand for architects rises.
Data from Seek, which was reported recently by Architecture & Design, suggests that salaries within the architecture and design profession as well as other creative industries rose across the board in 2015/16.
Illustration and animation was the top mover with average salaries rising 10.2 percent to come in at $75,720.
This was followed by landscape architecture, web & interaction design, graphic design, urban planning and design, fashion & textile design and architecture (refer table).
Salaries in interior design as well as architectural drafting and industrial design did register an increase but the magnitude of that increase was lower in these areas than was the case for other areas.
The latest findings follow the results of an earlier survey conducted by the Association of Consulting Architects, which showed that whilst 56 percent of architecture firms paid average salary increases over the past year of less than three percent, 15 percent in fact paid increases of six percent or more.
Around Australia, demand for architects has been extremely strong over the past year or two as a result of the surge in residential building activity in eastern markets.
Adam Shapley, senior regional director of Hays Architecture, says increases in salaries reflect robust levels of underlying demand conditions across a number of areas and states.
“We are seeing strong upward pressure on architecture salaries,” Shapley said.
According to Shapley, demand is most strong for those who can combine Revit skills with strong design and construction process knowledge.
Salary pressure was also high for design architects and project architects across eastern capitals whilst demand associated with multi-unit developments, large urban regeneration projects and retail or aged care and healthcare developments have created demand for Architects in NSW, Victoria, the ACT and Queensland was ‘putting pressure on salaries’, Shapley said.
Going forward, Shapley says further salary increases are likely amid a robust environment of demand.
Pointing to results of the most recent Hays Salary guide released earlier this year which showed that 57 percent of employers expected to increase salaries by less than three percent in the next review but that 60 percent had indicated that skills shortages were impacting their businesses, he said upward pressure will remain despite employer reluctance to open their wallets too far.
“Earlier in the year employers were reluctant to offer substantial increases unless absolutely necessary to secure a candidate with skills in short supply,” Shapley said.
“But as job opportunities reduced the availability of skilled professionals, and employees started to ask for a pay rise, salary pressure emerged and it has led to some increases.”
“So in general, the design and delivery of projects will lead to increased hiring levels, work volumes and salaries.”