National Salary Survey FAQs

21 February 2023

The ACA National Salary Survey is back for 2023, providing important data on architectural salaries across Australia. For more information, read our Frequently Asked Questions below.


The pandemic, the skilled labour shortage in Australia and the temporary suspension of skilled migration caused by border closures has had big impacts on the architecture profession in recent years. The disrupted employment landscape and a squeezed labour market has led to rising salaries for in-demand roles.

As recruitment and staff retention continue to provide challenges for the architecture profession, the Salary Survey will help practices benchmark salaries around Australia to inform their remuneration decisions and budgets going forward.

What is the ACA National Salary Survey?

The ACA National Salary Survey offers practices vital information about their position within the broader marketplace. It also develops important longitudinal data about architectural remuneration.

The survey questionnaire covers a wide range of roles and positions including professional, technical, and administrative and line management. It has filters for location, size and type of practice, as well as a question regarding benefits within packages.

The survey is independent and anonymous, and the results are available to all participants. ACA members are also able to benchmark their practices’ salaries against other participants by State or nationally through a private portal.

Why take the survey?

The ACA National Salary Survey is a significant resource for individual practices, and for the industry as a whole. The results provide valuable information to help inform a multitude of decisions in your practice:

  • Setting staff salaries – are yours competitive? The survey allows you to benchmark against other practices locally and nationally.
  • Preparing for staff reviews
  • Avoiding potential loss of staff (and thereby losing knowledge and incurring substantial costs associated with recruitment)

Completing the ACA Salary Survey also increases knowledge of current trends in employment and remuneration across the country, and therefore of the health of the industry. The findings are an important base for ACA advocacy and build significant longitudinal knowledge.

How meaningful is the data?

The first ACA Salary Survey was conducted in 2013, and there have been steady improvements over the years to make the data more meaningful. In 2019, the ACA opened the Salary Survey up to non-members as well as members, ensuring that we enable a much larger proportion of the architectural population to contribute to the salary survey results. After a break during the early stages of the pandemic, we began surveying the profession again in 2022.

We encourage all practice owners to participate in the 2023 Salary Survey – the more responses we receive, the more meaningful the data that we can provide on these important issues.

What other improvements have been made?

In 2022 the ACA launched a new, improved Salary Survey with a Salary Survey Input spreadsheet. The aim of this tool is to help improve the data input into the survey and ensure consistency of the data collected. This spreadsheet is now available to all practices to assist them in filling in the required survey information.

Download the Salary Survey Input spreadsheet

What are the benefits of the Salary Survey?

When we surveyed members about the importance of various functions of the Salary Survey to their practice, the following were listed in order of importance:

  • Providing reliable, independent, up-to-date annual data on remuneration in Australian architecture
  • Tracking remuneration trends in architecture over time to understand longitudinal trends
  • Enabling practices to benchmark against similar firms within the survey platform
  • Collecting up-to-date data to inform remuneration within individual practices

What is the timeline for 2023?

The survey will be launched in mid-February 2023. It will be open for four weeks to allow maximum participation. The analysis will be conducted by an independent organisation and the results provided by May.

  • Launch: February 2023
  • Completion: March 2023
  • Analysis of Data: April 2023
  • Release reports: May 2023

About the Salary Survey

How long will it take?

The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete, depending on the size of your practice. Entering the data into the Salary Survey Input tool before commencing the survey will streamline the process and improve efficiencies.

What do I need?

Before commencing the survey, please read the definitions below and have at hand the remuneration details for all staff including:

• The average salary per role (e.g. total remuneration / no. of staff in that role).
• The lowest salary per role
• The highest salary per role
• The list of the benefits your firm offers staff

IMPORTANT: If any role category where there is only ONE STAFF member, simply list the salary for that staff member in the ‘Average’, ‘Lowest’ and ‘Highest’ columns. If there are NO STAFF in a particular position, DO NOT ENTER ANY DATA.


‘Salary package’ means total cost to business including superannuation and packaged benefits but excluding dividends, distributions and bonuses.
‘Combined full-time equivalent’ means total number of full-time hours worked, with wages adjusted for part-time staff to be full-time equivalent.


Members can access the full results and benchmark via an individual login to the survey portal.

A detailed analysis of the data will be carried out on behalf of the ACA. The resulting report will be available to all survey participants, with an executive summary available publicly.