Commercial construction: are Queensland architects in high demand?

What are the job prospects for Queensland architects working on commercial construction projects in Brisbane, Cairns, Toowoomba and other areas? Are architects in high demand and what does this mean for women facing gender imbalance? — Queensland architects have their hands full working on a number of multi-residential and industrial projects in the Sunshine State. It’s been a busy year for commercial construction in Brisbane, Cairns, Toowoomba and other areas, thanks to booming tourism and infrastructure investment. As a result, more construction workers are needed to fill job gaps created by the influx of building projects.

What does this mean for Queensland architects in commercial construction?

The jobs market is fairly healthy for architects along the nation’s east coast, according to the Australian Institute of Architects. But some companies struggle to find experienced candidates to fill their projects – a challenge that’s mirrored across other construction sectors too. Members in Queensland are turning to the steady stream of students finishing university, to find suitable architects. On the downside, salaries aren’t high, since the market is so competitive. Jobs for architect graduates are generally paid the award, but many say this doesn’t reflect the demanding environment and long hours.

Are architects in high demand in the booming South East Queensland hub?

Yes, particularly in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, where the multi-residential apartment sector is thriving. The government is also spending big on health, education and public infrastructure. Major projects include:
  • Cross River Rail (Brisbane)
  • Wacol Complex (Brisbane)
  • Queen’s Wharf Development (the Sunshine Coast)
  • Brighton on Broadwater (the Gold Coast)
  • Sunshine Coast University Hospital
  • Moreton Bay Rail Link
In contrast, regional areas that rely on funding from the local government or private sector aren’t faring as well.
male champions of change gender diversity

How does gender diversity in construction impact Queensland architects?

When it comes to the battle of the sexes, there’s a big gender imbalance in Queensland, for commercial architects over 30. Members say this gender bias favours men, who dominate the workplace, especially in senior roles. “This is indicative of the difficulty women face balancing family and career within the profession and a need to shift towards more flexible work environments that are able to retain women in the workforce,” the Queensland chapter of AIA told the The Fifth Estate. In related news, the Architects Male Champions of Change released its first report on balancing the gender scales in architecture. They say the system must be fixed to cater to women. Their solutions include flexible working arrangements and putting women on every tender and bid. You can read more about the report here.