Architecture Staffing Levels Seeing a Resurgence

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A tough job market during the recession is quickly becoming a thing of the past in the field of architecture. Many signs are pointing to a resurgence in staffing levels for professionals in the industry as construction growth is on the rise and an increasing number of designs are necessary for future improvements.

According to Arch Daily, the American Institute of Architects and National Council of Architecture Registration Board's most recent internship and career survey is seeing newfound levels of optimism pervading throughout job ranks in recent years. Higher employment levels, an increasing number of designers becoming licensed, and dropping periods of unemployment are coming together to provide strength in the industry.

The AIA's report found 78 percent of respondents were actively engaged in professional architecture work, which was an increase of 8 percent since 2010. While 17 percent of architects said they experienced unemployment in 2010, those numbers dwindled in the years since. Currently, only about 6 percent of individuals are reporting unemployment.

Optimism is also strong in architecture from a number of different sources. As many as 70 percent of architects who struggled during the recession reportedly have new levels of faith in the current job market, which shows dedication and strength in the near future. The rates of workers who experienced long periods of unemployment or are still struggling to find jobs also fell by double digits.

Upturn expected to hold steady

The Bureau of Labor Statistics adds that the outlook in the industry is just as positive in coming years. Through 2022, the employment rate of architecture positions in various companies is projected to grow by 17 percent, which is faster than the national average. The one qualifying point added by the news source is that the number of applicants for these positions will grow in the next decade as well, which means competition will remain somewhat consistent. 

Much of the industry's expected job growth is thanks to an increased level of overall spending throughout the economy at large. 24/7 Wall Street reported that construction spending in March grew by 0.2 percent in March to a new estimate of $942.5 billion. Compared with the market in the same month one year ago, spending is up by 8.4 percent. Spending is also on the rise in the first quarter of the month, up a negligibly smaller 8.3 percent. As construction projects continue to see new life throughout the United States, there will inevitably be demand for specific plans regarding the buildings going up.

Possibly a shortage starting this year

The Architectural Record reported that there may be a new shift in the market where architecture firms see a shortage of qualified designers by the end of this year. Nearly 25 percent of more than 1,000 respondents saw that between experienced workers who have moved on to other industries and a smaller number of graduates joining the industry in the next few years, the industry as a whole will see a slight contraction of its workforce. This means companies may be more in need to foster talent from newer workers in the industry. They'll need to attract talent from a wide number of people, especially pertaining to workers from the Millennial generation who will be more versed and enthusiastic about green building practices.