Salary guide - architects and architecture

The RIBA Jobs Salary Guide 2021 uses data from the RIBA Business Benchmarking Report, published in December 2020, drawing on insights from nearly 4,000 RIBA Chartered Practices.

salary guide

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 information 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 . 

As an overview, the average salary for Partners/Directors/Sole Principals across all practice sizes in 2020 was £43,500, up from £43,000 the previous year. The average salary for Architects (5+ years ARB registered) was £40,000, consistent with the previous year. The average salaries for Technologists saw the biggest increase, £33,000 in 2020, in comparison to £32,000 as the 2019 median, a 3% increase.  

Based upon this, we can see that salaries have remained fairly static since the previous year. Partners/Directors/Sole Principals report the smallest possible increase, of 1%, leaving earnings practically unchanged. Significantly, we have seen more one-person Chartered Practices in 2020. They have reported increased earnings on the previous year’s counterparts. The average earnings for one-person Principals are 6% higher than the previous year.    

Other staff groups – generally those who are paid less than an Architect – reported rises in 2020. As mentioned above, Technologists’ average salaries are 3% higher, while those of Architectural Assistants (Part 1) are up by 4%. The average salaries paid to office management/support and admin staff have also increased by 3%.

This salary benchmark has been extracted from the RIBA's Business Benchmarking report and provides data on the average architect's salary.

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How much do Architects earn and what is the average Architect’s 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

average senior salary by practice size


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

average salaries of associates & architects


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

average salaries of architects <5 years


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

average salaries part 1 & 2

Table showing average salaries of office management/support and admin by practice size 

average salaries of admin by practice size

Survey notes: 

  1. 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 Employer’s National Insurance costs.
  3. Basic salary was the salary being paid on 1 May 2020. The salary included profit share, where given, and if included it was the average profit share across the year. Bonus payment 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 2020.
  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.


Excerpts taken from the RIBA Business Benchmarking 2020 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.​