Riba Salary Guide

The RIBA Salary Guide and Why it's Rubbish.

Matt Kirk RIBA Salary Guide, Architecture Recruitment, Architecture in the North...

RIBA have published their salary guide, (or more accurately RIBA Appointments have). I urge you to take it all with a pinch of salt! Click here if you want to see it for yourself.

I worry that practices and individuals rely on this yearly publication when it is so out of touch with reality.

I would urge you to not let this list / 'guide' influence the decisions you make hiring people or setting internal salaries, or if you're a candidate to set your expectations.


1. As a Northwest based Architecture Recruiter using terms like "practices as far afield as... Manchester": You mean the UK No 2 city for Architecture and probably No 1 outside of just doing some form of Resi... Most of the building design done in the UK is done outside of London! Since when was Manchester so far afield?

2. It's just figures from a small in house recruitment agency that is out performed by even small private organisations like my own. I mean the actual body of the text actually bemoans counter offers as if written by a Trainee who is about to jump from the industry!

Counter-offers are frequently being made to secure the top architectural talent in order to continue business without a hitch and show an immediate return on talent...

Oh dear, is someone trying to justify a poor performance at the 'top'?

3. There is literally no change from the rounded figures from last year that I can easily discern. I think if you're working as closely in the candidate driven market we have today, then an upward shift in salary is very plain to see. At the least this shows they have not spent any time crunching numbers to give relevant data.

4. Can the figures really mean anything at all when they don't offer a true average; they give a 'Low', 'Middle' and 'Upper' giving themselves a £50k range in one category! They don't even break it down into regions anymore!

7. When was the last time you heard the title 'Project Director'? I'm sure they're out there, but outside of BDP circa 2010 I think you'll very much struggle. Again this makes you wonder how / where they get the data to set these benchmarks; this statistic cannot be based on any meaningful data, because there simply is not enough.

I could so easily go on ripping this out of touch publication to shreds.

I would urge you to not let this list influence the decisions you make hiring people or setting internal salaries.

I've always found the existence of RIBA Appointments strange beyond the obvious services of a job board (and a very London centric one at that). I mean you would think they would be there to serve their members, when in reality on the few occasions I hear someone is using them they are often trying to charge more than us private consultants. All fine perhaps if they provide better knowledge or expertise; but I don't see that at all. All I see is a South East centred agency with a slow and steady third sector feel that struggles against a very competitive London market (how many new agencies and recruiters have spawned down south in the last 4 years!!?), hasn't branched out to other areas of the country successfully and other than posting their jobs on their own job board haven't got an ounce of proactivity about them.

Oh well. There's always me to moan at if you're not hitting the 'Upper' band in your salary range. Apparently if you're a 11 year qualified Architect or Tech, who isn't in an Associate job and you call the RIBA Appointments number the line just goes dead, because you couldn't possibly exist.