Published on: 29 Sep 2009

Directors of the highest profile large practices, such as Foster & Partners, can earn as much as £1.7 million a year.

London based practices have been shown to pay an average 8% more than those in any other region of the UK.

Average architectural salaries start at £17,000 a year for architectural assistants to £42,000 a year for a project architect with 5 years of experience.

Salaries for more senior positions vary a lot from practice to practice.

Below is a guide to average salaries for various architectural positions:


Annual Salary

Hourly rates

Part I / first year out students

£17,000 to £20,000

£10 to £12

Part II assistant / recent post diploma

£23,000 to £27,000

£14 to £16

Part III / newly registered architect

£27,000 to £31,000

£16 to £18

Project architect / 3 to 5 years post registration

£34,000 to

£20 to £25

(Source: RIBA Appointments)

An associate at a large practice may earn between £40,000 and £50,000 while an associate with a smaller firm may earn between £37,000 and £45,000.

On average a principal of a large practice will earn twice as much as that of a practice with 10 staff. It is possible that those in a more junior role in a large firm may earn more than an associate with an established but smaller practice.

On average, principals in a practice with more than 50 staff will earn £120,500, almost twice the salary of a principal in a partnership with between six and 10 members of staff.

A survey of architect's earnings by the Fees Bureau found that the average age for peak earning in private practice was 45-49, while principals in a partnership are at their peak earning potential aged 55-59.

For more information on salary performance in the architectural sector, see BD's latest architectural salary round-up