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How salaries are calculated in different parts of the world?

Currently, the amount of information that we can find in terms of salaries in architecture is so abundant that it is difficult to point out accurate and confirmed data on which cities or countries this profession is most valued.


In addition, architectural salaries do not depend only on the location, but there are also different aspects that can influence the salary variations.  


Features to take into consideration to calculate salaries in architecture in architecture:

  • Education and professional studies level.
  • Years of experience and/or seniority.
  • Duties of the job position.
  • Location.
  • Knowledge of languages.
  • Type and size of the company.
  • Type of contract and/or agreements.
  • Relation between earnings and living costs.
  • Minimum national/local salary.
  • Variations of taxes, insurance and the different legal policies of each country. 

Three worldwide variables that determine how much an architect can earn per project:

1.- The percentage of total construction costs must be assessed. That is, the architect can earn between 0.1% and 3%-4% of the total amount depending on the size of the architectural project. The bigger the project is, the greater the percentage of profit, and vice versa if the project is smaller.


2.- In addition, a sum per square meter must be made, from 2-3 to 7-8 units, according to the local currency price per square meter.


3.- The other variable that determines the architecture salaries worldwide is the hourly rate, which will change depending on the profile of the architect (prestige, experience, position, studies ...). All these aspects influence the variation of this rate between 12 and 120 units per hour (according to local currency).


The Average salary of architects in the world

 Now that we know what are the factors and the different variables that can help us to know how architectural salaries are calculated in different parts of the world, we will show you a graphic made by José García from the architectural magazine “Sección”, to clarify the current situation of the economy of architecture in different countries of the world.

An architect who intends to emigrate will surely want to know the average salary to be earned. However, as we have already mentioned, there are many differences between the average salaries in each country based on many factors. Nevertheless, if something is clear is that there are fewer differences and salaries are notably higher in the countries of the northern half in comparison with the southern half, except for New Zealand and Australia.


In conclusion, if we have more interest of knowing where architecture salaries are higher, the record is held by Switzerland, with a monthly average salary of 5,853 euros, and the worst figures are found in Bangladesh, where the average salary of an architect is about 306 euros per month. However, it is important to remember that you have always to consider the cost of living of the different countries and the factors and variables that will make an architect earn a salary or another.

Favourite countries to emigrate, according to Spanish Architects general opinion

After seeing these figures, it is also important to know which countries are the favorites by architects to emigrate and work.


According to a study done by the Labor-Union of Architects in Spain, the preferred countries to emigrate for Spanish Architects are Germany and The United Kingdom, due to the proximity and language. These two aspects are highly relevant when choosing a new city to work and live in.

Master in Collective Housing UPM/ETH

Next edition of the MAS in Collective Housing will start in January 2020, the application period is opened till 31.12.2019 or until vacancies are filled. 
The Master of Architecture in Collective HousingMCH, is a postgraduate full-time international professional program of advanced architecture design in cities and housing presented by Universidad Politécnica of Madrid (UPM) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH).  Apply now!
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