Job Prospects... At a glance
There are job opportunities for architects and landscape architects. Opportunities for architects have increased with the growth in the number of construction and infrastructure projects in New Zealand, especially Auckland. Both professions can be affected by economic conditions. A downturn in the economy can lower demand for architects.
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.
There are many broad tasks that are common to both, including:
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.
Many architects and landscape architects complete a degree programme. To become a registered architect, one pathway is for those with:
Those with other qualifications go through a different process, including assessment of their qualifications and/or experience by the New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB).
Landscape architects must complete one of the following accredited programmes:
|Bachelor of Architectural Studies||Bachelor of Landscape Architecture|
|$22,200 over three years||$29,500 over four years|
Average costs in 2018 for a domestic student. Costs vary between institutions. First time students may be eligible for fees-free tertiary education for their first year of study, which will reduce the total cost. For more information about fees-free eligibility, go to feesfree.govt.nz. 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.
Both architecture and landscape architecture have three accredited programmes offered in New Zealand.
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 architectural graduate can apply to become a registered architect. The New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB) oversees registration and monitoring of architects in New Zealand.
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.
The number of completed bachelor’s degree qualifications in architecture rose to a peak of 565 in 2014. Over the last few years, master’s degrees have become more common, increasing from just 10 in 2008 to 265 in 2017.
Qualification completions chart
Source: Ministry of Education
Architectural graduates with one to five years’ experience usually earned between $55,000 and $75,000 in 2018 according to the 2018 Hays Salary Guide. Registered architects with more than five years’ experience usually earned between $85,000 and $120,000. For landscape architects, graduates usually earned between $40,000 and $60,000 per year, while senior landscape architects with five to ten years’ experience usually earned between $80,000 or more.
The average annual income for architects and landscape architects was estimated to be around $77,000 in 2019.
|Estimated Average Income|
Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index.
Architects and landscape architects’ employment
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 4.5% per year is projected until 2021 and 3.5% from 2019 to 2026.
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections
|Overseas||In further study||Receiving a benefit||In employment||Median Salary|
Source: Tertiary Education Commission
*Three years after completion of Bachelor Degree - Architecture & Urban Environment.
Three years after graduation, most graduates were in employment. Quite a high percentage, 15%, was overseas, and a very small percentage was receiving a benefit. The median salary was around $47,000 three years after graduation.
The number of online job vacancies for architects and landscape architects increased from December 2010 to December 2017, suggesting that opportunities continue to grow, but at a slower pace than that seen previously. This compares with an overall increase 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.
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.
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.
More information on architects and landscape architects is available on the Careers New Zealand website.
Careers New Zealand: www.careers.govt.nz
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