Architects' and Engineers' Hourly Rates Are on the Rise


Natick, MA - Architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms are charging more for their employees' time than ever before, a new report shows. Data in ZweigWhite's 2007 Fee & Billing Survey of Architecture, Engineering, Planning & Environmental Consulting Firms shows that across the 29 employee positions reviewed for the report, hourly billing rates increased an average of 6 percent in the past year and 26 percent since 2003.

Data in the new edition of the annual report, published every year since 1998, was compared to data from the 2006 edition, revealing that median hourly billing rates increased the most for senior interior designers (32 percent), structural engineers (21 percent), senior structural engineers (17 percent), senior electrical engineers (13 percent), and interior designers (10 percent). Designers, civil, mechanical, and electrical engineers, architects, and planners all increased by approximately 6 percent each over the same time period.

The report defines senior staff as those having at least five years of experience and some project management responsibilities, while non-senior staff are defined as having fewer than five years of experience and are not typically in project manager roles.

Other findings from the survey show that 75 percent of the firms polled update their billing rates annually, while another 14 percent do so every two years. Additional survey data shows current project design fees as related to construction costs for a range of architecture and engineering services in a series of major market sectors.

ZweigWhite is a leading source of management consulting, information, and education for the design and construction industry. ZweigWhite brings together experts in strategic business planning, organization, operations, business valuation, ownership transition, human resources, recruitment, finance and administration, information technology, mergers and acquisitions, market research, marketing, project management and project delivery methods. The firm is headquartered in Chicago, with additional offices in Natick, MA, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

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