Architects in Australia

18 May 2016

Insightful reports by Gill Matthewson chart the professional profile of architects and the industry’s growth and development in recent years through the 2001, 2006 and 2011 Censuses. Commissioned by the ACA, these reports are the first time data from all three Censuses has been analysed together.

The ACA – SA State of the Profession research project, led by John Held and Sue Phillips of ACA – SA, yielded some fascinating results about the ebbs and flows of the architecture industry from 2001 to 2011.

Building on that project, Gill Matthewson has now analysed the Census statistics for other states, researching key information such as age and gender profile, type of employment, number of working hours and income level, identifying and explaining the broad patterns that have emerged.   

Download the full reports below. 

National

  • In the ten years from 2001 to 2011, Australia showed a steady increase in the number of architects of 33%.
  • The proportion of architects who are employees has risen, while the proportion of employers has dropped.
  • The number of architecture graduates increased by 40% from 2001 to 2011, thus ensuring that the proportion of architects under 40 also increased.
  • When dividing architects into age groups, it’s clear that women are concentrated in the younger age groups and the men more evenly spread; women have an almost straight line ‘downhill’ from a high point in the youngest category of 25–29.
  • Fewer architects reported working long hours than in the past. We could attribute this to better work–life balance, but the 2008 GFC might also have something to do with it.

New South Wales

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Key findings

  • The proportion of Australian architects who practise in New South Wales dropped from a high of 40% in 2001 to 35% in 2011.
  • New South Wales has a consistently higher proportion of women architects than the national average.

Queensland

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Key findings

  • Queensland has a smaller number of architects than the larger states of New South Wales and Victoria (15% of the total).
  • Architects in Queensland earn slightly more than the national averages, perhaps because of their relative scarcity.
  • Queensland has a lower proportion of women architects than the rest of the country 

South Australia

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Key findings

  • South Australia supported 18% more architects in 2011 than 2001, suggesting that the state’s ability to support architects grew strongly over the period.
  • The proportion of women in the profession in South Australia lags behind the rest of the country.
  • South Australia has lower income levels than architects in the rest of Australia. 

Victoria

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Key findings

  • The population of architects in Victoria has increased between each Census and substantially so between 2006 and 2011. This means the state’s proportion of all architects in Australia has increased.
  • In 2011, Victoria had more architects per capita than any other state, and more than half were under the age of 40.
  • Victoria has a consistently higher proportion of women architects than the national average. 

Western Australia

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Key findings

  • Architect numbers in Western Australia increased by 46% between 2001 and 2011.
  • Western Australia has slightly increased its share of the total architect population over the ten years to 9.1%.
  • Western Australian architects worked longer hours and fewer of them work part-time than for the country as a whole.
  • Architects in Western Australia earn more than the national averages.

Tasmania

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Key findings

  • Overall, the population of architects in Tasmania has increased markedly between each Census, but still constitutes a small proportion of the country’s architects.
  • The age profile of architects has changed over the ten years for the country and state with an increased percentage of older and younger architects.
  • Tasmania has a lower proportion of women architects than the rest of the country.
  • In 2011, fewer architects seemed to be working long hours than in the past, and Tasmanian architects work even less hours than those in the rest of the country.
  • Architects are increasingly employees rather than employers.
  • Architects in Tasmania earn less than the national averages.

Australian Capital Territory

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Key findings

  • Overall, the population of architects in the Australian Capital Territory has increased betweeneach Census, but still constitutes a small proportion of the country’s architects.
  • The age profile of architects has changed over the ten years for the country and ACT with anincreased percentage of older and younger architects.
  • The Australian Capital Territory has a lower proportion of women architects than the rest of thecountry.
  • In 2011, fewer architects seemed to be working long hours than in the past.
  • Architects are increasingly employees rather than employers, particularly in the territory.
  • Architects in the Australian Capital Territory earn slightly more than the national average.

Northern Territory

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Key findings

  • Overall, the population of architects in the Northern Territory has grown between 2001 and 2011 Censuses, but constitutes a very small proportion of the country’s architects.
  • The age profile of architects has changed over the ten years for the country and territory; but the territory shows a decrease in younger architects, while the country shows an increase.
  • The Northern Territory has a higher proportion of women architects than the rest of the country,but with fewer than 100 architects in the territory this does not constitute a major trend.
  • In 2011, fewer architects seemed to be working long hours than in the past, but in the NorthernTerritory architects work longer hours than those in the rest of the country.
  • Architects are increasingly employees rather than employers.
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