niceguy21
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I have considered pursuing architecture, but I do realise that the only way you can derive good income is either via having your own successful firm or being senior at a top firm. However, even then the top partners don't earn the kind of money say Legal partners earn. The highest earning architect in the world is Norman Foster on a £2m salary, comparing that to the highest paid Adman/artist/singer/actor/fashion designer, it is very little.

Is this because the business model is so inherently weak?; I.E high costs, planning regulation, demanding/shifting client requests; poor management, small fees.

What kind of profit margin can a mid-sized practice (say £5-10M per annum) run at? 5-10% at most? Or much lower.

I am intrigued as to the reasons why there is so little money in the business.
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9mm
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I'm also quite interested to know as to me that's quite a mystery. Perhaps it's because there's not as much appreciation or as big fanbase with architecture as there is within art and fashion industry, actors and singers...and fanbase and publicity bring in so much more £££ ? I mean think about it, how many people that you know outside the architecture industry, or those at uni studying something else actually know anything about architecture other than being able to name some famous 20th century buildings and architects like wright, gehry, hadid, foster... It's mainly a relationship between clients - architects and those few that actually appreciate architecture.
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niceguy21
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I suppose my question is:

Could you set up an architecture practice and be earning £500k-£1M profit; 10-15 years out of school?

(IF you were really **** hot with both the artistic and the business side of things, employed a PR agency and networked clients like hell..)

I know a 'successful' small practice owner who probably earns £75-100k, but her firm has not grown in the last 10 years and I can only put this down to her not liking the numbers/leadership/PR side of things. When I asked her her profit margins she said: 'Oh!? I can't remember, I don't really deal with that stuff...'
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Quiller
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(Original post by niceguy21)
I know a 'successful' small practice owner who probably earns £75-100k, but her firm has not grown in the last 10 years and I can only put this down to her not liking the numbers/leadership/PR side of things. When I asked her her profit margins she said: 'Oh!? I can't remember, I don't really deal with that stuff...'
Some people in this world are not motivated by money, nor is their ambition to become as big, famous and rich as possible. If I was on 75-100K i'd be more than happy with my lot and if you're producing the architecture you want to produce to the high standards you set yourself then why change?
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L i b
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The only architect I know is very wealthy indeed.

But all the same, I think the average architect does quite well. You compare firm partners to a legal firm's partners: well, compare the average solicitor to the average architect and I imagine they'll work out relatively similar.
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Mrs Matt Bellamy
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You're joking right? about the poor thing?

My uncle is an architect and he is MINTED.
..pitty he's a greedy **** though.
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Svenjamin
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Why is TSR so obsessed with get rich quick careers?

Why not be an architect because you WANT to be an architect? Does not earning 1million a year mean someone's poor? God forbid someone do a job that isn't as highly paid as law!



Rant over
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ArtNiki
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Id be happy with 75-100k, is that common in architecture? Would you need to own your own business for that amount?
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lm_wfc
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Because you just do drawings. Engineers make it happen. RRWAAAWW
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Quiller
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(Original post by L i b)
The only architect I know is very wealthy indeed.

But all the same, I think the average architect does quite well. You compare firm partners to a legal firm's partners: well, compare the average solicitor to the average architect and I imagine they'll work out relatively similar.
Its true that you never see a 'poor' architect, you earn enough to have a comfortable life. However, considering it takes on average 9 years to qualify, the pay is abysmal in comparison to other professions such as doctors or lawyers.
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Quiller
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(Original post by ArtNiki)
Id be happy with 75-100k, is that common in architecture?
No this is exceptional. Typical might be 7 years of training + 10 years of experience on around £35-40 K in London.

After your first degree perhaps £15-17K in London (if you can find a job at all)

Maybe £20-21K after your masters as a starting salary for the rest of your professional career.
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ArtNiki
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(Original post by Quiller)
No this is exceptional. Typical might be 7 years of training + 10 years of experience on around £35-40 K in London.

After your first degree perhaps £15-17K in London (if you can find a job at all)

Maybe £20-21K after your masters as a starting salary for the rest of your professional career.
lol yeah, i thought that sounded too good to be true.
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InArduisFouette
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part of the problem is that an architect will not necessarily be capable of designing the whole product , the larger the project the more civil engineering will be required ....
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L i b
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(Original post by Quiller)
Its true that you never see a 'poor' architect, you earn enough to have a comfortable life. However, considering it takes on average 9 years to qualify, the pay is abysmal in comparison to other professions such as doctors or lawyers.
Doctors I don't really know about salary-wise, but I've certainly heard about the workload: bugger that, is all I'll say!

As for lawyers, I think you've got a bit of a rosy view of them - a lot of people do. Frankly, a lot of solicitors in provincial practices earn pretty paltry salaries and have scabby offices above High Street bookies.
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niceguy21
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(Original post by Quiller)
Some people in this world are not motivated by money, nor is their ambition to become as big, famous and rich as possible. If I was on 75-100K i'd be more than happy with my lot and if you're producing the architecture you want to produce to the high standards you set yourself then why change?
I am asking why is it that so very, very few people become wealthy in this profession as opposed to other creative industries such as advertising, where a start-up can become very profitable within 10 years.

There is nothing wrong with being happy on £75k, but for somebody with an entreprenurial bent the question must be asked: what is wrong with this industry? The architect in question has an exceedingly tough time running her company with all the constraints that appear to face her everyday.

Maybe if people like yourself stood up for themselves and started to fight for their share your proffession would not be in such poverty and there would'nt be so many jobless graduates.
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seagram__
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they are not poor,they are just not rich i guess.
i think the ones who have big firms spend most of their money paying their employes,on the other hand you can built a decent building with the help of yourself(architect)and a cooperation of a mechanical engineer. and if the normal prices for a house design are low the architect can jugje himself and chose the right price.
only fosters earn too much so that they can have thousands of employes.god 2m annual,that means 200.000pounds monthly:/.
i dont want to be mega rich ,but when i get married i want to afford paying for builting a pool next to my house without debts running forever,maybe a year or two.hahhaa
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flugestuge
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(Original post by niceguy21)

I am intrigued as to the reasons why there is so little money in the business.
This is a result of oversupply due to low entry barriers.
( You dont have to be a rocket scientist to become an architect. )
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niceguy21
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(Original post by flugestuge)
This is a result of oversupply due to low entry barriers.
( You dont have to be a rocket scientist to become an architect. )
What about execution? Aren't Foster and big shots successful because they are highly efficient at delivering on time and within budgets.

I have heard that corporate clients (who pay the big fees) also tend to demand cost cutting as the projects ware on, such that projects become far less profitable for the firm and that the overall quality of the end results are diminished...very depressing; I see so so little architecture now that inspires me...When I think of the glories of past era's compare to now...the gothic wonder that is Oxford moved me to tears sometimes.. I rarely feel that about todays buildings.

Maybe architecture is'nt for me, gets me kind of depressed to think where we are now.
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jrhartley
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The main issue and reason that architects are poor is vanity. They want to have people believe they are amazing. So they will say 'yeah, take that design / model / drawing. that only took me an hour to do'. It will in fact have taken them 3 days to do, but they want to look amazing and able, so they lie about the time they consecrated to the work. As a consequence, they get paid for an hours work, not the three days it really took.

vanity. that is the reason. utter stupidity, to be worried more about how 'able' people view you than actually be truthful and get paid accordingly.
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jrhartley
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(Original post by flugestuge)
This is a result of oversupply due to low entry barriers.
( You dont have to be a rocket scientist to become an architect. )
low barriers to entry? 7 years minimum training? I think you don't have to be an architect to be a rocket scientist would be more correct....
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