AIA Compensation Report: Where do you stand?
How has the economic downturn affected your compensation? Have you been impacted by benefits reductions, salary freezes, or mandatory furloughs? How do you think your colleagues have fared?
The AIA Compensation Report, compiled from our survey of U.S. architecture firms, offers compelling information on the state of the profession and includes compensation data for 40 architecture firm positions in 29 states, 32 metro areas, and 12 cities. Whether you use the complete national report or one of nine regional reports, you will have a better understanding of your value.
The Recession and its Impact on Compensation for Architects
While the past recession was severe across the broader U.S. economy, it has been devastating for the construction sector. Since the last AIA report in 2008 on compensation trends at architecture firms, construction activity has plummeted. The downturn in construction activity has affected those serving the industry, with architects particularly hard hit.
Payroll employment at U.S. architecture firms was in excess of 240,000 at the end of 2007. By the end of 2010, firm employment levels fell to under 156,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, producing more than a 25 percent decline in payroll positions over this period. As revealed in the full report, declining demand for architectural services and the resulting downturn in business conditions rendered compensation at architecture firms was commensurately weak over the past three years.
Weak compensation gains plagued many salaried employees during the economic downturn. However, employees at architecture firms fared worse than most. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Cost Index for all private workers, as well as for professional and related staff, both increased about 5.5 percent overall between early 2008 and early 2011, far outpacing the modest gains for architectural positions.
Over the past decade overall, however, compensation gains for architectural positions have more than kept pace with other professions. Architecture compensation increased 32 percent between early 2002 and early 2011, compared to 27 percent for all professional and related staff in the economy, and 25 percent for all private workers. Architect compensation increased faster than economy-wide compensation during the period of strong economic growth between 2005 and 2008, but slower during the economic downturn, as seen in the second graphic above.
Available Exclusively at the
Free Sample Chapter
AIA Media Relations
The AIA Compensation
They are also responsible for