Architects with high levels of ability in technologies such as BIM, virtual reality and 3D printing are in strong demand, a new report reveals.

In its April-June Quarterly Report, recruitment outfit Hays said demand for architects remains healthy across eastern states and is improving in South Australia courtesy of private and government projects, low interest rates and government subsidies, though project flow is limited in Western Australia.

Primarily, Hays said, employers are demanding candidates with capabilities across a range of technologies as well as good ‘soft skills’ and creative thinking abilities.

“Architects now need to not only use a broad range of digital devices and tools to practice their job, but to enhance their ability to design creatively,” Hays said in its report. “They also need to be aware of emerging new technologies and learn how to use them to their advantage; GPS positioning, 3D printing and VR are current tools of focus.

“We’re also seeing employers request candidates with a variety of soft skills in addition to their technical knowledge. The most important of these is the ability to solve problems in order to meet the initial brief as well as settle the range of complications that can arise throughout the process.

“The case could be made that to solve many of these problems architects must think creatively, which is perhaps why creative thinking is another important soft skill commonly requested.”

In its report, Hays says there are a number of skills in demand. These include:

  • Technicians and architects with Revit skills, where the industry is facing critical shortages and in which demand will only continue to grow
  • BIM managers, to transition a firm’s workforce to a new BIM program and to create content and templates
  • Experienced architects in the eastern states and in South Australia in response to development projects that require planning and design
  • Contract architects, available at short notice, to work on tenders or help complete project stages
  • Experienced statutory planners, especially in Victoria, to work on town planning projects for local councils across busy metropolitan markets
  • Land use planners, to handle increasing number of development applications and a need for strategic land use evaluation
  • Transport planners, with a focus on improving transport infrastructure
  • Interior designers, for work on retail and commercial projects.

In its report, Hays advises job seekers to be fully up-to-date in terms of technology.

“If you haven’t already done so, we advise jobseekers to upskill in the latest technology tools,” it says. “It’s important to go beyond merely observing technology trends to upskilling yourself, particularly in digital design-to-fabrication (which is already becoming mainstream), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tools.

“Learn about scripting since customer design tools will become customary and get ready for software that thinks and makes recommendations.”