80 Architecture Statistics [2020 UPDATE]

by | Jan 6, 2020

The Architecture industry is constantly changing.

One day hand-drawn sketches are the norm and the next digitization has taken completely over. The world is rapidly adapting to more streamlined processes and implementing automation.

We want to speed up everything and make it cheaper.

Here are 80 Architecture Industry Statistics that will give you some insights into the evolution and digital transformation of the industry.

Table of Contents

10 Interesting Statistics About BIM and Architects

bim process
“BIM Building Information Modeling Technology concept on virtual screen.” by WrightStudio is licensed under Adobe Stock Standard License

What is BIM?

BIM stands for Building Information Modelling. AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) professionals are accumulating a ton of information before and during the building process in an effort to make smarter decisions in the future.

Imagine collecting data on everything including labor, materials, time tables, technical specs, as you’re bringing a building to life to life. It’s a massive undertaking but what we can derive out of this data will be invaluable.

Besides that, many architects and other AEC industry professionals are constantly struggling with endless drawings, sketches, iterations, and etc.

And that’s where BIM heroically enters the room. It provides a digital collaborative process of designing a model of the building in the most specific way possible; layout, function and etc.

How much would BIM usage benefit a company?

  • Better planning reduces waste
  • Time tables that meet reality
  • Consistency in delivering projects on budget
  • Increased efficiency
  • Maintenance and projections automatically planned out
  • Simpler handoffs between contractors and project managers
  • And much more

That’s why we’ve gathered this list of interesting statistics about BIM, that make us surprised too!

74% of Facilities Management firms think that BIM will strongly impact the Facilities Management Industry, while 83.8 % say that BIM is already doing that and will continue that way for the next 5 years.

It is a myth that BIM is only used for design and architects. In fact, BIM can also be implemented into asset management, facilities maintenance and the overall process of building operations.

34% of large architecture firms state they have 5 or more years of experience in using BIM. That is twice as much compared to small firms, amongst which are only 16%. 

It’s a misconception that BIM is only suitable for small specialized firms. Small firms are actually showing less experience in that area.

According to Smart Market Report, it is 44% of small firms that have 1 to 2 years of experience with BIM usage, while only 13% of large firms fall into that category of experience within usage.

82% of BIM users report that AEC firms receive a positive return-on-investment after using BIM. The other 14% report reaching a point of break-even.

This is big.

96% of BIM users have actually made up for the cost of their investment, according to the calculations made by the Connecting Teams Study. This shows that by using BIM, you could actually increase your ROI.

Pie chart of BIM users that made up for the cost of their investment

70% of surveyed US architects believe that BIM has made an impact on reducing their risk of project error.

BIM brings teams of industry professionals and even clients, together, since BIM is all about collaborative working to produce digital datasets.

70% of architects, 69% of engineers, 56% of Trade Contractors and 49% of General Contractors report that such approach has reduced their project error and data friction, according to the study of The Connecting Teams.

Bim is effective

56% of US Architects claim their clients became more satisfied after implementing collaboration solutions into their BIM projects.

According to a Connecting Teams Study,  56% of Architects, 59% of Engineers, 50% of Trade Contractors and 42% of General Contractors found their client satisfaction to be increasing after the implementing collaboration solution for their BIM projects.

Pie chart showing percentage of architects reporting increase in client satisfaction after using BIM

57.9 % of Facilities Management stakeholders believe that teaching the employees the usage of BIM, will strongly benefit them.

According to FM Awareness of Building Information Modelling Report, released in August 2017, 254 Facilities Management stakeholders were asked about their BIM experience and whether they believed in the beneficiation of BIM implementation.

57.9% strongly agreed, while 28.3% were neutral and 13.8% had responded negatively

51% of AEC companies report that their main obstacle in using Collaboration Solutions in BIM Projects is the cost of the solution.

51% of respondents in a Connecting Teams Study have underlined that the cost of the solution remains as the highest factor why they haven’t implemented collaboration solutions to their BIM projects.

Solution complexity, (47%) and unreliable online access (36%) remain as the other two ranking factors as to why the many don’t implement Collaboration Solutions on BIM projects.

51% of AEC companies that found the cost of the Collaboration Solutions on BIM Projects to be a preventing factor towards its usage, 60% were architectural companies.

In a Connecting Teams Study, a survey was made to identify whether there are any technical limitations in BIM that prevent it from being used more often. 60% of engineers have answered that it is due to the complexity.

47% of General Contractors, 44 % of Architects and 38% of Trade Contractors have also found the solution to be complex. 

50% of architectural companies state that data security is one of the factors that prevent them from increased usage of BIM.

In a Connecting Teams Study survey, 50% of architectural companies state that data security is one of the reasons why they haven’t fully implemented BIM yet.

Data security also concerns 33% of engineers, 24% of Trade Contractors and 22% of General Contractors. The reason as to why that percentage is highest in architects may be due to “intellectual property” within the files, as the report predicts.

Pie chart showing percentage of architects that find data security to be preventing them from using BIM

Check Out Also: 140+ Software tools architecture firms need in [2020]

12 Statistics About Architecture Industry Growth

Digitalised architecture image
“Business concept plan new high-rise buildings” by Sasun Bughdaryan is licensed under Adobe Stock Standard License

The Architecture industry is dependent on innovation. Plain and simple, the implementation of new technology will always be one of the main factors that catalyze its growth.

How much has the Architecture Industry really changed since the early days?

Do architects now earn more?

Is the industry still struggling more today than 50 years ago?

To spare you from worrying about these details, we’ve gathered this list of in-depth statistics about the Architecture Industry.

The annual growth of the Global Architectural Service Industry increased by 2.1% from 2014 till 2019.

The data calculated by IBISWorld Report notes steady progress of annual growth of 2.1% for architecture services globally in the last 5 years.

The growth of the Architecture industry results in a 2.2% increase annually from 2015-2020.

In the IBISWorld Report, targeting Global Architecture Industry statistics, released in 2015, it was predicted that the increase within the annual growth rate would become 2.2% from the year 2015 till 2020.

1.743.702 people are employed in the global Architecture industry as of January 2019.

Increased employment in the architecture industry could mean higher economic benefits for larger firms, especially when there are 600,000 architecture businesses arising globally.

total Employed architects statistic

20% of architects considered themselves to be self-employed, instead of operating in a larger organization in 2018.

Nearly 20% of architects in the industry in the United States are self-employed.

69% are working for architectural or engineering services.

6% are working for the government and construction services, according to the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The remaining fall into an “other” category.

In January 2019, there was an estimated number of 607.000 architecture-related businesses worldwide.

According to IBISWorld Report, there are 607,004 businesses in the Architecture Industry. That number continues to rise.

Considering that the total industry employment number is 1,743,702, that leaves us to conclude that most of those employed work for mega-firms.

The average salary of an architect living in the United States in 2018 was estimated to be $79,380.

The median annual wage you get from working as an Architect truly depends on which industry, experience, city, etc.

According to the May 2018 Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of architects that were working for the government was $92,940. The number went down to $78,460 for those in architectural and engineering services and $78,110 within those working for construction.

Architects salary statistic

The largest Architecture Firm in the world – Gensler, has 2570 architects employed and a fee income of $1-1.5 billion, as of 2017.

The largest Architecture firm Gensler – is positioned in the USA.

The second on the list is Nikken Sekkei, which is in Japan, with 1796 working architects and an income of $500 – 599 million.

The third-largest is AECOM – in the USA, with 1491 working architects and an income of $320-329 million.

You may start to think that less is always more, but surprisingly, the 16th largest architecture firm on the list – Jacobs, only has 636 architects employed, but the same fee income of $1-1.5 billion as Gensler – the first largest.

Explore: 100 Best Architecture Firms in the World [2019]

Gensler office
Gensler Project Johnson Controls Headquarters, Image by Gensler

In a 2017 survey, when 1,617 architects were asked about their weekly working hours, only 3% have stated they worked a total of 35 hours.

According to the 2017 survey provided by the Architectural Review, 35% of the architects have answered 35 to 40 hours per week.

27% of architects reported working from 40 to 45 hours per week.

20% were working 45-50 hours per week.

Lastly, 13% were working over 50 hours per week. That’s 1 in 8 architects working longer than average hours. Do architects ever sleep?

Pie chart showing architects' working hours

In 2017, only 3 architecture firms out of the 100 biggest architecture firms were run by female CEOs.

And only 2 out of the listed firms are more than 50% female in the management department. Only 10% of women that occupy highest-ranking positions at leading architecture firms.

The other 16 firms from the list have no women in senior positions.

Your favorite game was originally designed to be a simulator for architects.

That’s right. Sims, which was finally debuted in 2000, had the original concept of allowing its players to make designs of houses, then allowing its other characters to test it. Very much like Sims City!

91% of Architecture Firms in the US have under 19 working employees.

According to the American Institute of Architects, that percentage is even higher in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and many other countries.

When 2,031 adults were asked in a survey about building safety, 79% didn’t know that architects also have the responsibility of ensuring that the structures of the buildings correlate with safety regulations.

The role of an architect doesn’t just end at managing the design of a building.

In fact, 86% of surveyed adults didn’t know that architects are also responsible for the negotiation and management of the participating contractors.

The other 72% of surveyed adults weren’t aware that architects actually have to apply for a developmental approval or a building permit before proceeding with the design.

5 Surprising Statistics About Architecture Schools

inside auditorium
“Inside an Auditorium 3d rendering” by beysim is licensed under Adobe Stock Standard License

The gleaming upcoming moments of graduating high school and leaving all the tests and exams behind… Sounds quite refreshing, doesn’t it? Oh wait, architects need to go to school and get a bachelor’s and master’s degree in order to call themselves an architect.

Related Article: The Best Architecture Schools in Europe

We all may dream of following in the footsteps of Frank Lloyd Wright or Zaha Hadid, but sometimes our finances can’t.

That’s why we’ve gathered this list of statistics about how much it really costs to generally study architecture, in both prestige and average schools!

The top-ranking Architecture School in the world is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). #1 out of World’s 200 best universities, according to 2019 data.

The tuition for studying architecture at MIT specifically is around $43,210 for 9 months. MIT is well known for its strong Architecture program.

In fact, it was the first Architecture school to have its first female architect graduate, Sophia Hayden, from the 4-year Architecture program in 1890.

The current annual tuition cost for a bachelor student at of studying Architecture in the UK is £21,424 ($27 555,87) for years 2019-2020.

The undergraduate tuition cost in the Architectural Association School of Architecture (or AA) is £21,424 (or $27 536,37) for the academic year 2019-2020.

The pricing can definitely become worth it. AA is considered to not only one of the most prestigious and “competitive” architecture schools in the world, but also one of the oldest independent schools of architecture in the UK!

If you are still not convinced, Rem Koolhaas – Pritzker prize-winning architect, known for designing CCTV Center in Beijing, is one of the graduates from here.

The annual average out-of-state cost to study Bachelor’s of Architecture in the US is $47,699 in 2019.

The average cost of tuition at an out-of-state 4-year university will cost  $190,796.

It can seem pretty expensive, but some schools, such as Cornell University claim their recent graduates are making $59,888 per year fresh out of school.

It makes sense when looking at the notable alumni coming from Cornell University such as Richard Meier (known for designing Getty Center in LA) and Peter Eisenman (founder of Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City).

Average Bachelor's cost for architects

Considered to be one of the world’s top architects, Norman Foster, graduated from Manchester University School of Architecture and then got a Master’s in Architecture at Yale University. 

Norman Foster is known to have one of the most promising works in the industry, winning more than 470 awards during his career.

If you wish to follow his path, you should know that the yearly tuition fee for the University of Manchester to study architecture is £24,000 ($30 869,16) annually for the international students and £9250 ($11 897,10) annually for home/EU students.

Compared to Yale, which has an annual tuition fee of $52,520.

In 2018, 35% of Architectural Schools reported an increase in their program budgets from 1% to 6%.

When 77 Architecture schools were asked about their budget in 2017, 35% of schools had reported no changes.

In 2018 the schools’ program budget (such as for travel and discretionary), there was a reporting increase of 1 to 6%. It is predicted to stay that way into 2020.

In case you missed it, Check out the Best Architecture Schools in Europe

5 Statistics about Architecture Education

Architect working on a project image
“Portrait of young female architect working on project” by nd300 is licensed under Adobe Stock Standard License

Let’s say you are past the messy and almost endless application stage and are all excited to step into the first chapter of your path to become an architect.

But what is it really like to study Architecture?

Read this list of statistics we’ve gathered about Architecture Education to find out!

The unemployment rate globally for architects during the recession (2009-2010) was 13.9%

The unemployment rate was even lower for recent graduates with a Master’s degree at 7.7%.

For an architect to get licensed in Europe, despite having a Master’s degree, they are required to have 3 years of work experience and internships. 

This doesn’t come very much as a surprising fact, knowing that at the end of the day, architecture is not something you have to memorize.

You have to keep practising and implementing it. Therefore, 3 years of work experience is a must for an architect before receiving an actual license. 

The entrants to the UK’s Architecture Schools were 51% female in 2017-2018, according to RIBA.

An undergraduate degree in Architecture lasts 3 years, according to RIBA. In many circles, it’s referred to as “Part 1”

Despite the architecture industry appearing to be a more “male-dominated” field. It’s quite even. In fact, right now in India, there are more female architects than male architects.

However, the entrants to “Part 2” ( Master’s degree), UK’s Architecture Schools were 55% male, according to RIBA.

Pie chart showing percentage of student entrants to RIBA's Part 1

Check Out: 15 Major Innovations in Architectural Design for Classrooms and Schools

In most architecture schools, it is required for students to take 4 additional maths classes.

In architecture, it isn’t much of a requirement for you to be as proficient in maths as Isaac Newton, but you certainly can’t be bad at it.

That’s why most architecture schools require their students to take classes such as geometry, trigonometry, calculus, and finite math courses.

Female students had a total of 6.2% higher pass rates than male students for examination sessions in 2016 – 2017.

According to RIBA, UK Architecture Schools examination session results show that female students 3.3% higher pass rate for Part 1 than male students.

Females also had a 1.5% higher pass rate for Part 2 and 1.4% for Part 3.

5 Fascinating Facts About The Architecture 3D Printing

3D Printer in action architecture
“Three dimensional printer during work at 3d science technology exhibition. 
3D printing, additive technologies, architecture and prototyping industry concept”
by zyabich is licensed under Adobe Stock Standard License

It’s true what they say, “an architect’s dream is very often an engineer’s nightmare.”

That’s where the future of 3D printing is gradually entering our daily life for good.

The fascinating concept of using traditional materials to bring any digital idea into real life, only shows how far we’ve come along.

Despite traditional construction, 3D Printing is more eco-friendly and saves time.

3D printing simplifies the process of conceptual modelling for architects and enhances customized detailed design.

We’ve gathered this list of interesting statistics about 3D printing that show how far the future of construction had actually come.

The first 3D Printed “liveable” House was made in France in 2018.

The house itself only took 54 hours to print, which is admittedly, much shorter than how much average construction takes.

The contractors have then taken 4 more months to add other facilities such as doors, windows, and a roof.

The first-ever fully 3D printed building in the world was constructed in Dubai and inaugurated in May 2016.

Dubai is aiming to become the most “innovative” city by 2021 – and it is certainly doing working hard on grabbing that title.

The first-ever 3D printed office took 17 days to be printed and 48 hours to become constructed. In construction terms, that’s a really short time. The building is 36 meters in length, 12 meters in width and 6 meters tall.

Dubai 3D printed office image
First 3D Printed Building in the World: Dubai Office. Source: LifeGate

The cost of making 3D houses will be 20% cheaper compared to “traditional” ways of construction.

The cost of making the first-ever liveable 3D house was £176,000 – or $226 311,36, which makes it 20% cheaper than normal constructions, according to BBC.

You May Also Like: 22 Radical Architecture Projects

3D House Printing industry is predicted to reduce the cost of construction labor by 25% in the next 5 years.

The cost of the 3D House Printing Industry is predicted to decrease by 25% in the next 5 years.

The cost of 3D house printing could become lowered by 40% in the next 10-15 years.

Benoit Furet headed up the first-ever 3D Printed House project, at the University of Nantes.

Furet states that the reason for such cost reduction is due to technology becoming much affordable when it comes to development and due to the economies of scale, as more houses become built.

6 Architecture Revenue Facts That Will Surprise You

3D architecture growing chart image
“Team analyzing 3D AR chart, tablet computer, growing chart, investment success” by NicoElNino is licensed under Adobe Stock Standard License

Revenue generation in Architecture can be a tricky thing, especially with instability in the market.

However, the largest Architecture firms such as Gensler and AECOM are known to generate their revenue from 1000 to 7000 US Dollars.

The industry is dominated by big players. Is it still possible for small AEC firms to grow into this competitive market?

Here are 6 statistics about revenue in the Architecture industry to give you hope.

The Total Revenue of the Architecture Industry is estimated to be $292 billion in 2019.

According to IBISWorld Statistics, there has been a 4.4% increase in revenue growth from the year 2018.

As the report states, most of it is due to the increase in government-funded projects in developing nations.

The total annual revenue growth of Architecture and Engineering services grew by 12.4% from 2017 to 2018.

The demand for Architecture and Engineering firms continues to rapidly grow.

70% of AEC (Architecture, Engineering & Construction Services) firms claim to gain a portion of their revenue from government contracts.

There’s an endless demand for infrastructure projects coming from nations around the globe

37% of 138 AEC firms claim to have from 1 to 25% of their revenue from government contracts.

30.4 % of AEC firms claimed to have a “high growth” rate from 2015 till 2017.

In Architecture, or to be more precise, AEC Industry,  growth generation can be a hard thing to achieve.

Only 30.4% of AEC firms have generated gross revenue that was higher than 20% from the previous year. 

53.1% have received less than 20% from the previous year.

While the other 16.5% of firms have experienced no growth at all ( 0%).

Pie chart showing percentage of gross revenue generation in AEC firms

Private housing remains the largest revenue driver in small to medium-sized architecture firms with a 55% share in 2018.

Within architectural practices, the highest revenue generation remains to be with residential projects. Housing projects made up 55% of architecture services in 2018.

28% of architecture projects in 2018 were commercial & mixed.

And 18% of architecture projects were public and infrastructure, according to the RIBA Benchmarking Study made in 2018.

Approximately $600 billion worth of building projects is completed by US architects every year.

The architecture firms made a whopping $29 billion from their services, which is 4.8% of the total construction costs.

6 Marketing in Architecture Statistics

Marketing plan  for architects
“Light bulb banner, the marketing concept, business idea. 
by BillionPhotos.com is licensed under Adobe Stock Standard License

Did you know that at the beginning of the 20th century, marketing in the architecture industry was forbidden? That’s right.

In 1909, the American Institute of Architects had adopted the First Principles of Practice. The purpose of this was to prevent architects from engaging in the simplest forms of marketing.

Thankfully, in 1970, AIA had changed their perspective and started to allow architects to advertise their services in order to compete with another.

This might explain why marketing within the Architecture industry can come up as an alien concept today.

But do architects engage in marketing now?

How do they grow their firm and raise their brand awareness?

Which methods do they use?

And do they even have marketers within their firm?

Here are 5 Interesting Statistics we’ve gathered about marketing in the AEC industry.

60% of top 10 Architecture firms in Manchester don’t have an Instagram account nor are actively engaged in it.

When it comes to Social Media Marketing, there is always a specific platform that will bring you your target customers much better than the other ones.

Instagram is known to drive traffic towards more “aesthetic” content, which most definitely includes architecture projects that please the eye.

In the UK, Manchester, only 1 out of Top 10 Architecture firms post on facebook frequently.

6 out of the top 10 Architecture firms in the world don’t maintain a company’s Facebook page.

60% of the Top 10 Architecture firms in Manchester use Twitter as a platform to share their content on a daily basis.

Despite Twitter having 284 million users and Instagram having 300 million, Architects seem to be more engaged with it. Even, when it comes to Linkedin, which only 50% of Architecture firms use regularly for quality content, such choice of platform is still surprising.

Private housing dominates 53% of the Architectural market, with 89% of the practices of it involved.

And 40% of it relates to individual houses, the highest of which are in Italy, occupying 60%. The second highest market for private housing is in Greece, with 51% and the third highest in Belgium, with 48%.

In 1999, architecture firms (both large and small) used to spend an average of 7.5% of their expenses on marketing.

In 2003, architectural firms had spent about 6.5 – 8% of their expenses on marketing activiti

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  1. Carl smith

    Thanks for sharing! The level of detail is great, nobody is doing this stuff. Keep up the hard work. And once again Thanks.:)

  2. Alina Busby

    Actually i was searching this type of blog . I want to know about the BIM .Then i saw your blog and i know that Building information modelling calls for the simulation of building information. To preparation to make smarter judgments to that future, AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) experts gather a lot of knowledge before and during the building process.

    Thanks for the encouragement! thanks for posting! No one’s doing this experiment, the amount of detail is great. Keep working hard. And appreciate you once more.:)

  3. Len Carr

    Thanks for this blog! Thanks for sharing! Nobody does this stuff, the level of detail is fantastic. Continue to work hard. And thank you again.

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