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Bespoke Careers

21 February 2020

21 February 2020

The A&D hiring market in Australia remains active and market confidence continues to improve

2020 Global Salary Guide

The A&D hiring market in Australia remains active, with many studios working on national public-private partnership health, education and infrastructure projects.  Despite a slower start to last year than we’ve seen historically, demand for candidates remains strong. 

The cooling we saw in the property market early last year didn’t stop practices hiring but we did see some take a more rigorous approach to the process, undertaking three, sometimes four-stage interviews, before reaching an offer. We predict that there may be a shift back to a one/two-stage process in the coming year. 

We have continued to see a shortage of candidates with sector-specific skills (such as technical and delivery-focused architects in the infrastructure and education sectors) and lead designers in the last twelve months and we envisage this will continue. Our strategic appointments team have been incredibly busy in the last year and all the signs point to this continuing as practices seek to expand their sector portfolio. On the support side, demand for practice managers, submissions coordinators and other operational professionals remains high as practices look to strengthen their support functions, a trend we believe is likely to continue.

As market confidence has continues to improve, those candidates with in-demand skill sets continue to see their salaries increase and those practices who are swift to hire are securing the best talent. 

Download the Australian Salary & Benefits Guide PDF here. 


The infrastructure and education sectors have seen a strong year, with the aged care and industrial sectors also busy as the Australian population ages and moves to an online retail market. As a result, some architects from the multi-residential sector have moved into aged care and those who may have previously worked on commercial projects have been attracted to the strong pipeline of practices focusing on the industrial and logistics sector. 

Stimulated by the government spending across public sector, demand for urban designers and landscape architects remains strong, in particular at a senior level for those with strong design skills or networks across the industry.

Strategic level recruitment also remains buoyant with increased demand for specialist architects, practice managers and submissions coordinators as businesses look to diversify their management teams. Talent shortages in the local market still require practices to sponsor international architects for specialty fields or sector design specialists. 

Revit and ArchiCAD skills are still most in demand and the best software for practices to use to align with the candidate pool coming out of university locally. 

Whilst salaries remained fairly steady during 2019, we are now witnessing uplifts in line with the more positive sentiment across the built environment. 


The infrastructure, health and education sectors have been particularly busy in the Melbourne A&D hiring market. There is also a continued commitment to commercial and mixed-use projects in Melbourne CBD and fringe suburbs as tenant demand continues to outstrip new supply, driving strong hiring for talented individuals with relevant experience and skill sets. Despite a challenging time for the multi-residential sector, some major mixed-use schemes and high-end boutique apartments continue to come to market.  

Demand for landscape architects and urban designers is also high across a board range of public and private projects.  As practices look to diversify and win new projects, experienced business development professionals and those skilled in submissions are highly sought-after and driving salary uplifts. 

Revit continues to be the main software skill sought by practices, but we are also witnessing continued requirements for parametric skills such as Rhino and/or Grasshopper.


Brisbane is experiencing a buoyant market with various public and infrastructure projects being awarded, including Cross River Rail, Brisbane Live and new QPAC theatre. With a current shortage on good local architects and interior designers keen to move roles, there is strong demand for high quality individuals from the UK, Sydney or Melbourne to fill this talent gap. 

With an ageing population and Queensland continuing to have a strong interstate migration for baby boomers and retirees, health, aged care and mixed-use projects continue to be a focus for many practices. Project architects with strong delivery skills and experience across commercial, health and mixed-use projects also continue to be sought-after.  

Revit skills remain in demand across the board, with many practices now fully transitioned across to Revit from ArchiCAD. 

Auckland, New Zealand

In Auckland, we continue to see increasing hiring activity as practices seek to bring on board international specialists and design architects. Local practices are keen to bring overseas experience from the UK, US, Europe and Australia in-house to diversify and enhance their local team experience. Extensive infrastructure projects have been awarded, including Auckland’s City Rail Link and Auckland Airport extension, driving demand for those with relevant skill sets. 

More generally, infrastructure, rail, civil, retail and leisure all remain busy sectors, with more hotels being added to Auckland CBD and an increase on government spending in education also predicted to drive demand for architects.

Niche roles in particular continue to drive hiring, in particular senior-level expertise in aged care/seniors living sector leaders and senior health leaders all in demand, a trend we expect to continue. 

Download the Australian Salary & Benefits Guide PDF here. 

Author: Krista Shearer & Kate Owens, Managing Director, Bespoke Careers

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