Market Update: Melbourne Architecture & Interior Design, November 2022

15th November 2022 / Market Updates

As we rush headlong into the end of the year, it’s safe to say 2022 has brought its own special blend of action and variety – never a dull moment!

Photo: Heidi Fin

Since our midyear update, project activity levels and recruitment demand have remained consistently strong, although slightly behind the peak in April / May which saw high demand for talent at all levels and salaries pushing upwards well above the usual levels.

The market is still in favour of those looking for work, with the number of opportunities available well in excess of those looking, so certainly still a candidate focused market. Demand has been highest for those in the 3-to-8-year experience range, with strong Revit skills. This demand has been consistent for Architects, Interior Designers and Architectural Technicians. We have continued to see some studios focus on strategic roles with a business development and front-end design focus, and we have seen a higher proportion of Associate level recruitment.

Photo: Arnaud Mesureur

Drilling down, activity has remained strong in the mid-sized apartment area, which is largely being driven by the build to rent sector, industrial and manufacturing, health and education and the infrastructure sectors all seeing high demand for talent.

The Interiors market continues solidly as well, although not focused on one project sector, being more spread across a range and largely driven as a flow on from Architectural projects rather than any large-scale one-off Interiors projects specifically.

With the recent announcement of major infrastructure works, we are currently recruiting heavily on projects that have 2-to-3-year durations, so certainly if you are looking for security in a role for the next few years, those opportunities are happening right now

Photo: Pat Whelen

From a cultural perspective, 2022 has been an interesting year, with studios returning to work slowly in the first few months, and figuring out their own best approach to flexible environments, and as we head into the end of the year, there is no consistent industry wide approach, with some offices remaining extremely flexible, and others almost back to a full workforce all of the time.

Certainly the sentiment from those looking to move jobs we are generally seeing a strong emphasis on flexibility, and it is important for studios to be able to clearly communicate their own flexibility to potential new staff. Many studios have also worked strongly on their own points of difference that they can offer staff and potential employees, in a longer term sense, to ensure they can retain and attract talent.

We have also finally started to see some movement from overseas travellers on working holiday visas starting to arrive again for the first time in 3 years, which is great, and many studios are keen to be able to bring on the travellers again.

Photo: Geraldine Lewa

November also sees the Bloomfield Tremayne Archisoccer Competition kick off again, and with over 50 Architecture studios represented this year, we are looking forward to another great season.

This will be our fourth year of sponsorship, and (hopefully) the first one that is uninterrupted by lockdowns and social distancing. Looking into next year, post State Election for Victoria, we will see further activity in the health, defence and infrastructure sectors, all taking a stronger position in terms of overall activity than in 2022, and we expect to see pockets of activity across the majority of project types, however it is hard to see all sectors remaining at such levels of activity given some of the headwinds we are all aware of.

Photo: Eriksson Luo

With such a range of external factors in play, it is hard to make clear predictions about 2023, however based on the number of roles we are recruiting on already for 2023, we are excited to say we will be starting the year out at a busy pace.

Bruce Whetters

Partner – Melbourne

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