Salary Survey FAQ

FAQ - Salary Survey Architecture

1) Where does the data come from?

This is anecdotal information revised regularly in discussion with our recruitment staff. In the course of their day to day activities, salary levels are constantly discussed and can be accurately assessed from real amounts offered to the candidates we place into jobs. So, while not statistical, the data is from a real source and interpreted by people actively engaged in recruitment in these sectors.

2) There are salaries being paid outside the maximum and minimum parameters shown in the salary survey.

In a sector where individual ability is paramount, there will always be examples of people who fall below or above the parameters we have given. However, the majority of salaries do fall within these parameters. Nevertheless, the salary survey is intended as a guideline only.

3) Does the data take account of geographic differences?

To a point. The difficulty with regional variations is that while they undoubtedly exist, they are not straightforward. The traditional ‘North/South divide’ has been eroded in recent years and more importantly, there are (and have always been) variations within a region. For example, a salary of £40000 in Central London, may translate into a salary of £40000 in Central Manchester, but only £35000 in Canterbury, Kent. While cities tend to generate employment at higher salaries, the scarcity of qualified staff in more rural areas mitigates this to a degree.

4) What about contract/hourly rates?

The salary survey does not cover contract rates but broadly speaking an equivalent hourly rate can be calculated for any given role using the following formula.

Annual salary                              

-----------------------------------------      x 1.1

1800 (hours per annum).

This works to around £60K, salaries above which contract jobs are much rarer.

5) What are the definitions of staff types?

Most are easy to understand, but some require explanation. Generally where there is a reference to experience, it means total experience, rather than post qualification experience. References to ‘outside practice’ refer to architects/technicians working in those capacities, but for other organisations (e.g., local government, house builders and commercial business’s). It does not mean people working in another capacity (i.e. property developer) who also happen to be an architect, technician or interior designer.

6) What about Technologists?

For our purposes, technicians and technologist are the same thing. The term ‘technologist’ was invented by an members association some years ago to differentiate between people who subscribed and those who didn't.

In recent years this terminology has extended into the education sector. It is now possible to do a degree in architectural technology without ever going near an office - which, given the traditional role of the technician as being someone who has hands on practical experience, is a shame. There is very little between a graduate architect (Pt 1) and a graduate Technologist - both lack hands on technical experience.

7) Qualifications/Professional Associations.

Some employers place great significance on qualification, others don't. For architects the confusing roles of the RIBA and The ARB remains unresolved, but generally speaking architectural qualifications and memberships are important. Less so for Technicians/technologists, particularly since the demise of the ONC/HNC evening school route. The matter is complicated by the international nature of the design workforce and the cross recognition (or lack of it) which allows some EU qualifications to meet UK architectural acceptance criteria and some others that don't. Generally speaking the more merit driven the role, the less significance will be placed on memberships and old classroom based qualifications.

FAQ Salary Survey Workplace Change 

8) Points 1 to 4 above apply equally to Workplace jobs.

9) For these purposes, the distinction between project managers and moves managers is that the former oversee construction projects and thus has a working knowledge of building regulations, architectural design and CAD, while the latter is confined to demountable, items, furniture and associated services. It is acknowledged that to a point these roles can and do overlap. Strategy based roles will involve planning as opposed to delivery. All roles require good client facing skills.

10) We have made no distinction between those working for end users and those working for service providers. Trends in recent years have meant that many more jobs are routed via services providers where wages tend to be lower. 

11) There is no real formal qualifications in workplace. There are various trade/professional/networking bodies but none carry much influence. Workplace is a considerably more merit driven sector so education and memberships are less important.