Salary guide - architects and architecture

The RIBA Jobs Salary Benchmark 2020 is extracted from the RIBA Business Benchmarking Report, published in November 2019, drawing on insights from 3,000 plus RIBA Chartered Practices.

Whether you are a student about to become a Part 1 Architectural Assistant, a highly qualified Architect or a Director/Partner of a practice, having the right salary benchmark is vital to getting the most from your job seeking or recruitment. It gives jobseekers valuable insight when applying for positions. It gives recruiters an understanding of their position in the industry, so job adverts can be competitive, attract talent and stand out. 

The industry has shown a positive trajectory and most practices have enjoyed revenue growth this year, but it is a diverse picture. Large practices, those with 100+ staff, are driving forward at a faster rate than the rest. For these practices, rising staff numbers have helped raise their share of total revenue, with the result that this small number of practices now accounts for very nearly half of the profession’s total revenue. 

An unexpected finding this year is that the growth in revenue has not been matched by a growth in profits. Instead, expenditure has increased, mainly due to practices recruiting more staff. It’s not just large practices that are experiencing a lack of growth in their profits; this stagnation is affecting nearly all practice sizes. On the one hand, it means the industry is growing. If you are a job seeker, it is a good time to be looking; there is opportunity. On the downside, the rise in staff numbers seems to have kept salary rises down too; average salaries have risen by just 1 or 2 per cent, while Partners’ and Directors’ average earnings are 3 per cent lower than last year, as a consequence of falling profits. So, it seems that Principals have sacrificed some of their earnings to fund staff salaries. 

Average salaries for Associates and Architects, with five or more years’ experience, have risen by about 2 per cent; Architectural Technologists and Architects with less than five years’ experience received a 1 per cent pay rise. Part 2 Architectural Assistants received a 2 per cent increase while Part 1 Architectural Assistants got a 1 per cent rise. 

These rises, generally below inflation, are small and do not in themselves account for the 4 per cent rise in payroll costs this year. But the rising payroll reflects the fact that staff recruitment has increased and therefore staff costs, such as pension contributions, have also risen. The single exception to rising average pay is other Chartered professionals, whose average pay is exactly the same as last year.

This salary benchmark has been extracted from our Business Benchmarking report and provides data on the average architects’ salary.

How much do architects earn and what is the average architects' salary?

Average salary of all staff in the architecture industry 

average salary of staff architectural industry


Map showing average earnings of senior staff by region

average senior salary by region


Tables showing average salaries of senior staff split by practice size

senior staff in architecture salary


Table showing average salaries of Associates and Architects 5+ ARB split by practice size

average salary architect 5+ year


Table showing average salaries of Architects <5 ARB and Technologists split by practice size

average salary architectural technologist


Table showing average salaries of Assistants Part 2 and Assistants Part 1 split by practice size

average salary part 1 & 2 architectural assistant

Excerpts taken from the RIBA Business Benchmarking 2019 Report, prepared for the RIBA by The Fees Bureau.

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.​