Ministry of Business and Innovation - Occupation Outlook

Occupation Outlook | Main MBIE Site

Architects

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Income
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Fees
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Job Prospects

Job Prospects... At a glance

With the Canterbury rebuild continuing, there will be more job opportunities for architects and landscape architects. Increasing building activity in other New Zealand regions, especially Auckland, should also contribute to improved job prospects over the next few years for both professions.

How to become an architect

What they do

Architects design buildings and oversee and provide advice on their construction. They may also advise on urban design projects.

Landscape architects design and oversee the construction of outdoor spaces such as parks, gardens, urban plazas, and coastal and waterfront areas. They also manage, conserve and restore natural or heritage landscapes and public open spaces.

Qualifications needed

Secondary school subjects that can give a good background to studying architecture and landscape architecture include: art, design, graphics, computer studies, environmental studies, history, biology, geography, physics, mathematics, communications, and technology.

Architects and landscape architects must complete a degree programme. To become a registered architect, students must complete:

  • Bachelor of Architectural Studies (3 years), and
  • Master of Architecture (Professional) (2 years).

Landscape architects must complete one of the following accredited programmes:

  • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (4 years)
  • Bachelor of Architectural Studies in Landscape Architecture (3 years) together with a Master of Landscape Architecture (2 years), or
  • Approved undergraduate degree and postgraduate Master of Landscape Architecture (2.5 years).

Cost of study

Bachelor of Architectural StudiesBachelor of Landscape Architecture
$21,600 over three years $26,800 over four years

Average costs in 2015 for a domestic student. Costs vary between institutions. Some polytechnics may have a zero-fees scheme. Further costs include materials, textbooks, and accommodation.

Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy Services website.

The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.

Tenancy Services: www.tenancy.govt.nz/rent-bond-and-bills 
StudyLink: www.studylink.govt.nz 
Sorted: www.sorted.org.nz/calculators/money-planner

Where to study

Both architecture and landscape architecture have three accredited programmes offered in New Zealand.

Architecture programmes:

University of Auckland: www.creative.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/home/about/our-faculty/schools-programmes-and-centres/architecture-and-planning
Victoria University of Wellington: www.victoria.ac.nz/architecture
Unitec, Auckland: www.unitec.ac.nz/career-and-study-options/architecture-and-architectural-technology

Landscape architecture programmes:

Lincoln University, Christchurch: www.lincoln.ac.nz/sola
Victoria University, Wellington: www.victoria.ac.nz/architecture/study/subjects/land
Unitec, Auckland: www.unitec.ac.nz/career-and-study-options/landscape-architecture

The New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA) has details of all accredited landscape architecture programmes.

NZILA-accredited Landscape architecture programmes: www.nzila.co.nz/become-a-landscape-architect

After completing two to three years of practical work experience, an architecture graduate can apply to become a registered architect. The New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB) oversees registration and monitoring of architects in New Zealand.

NZRAB: www.nzrab.org.nz

A landscape architecture graduate can apply to NZILA to become a registered landscape architect after two to three years of practical work experience, and the passing of an examination in professional practice. NZILA is the internationally recognised professional body representing qualified landscape architects in New Zealand.

NZILA: www.nzila.co.nz

Completed qualifications

The number of completed bachelor’s degree qualifications in architecture has fallen from a peak of 475 in 2011, to 400 in 2014. Over the last few years, master’s degrees have become more common, increasing from just 10 in 2008 to 180 in 2014.

Qualification completions chart

Source: Ministry of Education

Income and employment prospects

Income

Graduate architects with one to five years’ experience usually earned between $40,000 and $80,000 in 2013, according to the 2013 Hays Salary Guide. Registered architects with more than five years’ experience usually earned between $60,000 and $110,000. For landscape architects, graduates usually earned between $40,000 and $50,000 per year, while senior landscape architects with five to ten years’ experience usually earned between $75,000 and $100,000, according to Boffa Miskell Ltd.

The average annual income for architects and landscape architects was estimated to be around $72,500 in 2016.

Estimated Average Income
$72,500 

Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index.

Employment and skill shortages

Architects and landscape architects’ employment

HistoricProjected Growth
2006 2013 2020 2025
4,419 4,680 5,927 7,063
  0.8% 4.0% 3.6%

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
*Growth projections are for the broader category “Architects, Designers, Planners and Surveyors.”

Over recent years, the number of architects and landscape architects employed has remained relatively stable. Employment growth of about 4.0% per year is projected until 2019 and 3.6% from 2019 to 2024.

Employment chart

Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections

Outcomes after qualification completion*

 OverseasIn further studyReceiving a benefitIn employmentMedian Salary
19% 42% 1% 51% $43,300

Source: Ministry of Education
*Two years after completion of Bachelor Degree - Architecture & Urban Environment. ‘Overseas’ refers to the percentage of ALL graduates completing this qualification. Other indicators refer only to graduates living in New Zealand.

Two years after graduation, most graduates were either in employment or in further study. Quite a high percentage, almost one-fifth, was overseas, and a very small percentage was receiving a benefit. The median salary was around $43,300 two years after graduation.

Where to find job vacancies

The number of online job vacancies for architects and landscape architects increased by 16% from September 2014 to September 2015, suggesting that opportunities continue to grow, but at a slower pace than that seen previously. This compares with an overall increase of 1.9% for all vacancies over the same period.

Jobs advertised chart

Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Architects and landscape architects vacancies are advertised on websites such as Trade Me Jobs and Seek. The NZIA (New Zealand Institute of Architects – a professional body representing over 90% of registered architects in New Zealand) and NZILA websites also advertise vacancies.

Trade Me Jobs: www.trademe.co.nz/jobs
Seek: www.seek.co.nz
NZIA: www.nzia.co.nz
NZILA: www.nzila.co.nz

Career path

Career paths vary depending on the size and structure of the firm you work for. Some people will eventually end up running their own businesses.

Architecture can lead to a wide variety of career choices. Although some architects focus on residential or commercial architecture, there are many other areas available to architects, such as urban planning or conserving heritage buildings.

Landscape architects can work in councils or in private practice. Some choose to specialise in landscape planning, whereas others work as designers - creating areas for private, commercial, or public use in rural or urban areas. Landscape architects are increasingly using the principles of green infrastructure in their work.

Related occupations

The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require a higher level of skill than entry-level architects and landscape architects.

  • Architectural Technician
  • Building Designer
  • Building Planner
  • Conservation or Heritage Architect
  • Garden Designer
  • Industrial Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • Surveyor

Other information

Links

More information on architects and landscape architects is available on the Careers New Zealand website.

Careers New Zealand: www.careers.govt.nz

ANZSCO

The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.

The occupation of architects and landscape architects has been coded to the following ANZSCO code for the purpose of this report:

2321 – Architects and Landscape Architects