RIBA report reveals average pay for aspiring architects

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today revealed the findings of the RIBA Student Earnings Survey 2011-12. 900 RIBA Student Members responded to the survey providing information about their current or most recent work placement.

The survey found:

  • 77 per cent of architecture students were working, either part time, full time or as a PEDR professional
  • The average salary for paid placements pre-Part 2 students was equivalent to £17,250 per year
  • The average salary for paid placements for students who had achieved Part 2 was equivalent to £23,500 per year

However, the survey results suggest that the profession is still not doing enough to support students while they train:

  • 11 per cent of students were not paid a salary in their current or most recent work placement
  • 14 per cent of students who were yet to attain their Part II qualification and 7 per cent who had obtained it were unpaid
  • Male students were earning 3 per cent more than their female counterparts’ pre Part II, this rose to 4 per cent at post Part II (Note that the survey has an overall confidence interval of ±3%, but this statistic is included in the report for research transparency)


In response to recommendations from the RIBA's Pay and Conditions working group, led by Immediate Past President Ruth Reed, the RIBA's Chartered Practice criteria were amended in June 2011, to require that students undertaking PEDR-recorded work are paid at least the statutory minimum wage. (Please note not all survey respondents would be/have been employed by RIBA Chartered Practices).

The RIBA Student Earnings Survey was undertaken to establish salary information to enable the RIBA to further strengthen requirements on student employment and earnings for RIBA Chartered Practices and identify measures to support our emerging professionals.  The RIBA will be undertaking a consultation with practices around the country to further develop requirements for 2013.

RIBA President Angela Brady said:

'I am dismayed by the evidence that some architecture students are not being adequately paid, or in some cases paid at all, for the work they contribute to the profession, and that female students are paid less than their male counterparts from the outset of their career. It is totally unacceptable. The RIBA will not allow any practice contravening the Chartered Practice to retain its accreditation and is determined to take action to eradicate exploitation and discrimination of people establishing their careers in architecture.

The RIBA takes action against any chartered practices in contravention of the RIBA Chartered Practice Criteria, which states ‘Your practice must commit to paying at least the statutory minimum wage to architecture students working within the practice. These students must be undertaking experience which complies with the RIBA's practical training rule, and should be completing appropriate records on the RIBA's PEDR website as part of the accreditation criteria.'


Information regarding suspected contravention can be submitted in confidence to info@riba.org



Notes to editors


  1. For press information contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3761 howard.crosskey@riba.org


  1. The RIBA Student Earnings Survey 2011-12 can be downloaded in full from www.architecture.com/research


  1. The RIBA President's Fundraising Event will take place on RIBA Thursday 28 June 2012. The highlight of this fun social event will be a fundraising auction, with an extraordinary range of items, kindly donated by RIBA supporters, which will be auctioned off by a Sotheby’s auctioneer Adrian Biddell. The event will feature a sushi bar, drinks reception, dinner, live music and auction. Items up for auction include a Paul Smith bespoke suit, with a personal fitting by Paul Smith, a trip on the Orient Express, and a cookery class at Divertimenti Cookery School, amongst many other special lots.  Further information at www.architecture.com