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Bespoke Careers

24 February 2022

24 February 2022

The A&D industry in Sydney gains momentum in 2022 as the industry thrives across the East Coast

2022 Global Salary Guide

The Sydney A&D sector has gained momentum over the past 18 months and the industry has thrived across the East coast of Australia. The recent opening for Skilled Visa holders is offering a welcome reprieve to the latest skills shortages and we predict there will be a steady flow of talent into Australia across the architecture, landscape, and urban sectors in 2022. Employers can take advantage of this influx by hiring temporary permit holders on a contract basis for the duration of their visas.

On the back of this, we have seen a huge shift in flexibility offered in the workplace. Candidates have had the upper hand in negotiations and are able to put forward their ideal patterns of work/life balance, most of which are not 5 days a week in a traditional office space. 

The private residential sector has seen an incredible expansion over the past two years alongside the Sydney property market. This niche sector is extremely competitive when it comes to finding candidates with the right experience. Smaller residential studios have also cropped up with the ideal market conditions encouraging architects and designers to leave larger studios and venture out on their own. 

When it comes to skill sets, we’re seeing elevated demand across the whole built environment sector. Within architecture, the requirement is shifting back towards a more traditional ‘architect’ with studios preferring people who are confident across all stages of the process. On the flip side, we’ve seen a declining need for design architects and delivery/technical architects. 

There are also various accreditation's that are currently being sought after. Firstly, in line with global expectations, environmentally sustainable design is becoming a huge area of interest, particularly with those who are bidding on government work but also those in the private resi sector where a PassivHaus certification or similar are of interest. Additionally, the introduction of the Compliance Declaration Scheme (which came into effect in July 2021) has resulted in a demand for architects who are not only registered but also hold the Class 2 Buildings accreditation. 

In interior design, the demand continues for mid-level candidates with Revit and large-scale project experience as well as those who are D+C mid-levels with ArchiCAD skills. There’s also been a shift towards studios looking for hospitality designers as previously paused projects come back online.

For most support roles, clients are prioritising people with industry experience – this goes for all roles ranging from PAs to graphic designers and general managers. An overall lack of support candidates and the need for people to hit the ground running with little training is making hiring support personnel incredibly challenging. 

In the architecture product market, the shift to an appointment-only operation hasn’t slowed the volume of sales. 

On the product side, we continue to see sales support and specification sales roles in the most demand. It has also become apparent that business development managers with local connection with the sector are the hardest candidates to come by. 

As competition for candidates increases, the balance of power has shifted from the employer to the candidates resulting in a rise in both salaries and the expectation of earnings. Candidates are also becoming more demanding in their desirables when looking for a new role, with flexibility, remote working and part-time opportunities being key, and a better work/life balance an essential. 

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Author: Krista Shearer, Managing Director, Bespoke Careers

Salary Guide

Our annual Salary Survey reveals who's making what in our sector. Take a look at this year's results to see how you compare to the market.

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