Given I am a landscape architecture and urban design recruiter, I get to speak to both clients and candidates about salaries all of the time. I thought this would be a good first topic to cover on our new website.
I have been in the Landscape profession for over 25 years, initially as a Landscape Architect with Gillespies, and for the last 23 years as a specialist business owner and recruiter at Locri.
I think it is widely understood that salaries in our profession are quite varied. Apart from amount of experience, the factors that affect salaries are numerous – see some points below. (These are generalisations, and obviously many exceptions can be found)
Generally salaries in the South East of England are higher than the rest of the UK. However during the last 10 years this gap has shrunk, there is a big supply of international Landscape Architects in London and this has reduced wage inflation in this region.
The increasing importance of Planning in the development process has improved fee earning in the project planning / pre design phase. Landscape Architects with strong Landscape Planning skills are therefore often paid more than their colleagues with strong design skills.
Large national Planning consultancies pay the best salaries, closely followed by the bigger Architects and multi-disciplinary consultancies. The fee structure / revenue in smaller Landscape studio’s means it is often harder to compete on salary with the bigger organizations.
New work and associated fee is the life blood of all consultancies. If you are commercially aware and capable of bringing in work / fee you will be better remunerated than a purely project focused Landscape Architect.
“The harder I work the luckier I get”. This applies to our profession, it could be re-phrased “The harder I work, the better I get”. My clients reward people who work hard, and develop their skills / experience continually. There is a shortage of strong candidates in the labour market, so employers work hard to keep the staff they value. Part of any good employers retention strategy will be to financially reward key staff who consistently put in high levels of effort and application.