Architects Salary Report

What are the average architect salary levels within the architecture industry?

After another year of high inflation threatening the value of take-home pay, RIBA Head of Economic Research and Analysis, Adrian Malleson reviews salary data from the 2023 RIBA Business Benchmarking Report.

Which staff from Chartered Practices are receiving increases? Where are there pay gaps?

Salary Report2024

Practices need to be particularly attentive to gender and ethnicity pay gaps and to ensure that all Chartered Practice staff are paid at or above the Living Wage, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation.

The RIBA Jobs Salary Report uses data from the RIBA Business Benchmarking Report, published in December 2023, drawing on insights from nearly 4,000 RIBA Chartered Practices. Further detailed analysis of practice finances and staffing are available exclusively to RIBA Chartered Practices via www.ribabenchmark.com.

In 2023*, average salaries for most staff types within RIBA Chartered Practices have increased. On average, pay is rising by between 5% and 6% for Part 1, Part 2, and less experienced Architects. However, pay increases are less pronounced for more experienced staff, with some seeing falling pay.

  • Average (median) pay has increased by 3% for Associate Directors (to £50,000) and by 4% for Salaried Partners & Directors (to £65,500)
  • Architects with 5 or more years’ experience have seen average pay fall by 6% to £39,000. This may be a result of senior architects being promoted to Associate roles
  • The average earnings for early-stage architects are shown in more detail this year, with architects registered with ARB for less than one year receiving an average salary of £34,125, those registered between one and two years receiving £36,701, and those registered between 3 to 4 years averaging £36,071
  • Part 1 and 2 staff have seen average pay rise by between 5% and 6%

*Data from Chartered Practices as of 1 May 2023, so just after UK Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation had peaked.

 

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Salaries by region and practice

The interactive tables below provide an overview of the salaries received by those working in RIBA Chartered Practices.

RIBA Chartered Practices can exclusively access full details and commentary in the 2023 RIBA Benchmarking report, which can be downloaded here.

For the first time, the 2023 RIBA Benchmarking Survey asked for greater detail about the salaries of Architects and Architectural Assistants by career stage, and this is reflected in all the tables below. Also, practices with 20 or more staff were asked to provide details about the range of roles in larger practices, and this is why the findings for practices with 20 or more staff are presented separately.

To use the tables, click on the "Region" or "Practice Size" drop-down box in the top left, and select the data you are interested in. The table will be updated in line with your selection. Where there are blanks within a table, this is because there is insufficient data to meaningfully display. You may need to wait a short while for the tables to load. 

National averages are provided by the default "All" selection in the regional tables.

Salaries per region

This table shows average (median) salaries by staff type and region (by using the drop-down box). It includes data for all practice sizes.

Salaries for practices with fewer than 20 staff

This table shows average (median) salaries by staff type and practice size (by using the drop-down box) for practices with fewer than 20 staff. It includes only data for practices with fewer than 20 staff and the "All" selection shows the average across practices with fewer than 20 staff.

Salaries for practices with 20 staff or more

This table shows the average (median) salaries by staff type and practice size (by using the drop-down box) for practices with 20 staff or more. It includes only data for practices with 20 staff or more staff, and the "All" selection shows the average across practices with 20 staff or more.


Pay gap*

This year’s salary figures suggest the gender pay gap and the ethnicity pay gap remain significant. The gender pay gap is 16% this year, this being the figure by which average male salaries exceed average female salaries. Male staff earn more than female staff in all but one staff category, the exception being Apprentices. Female architects continue to be under-represented in the top pay quartile.

We continue to gather more data to delve deeper into the ethnicity pay gap, while recognising the current limitations. What emerges is a pay gap of 14% between staff who are Asian/Asian British, Black/African/Caribbean/Black British, mixed/multiple and other ethnic groups and white staff.

* Data on gender and ethnicity pay gaps relate only to larger practices that completed a separate spreadsheet. These are mainly, although not exclusively, practices with 100+ staff, self-selected.

Survey notes:

  1. RIBA Chartered Practices were asked to provide data on the ‘average’ salary paid to each type of staff. Respondents calculated the ‘average’ themselves; we asked that this should ideally be the median average.
  2. We asked for the basic salary, excluding overtime. This is the salary received by the employee before tax and National Insurance are deducted but excluding the Employer’s National Insurance costs.
  3. Basic salary was the salary being paid on 1 May 2023. The salary included profit share, where given, and if included it was the average profit share across the year. Bonus payments are not included.
  4. Partners/Directors/Sole Principals are treated differently. Their salary is combined with Partners' share of profits and Directors' dividends.
  5. All salaries have been converted by respondents to full-time equivalent. Salaries, dividends or profits shares and fringe benefits for Partners/Directors/Sole Principals are an approximation of the totals paid in the 12 months to 1 May 2023.
  6. Average earnings are reported here as 'median' averages, as distinct from 'mean' averages. This follows the approach used in the RIBA/The Fees Bureau Architects' Earnings Survey - the median average is virtually unaffected by the presence of any unusually high or low values.

Please note that the median salary figure for Architects (5+ years ARB registered) has been updated in the original Business Benchmarking report to correct an error that was originally featured. Please see our correction for more information. 

Excerpts taken from the 2023 RIBA Business Benchmarking Report, prepared for RIBA by The Fees Bureau.

Practices must ensure that at least the Living Wage, as set by the Living Wage Foundation, is paid for all roles, including those of apprentices and architectural students.

RIBA Jobs is the official job board of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and is unique in its ability to support the architecture profession.

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