Architecture firm compensation on an upward trajectory

Submitted by digital on Fri, 08/07/2015 - 18:31
{"version":"0.3.0","atoms":[],"cards":[["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1458758014\/jjstqvpxhrihddhprkiz.jpg","id":"2091"}],"caption":"Relatively healthy scores in the AIA\u2019s Architecture Billings Index suggest that further compensation increases are likely."}],["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1458758238\/udkcl5mkva7boytrevfj.jpg","id":"2096"}],"caption":"More senior positions typically have a much smaller share of compensation as base pay, falling to under 70 percent for CEO\/president positions on average. "}],["images-card",{"images":[{"url":"http:\/\/\/dpcbzfiye\/image\/upload\/v1458758287\/slz246bh2ruignnphc4o.jpg","id":"2101"}],"caption":"The value of benefits as a share of base pay increased at larger firms over the past decade and then fell back in recent years."}]],"markups":[["a",["href","http:\/\/\/salary\/salary.aspx"]],["i"],["a",["href","\/compensation"]]],"sections":[[1,"h2",[[0,[],0,"Average\ncompensation for staff positions up 3.5 percent from early 2013\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Like employers in the broader construction industry, U.S.\narchitecture firms are still recovering from the economic effects of the Great\nRecession. In recent years, though, conditions have improved. Revenue at\narchitecture firms increased by $11 billion between 2010 and 2014, according to\nthe U.S. Census Bureau, making up for over three-quarters of the decline\nexperienced by the profession between 2008 and 2010. Staffing at these firms,\nhowever, has not fared nearly as well: Less than 20 percent of the payroll\npositions lost during the recession having been recovered as of the end of\n2014, according to the U.S. Department of Labor."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Overall, business conditions at architecture firms have\ngenerally been positive over the past two years. The American Institute of\nArchitects\u2019 Architecture Billings Index (ABI) averaged 52.1 in 2013 and 52.2 in\n2014. Since a reading of 50.0 indicates stable billings activity, these scores\nsignify healthy growth. New project activity coming into architecture firms\nover this period suggests that architecture firm revenue will continue to grow.\nThe AIA\u2019s Design Contracts Index\u2014which measures new project work\u2014fared even\nbetter than billings, with index averages of 52.8 in 2013 and 53.5 in 2014."]]],[10,0],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Compensation for architecture positions has followed suit,\nwith gains beginning to accelerate after several years of sluggish improvement\nat best. Compensation across the profession increased an average of 1.8 percent\nper year over the 2013\u20132014 period, with growth occurring in every\narchitectural staff category. While modest, these compensation increases have\noutpaced the low overall levels of inflation in the economy, thereby producing\nreal compensation gains for employees across the profession."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"As\nmarket conditions continue to improve at architecture firms, and firms continue\nto add positions, compensation levels are likely to accelerate. More than half\nof firms with 20 or more employees reported offering sign-on bonuses in 2014 to\nattract new employees. Many firms are also offering increased benefits\u2014or\nincreasing the firm contribution for their existing benefits\u2014in an effort to\ncompete for new employees and retain current staff."]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"New\nfor 2015: "],[0,[0],1,"Free\nSalary Calculator"],[0,[],0,"! View mean and median salaries for 17\narchitectural staff positions and cut salary data by region of the country or\nby firm size \u2013 all at no cost to AIA members."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Average compensation for architectural staff positions\naveraged just under $80,000 at the beginning of 2015, up about 3.5 percent from\nearly 2013 levels, or 1.75 percent per year. This pace of increase is well\nbelow averages for the profession over the past two decades, when annual\ncompensation increases were generally in the range of 4 percent to 5 percent.\nEven so, compensation increases are up from the period 2008 to 2013, when they\naveraged less than one percent per year. Relatively healthy scores in the AIA\u2019s\nABI suggest that further compensation increases are likely."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In\naddition, the architecture profession has largely avoided recent concerns of\nincome disparities and income inequality. As of early 2015, the average\ncompensation of $192,200 for a CEO position at architecture firms was only 4.5\ntimes the average compensation for an Intern 1 position of $42,900. Even in\n2008, at the height of profitability and compensation growth at architecture\nfirms, the ratio of average CEO compensation to an Intern 1 position was just\n5:2. This ratio fell to 4:2 in 2011\u2014when business conditions were near the\nbottom for this past cycle\u2014before climbing to 4:5 in 2013 and remaining at that\nlevel as of early 2015."]]],[10,1],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"While compensation gains for senior and junior positions at\narchitecture firms have moved roughly in tandem in recent years, the\ncomposition of this compensation is different. For intern positions, the base\nsalary accounts for at least 95 percent of total cash compensation on average.\nFor architect\/design positions, base salary accounts for 94 percent to 95\npercent of total cash compensation; this decreases to 91 percent to 94 percent\nfor project designer\/project manager positions. More senior positions typically\nhave a much smaller share of compensation as base pay, falling to under 70\npercent for CEO\/president positions on average."]]],[10,2],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Larger firms typically offer higher compensation levels on\naverage, and are also more likely to offer a more comprehensive benefits\npackage to their employees. Firms with 50 or more employees are more likely to\noffer medical and dental coverage for employees and their dependents. Larger\nfirms are also likely to offer more total paid days for vacation, sick time,\nand personal time than smaller firms."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"As such, the value of benefits as a share of base pay offered\nto employees is higher at larger firms. For professional staff, the value of\nbenefits averaged just over 17 percent of employee base pay for firms with\nfewer than 50 employees in early 2015 and was almost five percentage points\nhigher (22.3 percent) at firms with 50 or more employees. However, while the\nvalue of benefits as a share of base pay has remained roughly stable since 2002\nat firms with fewer than 50 employees, it increased at larger firms over the\npast decade and then fell back somewhat in recent years."]]],[1,"p",[]],[1,"p",[[0,[1],0,"For more information\non the 2015 AIA Compensation Survey Report, including links to purchase the\nfull, regional, and metro area versions of the report, please visit"],[0,[2],1,"\/compensation"],[0,[],1,"."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]]]}
According to the 2015 AIA Compensation Report, business conditions at architecture firms have been positive over the previous two years.
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