Architect Shortage

Release Date: 01-01-2013

Thinking about going into architecture as a career?  This is a great time to enter the profession.

Although you might have seen some negative publicity about job opportunities, most recent news articles are based on employment data from 2009 and 2010.  Why is that significant to you?  First of all, 3 or 4 years later we are seeing definite growth in our job markets.  More importantly, if you are a high school senior, that data is misleading if not irrelevant - you would be entering the workforce in 2018, not 2009, and entering the profession on the heels of a somewhat slower economy is actually perfect timing. 

Add to that the fact that the profession is facing a huge retirement bubble as thousands of baby-boomer architects are approaching retirement.  It is estimated that right now for every new architect, 8 are retiring – sound like a stat. that works in your favor?

There is also pent-up demand right now in the construction industry, and all current data and future projections point to a really hot job market for those entering architecture school now.  In fact, we are projecting a SHORTAGE OF ARCHITECTS in coming years.  So check out these stats:

From the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2012:

“Employment of architects is projected to grow 24 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Current demographic trends will result in a greater need for architects.”

From a survey conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction in 2012:

“Some U.S. (architecture) firms expect a shortage of qualified designers to meet their workloads by 2014.  The survey of 1,007 U.S. designers found that nearly one-quarter of respondents anticipated a shortage of architects resulting from a combination of designers exiting the profession, baby boomers retiring, a lack of skills among architects looking for work, and less talent in the pipeline as job prospects discourage students from entering the field. Firms both large (more than 50 employees) and small (less than 10) anticipated some kind of shortage of designers, but nearly half of respondents from larger firms expect it to be severe.”

From monthly economic forecasts done this fall by the American Institute of Architects:

“Architecture firms continued to report an upswing in business conditions in October, as the AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) remained above 50 with a score of 52.8. (Any score above 50 indicates an increase in firm billings.) Firms have now reported billings growth for three consecutive months, and this month’s score is the highest in nearly three years, as an increasing number of firms are seeing improving conditions. In addition, inquiries into new projects also remain extremely strong.”

“As architecture firms continue to emerge from the economic downturn, the need to hire new employees is rising. In response to this month’s special practice question, nearly half of firms (44 percent) reported that they have been looking to hire employees this year. Just over half of firms located in the Midwest have been hiring, as have nearly three quarters (73 percent) of firms with annual billings of $5 million or more.”