Market Update: Sydney Architecture & Interior Design, May 2022

12th May 2022 / Market Updates
Photo: Berenice Melis

Welcome to the latest instalment of BT&P’s Sydney market update where I run through what has been happening over the last quarter and take a look forward to how we see the next few months panning out.

Overall, the market remains very strong across most sectors in Sydney, both Architecture and Interiors are tracking really well! The overriding problem in the market remains the lack of available candidates. The limited supply of new talent from overseas continues to impact the job market as does the fact that we are still coming out of a global pandemic.

Photo: Gabrielle Henderson

Whilst we have seen some impact from the ‘great resignation’  it has been nothing near what we saw (or at least read about) in the US, post pandemic. Most of the new positions that we are working on are as a result of a resignation, a noticeable number of which are coming from candidates being head hunted for their new role. This is something that we have seen increasing over the last few months as client resort to desperate measures to try and attract new staff, including going straight to the source with strong offers to entice people across.

On that note we can only advise Employers that they make certain they are in regular communication with their teams and ensure that employees are engaged with the business, paid market rates and understand their career progression in their current role. Companies that are not making their employees feel valued would likely find that someone else out there will happily do all of the above and more to attract them to move.

Photo: Kevin Bhagat

Another hot topic is flexible work/working from home. In our recent employee survey, we saw the vast number of those that responded were looking for a hybrid working environment that saw them work part of the week from home. The general sentiment, post pandemic, is that employees have shown that they can work from home and remain productive, whilst reducing commuting time.

Click here to request a copy of our latest Employee survey results for further insight in current Candidate behaviour and sentiments.

One trend that we are likely to see continuing for the rest of the year is a rise in salaries and contract rates. As the lack of available candidates is not likely to change, an anticipated increase in interest rates and living costs continuing to rise across Australia, wages are expected to continue their upward trend. We have seen a few clients getting left behind in regards to what they are prepared to offer a candidate, compared to the market. Also there have been reports that employees are starting to get offered 50% salary increases to move jobs and they simply have not been able to refuse! Also, worth noting here is that the majority of employees that responded to the BT&P candidate survey, felt they were currently underpaid or were not sure if they were paid market rate.

The overriding message is that it is a pretty good time to be looking for a new role! With solid salaries being offered and companies providing attractive ‘extras’ to entice candidates to join in the way of flexibility and work life balance, now is as good a time as ever to get in touch with us at BT&P to explore your options. How long this will all last – well this remains to be seen in what are still quite unprecedented times.

Photo: Christopher Burns


All to say, as mentioned, the Architectural market has been very strong over the last 3 months and at this stage we don’t see any signs of it slowing. Our Sydney clients are confident in their workflow, right across the various project typologies. Multi-unit Residential and mixed used schemes are still driving a lot of demand for new staff. Educational, Health, Transport, Institutional, Public and Defence projects are all busy areas in the current market.

Post pandemic, the focus of government spending in infrastructure projects to kick-start the economy means that there is an expected growth of 3-4% between 2022 and 2025. This means that something will have to done to attract new workers to Australia in the way of VISA processing…more on that later.

We are running positions at all levels in Architecture from Graduates at 1-year experience level right through to Managing Director level positions. The hardest candidates for us to find in Architecture right now (and therefore in the greatest demand) are good mid-level 5-10 years Architects or Graduate Architects with Revit skills.

Photo: Austin Distel


Interior Design is also busy across all sectors, no longer more focussed on high end residential in particular, we are running a number of roles in Residential, Hospitality, Retail and Workplace design, from Junior Designer level, right up to Design Director level. Exciting times.

Skill set wise, we have seen a big increase in the amount of demand for Revit skilled designers as more and more studios move on to the platform. Also, as always Vectorworks is a main player in the software stakes, as many smaller, retail, hospitality and high-end residential studios use this platform.


Time for a little vent – Post pandemic, the focus of government spending on infrastructure projects to kick-start the economy means that there is an expected growth of 3-4% between 2022 and 2025 for the construction industry. This is good news; however, it also means that something will have to be done to attract new workers to Australia as the current numbers of available, skilled workers will not fill all the new roles. Unfortunately, the sponsorship process remains so slow and restrictive that the demand won’t be met. Whichever government is in power come the end of May 2022 must ensure that Australia is a) an attractive place to come and work and b) that the sponsorship process doesn’t take 6 months to go through (as we have been hearing recently).

Last words:

Is it make hay whilst the sun shines? Possibly – it’s busy for both Clients and Candidates, projects are broad and roles diverse. May it continue as we move through 2022, do we have expectations, sure, but post pandemic, maybe we’re tougher and no matter what the rest of the year brings (interest rate increases included), we’re gonna take it as it comes. So, let’s get on with it!

Jamie Keay

Partner – Sydney

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