Sydney Market Update – Autumn 2016

15th March 2016 / Market Updates



It’s been a really busy start to 2016 with a strong degree of confidence coming from our clients. The positive nature of the current market in Architecture means there is an abundance of new positions available ranging from Graduate positions right through to the Principal Director level.

Backing this up is data from online job search company, Seek, which shows there has been a 41 per cent increase in new job advertisements for design and architecture in the past year in NSW when the three-month period between November to January is compared. In one SMH report, Seek employment managing director, Michael Ilczynski​, described Design and Architecture as “the hot sector for the past 12 months”.

The sector that continues to dominate the market is within multi-unit Residential projects, which continues to provide numerous opportunities, especially for Project running Architects. There is a current high demand for Architects that can take larger projects from DA stage, right through to completion and can run a small team. Candidates with this skill set and background are finding that not only are there plenty of opportunities but also that there are more chances to increase their position in regards to role and salary package.

In a recent report in the Financial Review, a number of leading developers had indicated that it had been hard to find Architects that were actually available. This has meant that developers have had to widen the net to find Architectural firms that are available. Companies with a usual network of 2-3 firms, are now looking at 5-6 to ensure that there are no delays during the early part of the building process.

We have also seen job opportunities arise in the health, education, retail and commercial sectors, as companies are experiencing a demand for new projects or are strategically looking to move into new areas.

Candidates with strong Revit experience are still in high-demand and there appears to be a 5-10% ‘loading’ effect in regards to the salaries offered to these candidates. In the current market we are seeing the highest demand for Graduates with 3-7 years previous local experience and Revit skills. Many of these candidates are finding that they are receiving a large number of interview requests.

The Sydney Architectural recruitment market remains very permanently driven, the majority of the companies we are speaking to are very focused on the long term, suggesting a positive view of the long term outlook. The shortage of available candidates with the right skills and experience also contributes to the number of permanent roles that are offered. Clients are more likely to throw caution to the wind in this current market, if the right candidate happens to come along and offer them a permanent position.

Another factor for the current positive market are the high-profile larger projects underway in Sydney at the moment, the convention centre at Darling Harbour, the second and third commercial towers at Barangaroo and a number of key projects in the Martin Place district to name, but a few. So it’s definitely all happening right now in Architecture!

Interior Design

The Interior Design market does not differ too much from the Architecture market at the moment, in so far as things are very busy and there is a positive outlook from most of the companies with whom we are speaking.

The one main difference we are seeing is that there are slightly more contractor opportunities in the Interiors market. We have seen a number of long-term Interior documentation roles listed since the start of the year, many of which have been with a view to a permanent role. The shorter turnaround in the life cycle of the projects may have a part to play in this difference.

The areas of the market that remain the busiest are the corporate, retail and hospitality sectors. All three areas have been busy since the start of the year and we have seen a number of exciting Senior positions created across the board. Candidates with 7-10 years seem to be the most highly sought after. Pleasingly with the extra demand, we are seeing a positive impact on salaries that are being offered to candidates.


Final Word

Now is a great time to be an Architect, Interior Designer or Technician in the Sydney market – salaries are competitive, there are lots of permanent roles available and there are plenty of genuine opportunities to move peoples’ career forward.

Job seekers: For more information on the market or for a confidential chat about your job options, feel free to contact me personally on [email protected]

Jamie Keay

Partner – BT&P Sydney

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