If Victorian architects’ salaries correspond with the 2014 PACE survey forecasts, we can expect to see a third successive year of effective pay cuts.

The 2014 Pace survey, conducted by Aspect Personal recruitment consultancy, shows that 18 per cent of architectural firms are predicting no salary increases for 2014 while 53 per cent are expecting to  increase their staff salaries by only 1-3 per cent.  Considering Australia’s current Consumer Price Index (CPI) is 2.9 per cent, then most of those expecting salary increases of less than three per cent, are actually expecting an effective pay cut.  

This means that staff from close to 71 per cent of Victorian architecture firms surveyed will face effective pay cuts at the end of 2014.

The survey is based on over 176 responses from Victorian architectural firms, such as ARM architecture, Jackson Architecture, Six Degrees and John Wardle Architects. Additionally, the results from the 2013 calendar year show that 33 per cent of architecture firms reported no increase to their staff salaries for the year, while 31 per cent reported a 1-3 per cent increase.

Before CPI is factored into the equation this reads as though 2014 is actually forecast to be a better year for architect wages. In reality however, 2013 recordings show 64 per cent of surveyed architecture firms didn’t increase their staff’s wages by more than the inflation rate in comparison to 2014’s forecasted 71 per cent.

The breakdown:
38 per cent of staff from surveyed firms received an effective pay increase in 2012.
36 per cent of staff from surveyed firms received an effective pay increase in 2013.
29 per cent of staff from surveyed firms are forecasted to receive an effective pay increase for 2014.

Ben Mitchell, Architecture and Design Team Leader at Aspect Personal emphasised that the forecasts for 2014 are just predictions but they do show another year of majority salary decreases for the industry.

 “These are only forecasts so we won’t know for sure until the end of the year, when the firms are surveyed again, whether or not it is true,” said Mitchell.

“But if they [the forecasts] do prevail, we will see a third successive year of Victorian architecture firms either not increasing their staff’s salaries at all, or increasing them below the rate of inflation—effectively a pay cut.”

This is the second article in a series which will analyse the 2014 PACE survey in detail. The first reported on expected business activity for Victorian architecture firms in 2014.