I see poor people
How much architects from all over the world actually make…
Recently I’ve noticed a traffic increase on one of my polls about the architects’ financial status. In 3 days ~1000 people have voted on the poll. Nice start for a new year. So I decided to check where all the voters are coming from. I’m not obsessed with the amount of readers as some other bloggers. Of course more people read my essays happier I am, but to me my blog is not a commercial enterprise or some sophisticated business strategy. It’s a pure hobby which combines two of my favorite things: architecture & literature. I enjoy playing with writing in 2 languages & I have fun by presenting my ideas in the most radical, free & at times shocking way. Being satisfied emotionally traffic is a secondary topic to me. I check it rarely; my stats system is very basic. Yet with some difficulties I’ve found the source of the interest. It was a tiny publication on Archdaily.
Archdaily is a popular site dedicated to the architecture. I don’t read it because it’s not oriented towards deep analysis; it’s all about the quantity of the info rather than the quality. To read it for architectural professionals would be like for classic music composer to listen to Britney Spears or even better… can you imagine a Chef of some exquisite French restaurant having a dinner at McDonalds? Nevertheless it’s a widely popular site for general public.
In their publication they have asked architects about their salaries. That question has generated 180+ comments. People from all over the world provided their answers. Obviously it was done in a very chaotic way. Yet it is clear that everywhere architect’s pay is pretty low and people are highly dissatisfied with the financial rewards. So I thought of organizing that massive wave of replies. I thought of building a chart of architectural incomes based on those comments… Remember those numbers are coming from the personal answers. So this is not an ultimate true. However the trend is crystal clear… architects are underpaid. Underpaid big time.
Wow, I almost forgot about the issue that brought me to that. How come that all of the sudden people from Archdaily, that powerhouse, that architectural McDonalds have visited my small “homemade bakery” blog? Apparently few readers of Archdaily read my blog as well. In their comments they’ve posted a link to my poll which is related to the theme. That’s so nice. Thank you. Another surprise was to see that I have some enemies! My mystery “enemies” trashed those guys who posted links to my poll. One of the “enemies” pretended to be me! He posted some nonsense under my name & provided a link to my blog… Go figure! All that “fight” about me is a perfect illustration of the old rule “bad publicity is the best publicity”. Anyway I have no idea of who those “enemies” are & I wish them well. Being hated means a lot to me. It means I (or rather my position) is worth something. Something powerful enough to make some folks to hate me. You can’t be loved be everybody, unless you’re a spineless liar. I ‘ll leave it to politicians. I don’t care of being hated, as long as I’m not ignored. So thank you “enemies” for not being indifferent & for the publicity.
And now forget this weird episode from blogger’s life and enjoy the chart. I have sorted the info by the countries & continents. I have also included some original comments from the authors…Most powerful & painful are by the end… Read it. Very interesting stuff!
(If your country is missing – don’t hesitate to drop a comment. I will proudly add it. Let’s make the list perfectly complete!)
EUROPE (EURO PER HOUR)
Bulgaria: 3 – 6 Euro per hour | Young architect (Somebody comments “This is a dream in Lithuania”)
Latvia: 7 – 12 Euro per hour | My boss earns 15 Euro per hour
Switzerland: ~30 Euro per hour | Young architect (“Some people with a foreign diploma would accept less, but they shouldn’t, really”)
Finland: ~21 Euro per hour | Brutto. 6 yrs experience
Belgium: 10-18 Euro per hour | Brutto. 1-5 yrs experience
The solution in Belgium to get better paid, leave the profession or the country
Albania: 2 – 3 Euro per hour | 3-6 yrs experience
Austria: 22 – 29 Euro per hour | 7 yrs experience
Lithuania: ~ 3.6 Euro per hour | Net pay. 2 yrs experience.
Serbia: ~1.25 Euro per hour | A beginner. Paid in cash! (illegal)
No insurance, working every second Saturday. Monthly rent for flat € 120. Still alive!
Russia: ~ 2.15 – 18 Euro per hour | There’s a huge difference between Moscow & the rest of the country.
Croatia: ~ 6 Euro per hour
Monthly payment ~€ 900, average price for 1 sq.m of new apartment is € 1800 (just for navigation!)
Bosnia & Herzegovina: ~ 2.5 Euro per hour | Net pay. 2.5 yrs experience.
Ukraine: 1.25 – 4 Euro per hour | 1-6 yrs experience
Live with my mom, thanks God! no other opportunity I have here for now.
Slovenia: ~ 7 Euro per hour | Net pay. No paid vacation
Sweden: ~ 21 Euro per hour | Brutto. 7 yrs experience.
Czech Republic: ~6 Euro per hour | Brutto. 5 yrs experience
Portugal: 2-6 Euro per hour | 1-3 yrs experience. In Portugal young architects are treated like garbage…
France: ~12 Euro per hour
Finland: ~15 Euro per hour | 2. 5 yrs experience.
Tax 24% 5 weeks holiday per year. Holy s***. And I thought I was a slave…
Germany: 8-12.5 Euro per hour | 3-7 yrs experience.
…thinking about becoming a dental technician or flautist…
Norway: 25-43 Euro per hour | Brutto. 1- 10 yrs experience
Hungary: ~3 Euro per hour | Net pay. (If you have a job! But this is not typical.)
…I’ve just booked a one way ticket to Norway!
Norway: A beer costs 8 pounds here! That money’s gonna disappear…
Netherland: ~11 Euro per hour | Brutto. A beginner.
1800 €/month. Other professions – the same educational level standard pay is 2200+ €/month
Denmark: 25-30 Euro per hour | Brutto. Beginners – 5 yrs. experience. Tax around 45%!!!
But you don’t pay for healthcare, education, etc. Notice that the cost of being alive is sky high in Denmark. The highest tax in the world, most expensive food in Europe, etc.
Poland: 3-6 Euro per hour | Beginners – 5 yrs. experience.
There’s always a fool that will work for 2euro. Bloody true!
England: 11.5 – 33 Euro per hour
33 | London. As an architect assistant at a large international firm. Is that ok in London?
22 | London. 5 yrs experience. Project Architect
11.5 | Newcastle. I consider myself lucky to even have a job in these times, I volunteered for 4 months before I found this job
Italy: 4 – 8 Euro per hour
Free | First year after school. In Italy the young architect have a strong life.
4 – 5 | Net pay. 1+ yrs experience
8 | Net pay. 5 yrs experience. The Ukrainian cleaning woman was taking 10 Euro per hour to clean the studio… And this was 3 years ago
Spain (Madrid): ~9 Euro per hour | 5 yrs experience.
Annual € 19,000 brutto. (21% below the average Spanish salary for men. What a shame!)
On the other hand most of the young Spanish architects are unemployed. Living costs: rent € 490 per room in a shared flat
Romania: 2.75 – 3 Euro per hour | 5 -7 yrs experience.
That makes ~€ 500 monthly – it’s exactly what my mortgage is; I’m married & I have a son (I’m lucky with my husband).
Ireland: 5 – 10 Euro per hour | A beginner
When you factor in all the extra unpaid hours it probably drops it down below the minimum wage.
With near 50% unemployment for architects you have to take what you can get unfortunately.
Greece: 5-8 Euro per hour | Net pay. 1 – 5 yrs. experience.
No health insurance. Waitresses get the same + health insurance.
NORTH AMERICA (USD PER HOUR)
15.5 $ / h | starter ($ 30,000 per annum)
41 $ / h | 7-9 yrs experience ($ 80,000 per annum)
77 $ / h | 20 yrs experience ($ 150,000 per annum)
Free | students/new immigrants work 3-4 months for free
14 $ / h | starter ($ 30,000 per annum) Tax ~25%
25 $ / h | 5-7 yrs experience ($ 50,000 per annum) Tax ~ 35%
30-35 $ / h | 10+ yrs experience ($ 70K – 80K) Tax ~ 40% No wonder a lot of people move to US.
For a lot of people it might look like a good money. But given the Canadian prices (cars, food, homes) this is on the level of being “very poor person”. Survival mode.
- ha, I wish! are you hiring?
SOUTH AMERICA (USD PER HOUR)
Argentina: 6-10 $ per hour | Worked in London as a mason and carpenter for x5 higher salary
Chile: ~7.5 $ per hour
Bolivia: 2-3 $ per hour | If you find work. Good luck! Most prefer work in the illegal commerce
Brazil: 10-30 $ per hour | Depends on the State. Vacation?… Never
Ecuador : ~6 $ per hour | Quito
ASIA & AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND (USD PER HOUR)
Philippines: ~1 $ per hour | 2 hours site visit. 8 yrs experience.
China: ~7 $ per hour | 7 yrs experience
India: ~2 $ per hour | 3 yrs experience (renown studio in Mumbai)
S. Korea: ~12.5 $ per hour | 1.5 yrs experience (M. Arch.)
Jordan: ~5 $ per hour | Fresh graduate
Kazakhstan: ~4 – 10 $ per hour | Mostly doesn’t exceed $ 6 .
No health insurance as a rule. Flat rent is $ 500-1000 per month. Hard to survive, but I guess architect’s salary in Kazakhstan is highest in Central Asia.
Indonesia: 1 – 15 $ per hour
1-3 | Beginners
5-15 | 10 yrs experience
Iran: 1 – 25 $ per hour
Free | First year after school
1.5 | Young architects
up to 25 | Experienced architects
Australia: ~18 – 90 $ per hour | …I’m still getting paid less than most of my friends.
New Zealand: ~13 – 30 $ per hour
13-15 | Beginners
18 | 2-5 yrs experience
20-30 | 5 + yrs experience
Unless you are Santiago Calatrava, you will be making nada’ with this handicap economy!! It’s a shame! It’s a shame I tell you how this career field is coming to a vanishing point with less of prestige and appreciation. I think i agree that Architects make less money regardless of their skill.”
- Nice profession – terrible pay… Take it or leave”
- Nice hobby or obsession – terrible profession. Terrible pay.”
My boss drives a Porsche – we come by bike.
That is really sad! In Holland working at McDonalds would pay better!!!
Oh god, why didn`t anyone tell me this 7 years ago?!
IN PORTUGAL ARCHITECTS WORK FOR FREE!! As we are required to do an internship for the professional organization, this is unpaid. So the main architects take advantage of this fact, substituting employees architects who would have to pay, for interns for free! We do not need others to fool us. We do this to professional colleagues. Shame on us, architects…
I look at these numbers, at your emotions and I am asking is this profession worth such pain? Just a question… Don’t rush to say out loudly “Hell, yeah…” Life is more complex than any emotional exclamation.
Depressing! It took me most of my study years to realize those “architecture…not recommended” sighs and comments from the older architects around me …
Out of 175 comments there’s practically NOT a single positive reactions. Almost all comments are anonymous, incl. this one – mine. (Some links to a cool blog in the first few comments, that’s all…) Screw you architecture. You are dying anyway as a creative profession… It’s not about the pay only. After 15 yrs of hard work I’m about to leave you. Enough is enough.