Directors and partners working in London’s architectural practices saw their pay packets increase by 3.4% in 2020 as they took home an average £90,000 a year, making them the best paid in the profession, according to the latest Hays consultant salary survey.
Directors and partners at practices in the south-east were the next best paid, earning an average of £70,000 – which was up 6.1% from £66,000 last time.
Nationwide, those working at interior design firms as spaceplanners were the people within the wider architecture sector who saw their wages go up the most. They earned an average of £27,250, almost 7% more than the figure of £25,500 for the previous year.
At the other end of the scale, associate architects saw their salaries squeezed with average packets slipping from £48,542 to £48,083.
Part II architectural assistants saw virtually no movement in their annual salaries – with the national average slipping by £21 to £25,854.
Gaelle Blake, director of Hays Construction and Property, said given the negligible pay rises across most of the sector it was imperative firms found other ways to reassure employees they wanted to retain them.
“It might seem like an obvious action to suggest, but many professionals either feel disengaged because they feel they’re being overlooked and undervalued in their current capacity,” she said. ”This has been exacerbated during covid-19 as many professionals have had to adapt constantly to changing conditions.
“Employers need to be able to identify and express where staff have gone above and beyond, ensuring praise is objective. Through recognising success and work you will create an environment employees want to stay in and build loyalty.”
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The survey found that as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, a sobering 29% of all the construction professionals who responded said they were no longer in employment and are looking for work. This was compounded by the fact that 47% plan to change organisation but stay within the same role or industry, while 13% plan to set up their own business or become self-employed. Another 12% plan to find a role with greater purpose because of covid-19.
The survey also revealed that 54% of businesses plan to recruit in the next 12 months, though this is down from 74% the previous year.
The survey, which ran from 26 October to 16 November, had 435 responses from people working in or employing professionals in consultant roles.