Architecture in Australia
Architects in Australia
Architects Registration Boards regulate the practice of architecture in their respective state/territory.
An architect has 5 years professional education, a minimum of two years practical experience, has successfully completed the Architectural practice Examination and is included on a Register of Architects.
Architectural business in Australia
In 2017-18 the architectural sector generated an income of approximately $5.8 billion. An average annual growth of 0.5% per annum is forecast for the years to 2022-23 according to business analysts IBIS World. IBIS World estimates there are around 13,000 enterprises with 40,000 employees in the Australian architectural sector, but that only 1.6 per cent of firms employ 20 or more people.
According to the 2016 Census, 31% of architects were women (up from 28 % in 2011), 80% are working full time, 52% worked more than a 40 hour week, and 34% were business owners or sole traders.
22 Australian universities offer the accredited professional Master of Architecture degree.
Architects Registration Boards
Each state and territory of Australia has its own Architect Registration Board established under legislation to register architects, conduct disciplinary investigations, pursue unregistered use of the term architect, accredit programs of study and educate the public on architectural issues. The Boards have a responsibility to the public, users of architectural services, the built environment industry, and Architects who employ graduates.
The eight Boards (and their respective establishing laws) are:
- NSW Architects Registration Board – Architects Act 2003 (NSW)
- Architects Registration Board of Victoria – Architects Act 1991 (VIC)
- Board of Architects of Queensland – Architects Act 2002 (QLD)
- The Architectural Practice Board of South Australia – Architectural Practice ACT 2009 (SA)
- Architects Board of Western Australia – Architects Act 2004 (WA)
- Australian Capital Territory Architects Board – Architects Act 2004 (ACT)
- Board of Architects of Tasmania – Architects Act 1929 (TAS)
- Northern Territory Architects Board – Architects Act (NT)
The members of Architect Registration Boards will generally have a mix of expertise, and may include architects in private practice, government practice and academia, as well as government and community nominees. Members may be directly appointed, or there may be a mix of appointed and elected. The eight Architect Registration Boards are collectively the owners of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia.
Pathways to Registration as an Architect
The most common pathway to registration is completion of an accredited Australian architecture qualification followed by the Architectural Practice Examination. In consultation with the State and Territory Architect Registration Boards AACA has developed a number of alternative pathways. Local and overseas experienced practitioners may be eligible to complete the fast-track assessment before applying to the local Architect Registration Board. The National Program of Assessment provides access to the Architectural Practice Examination for practitioners who have not completed an accredited architectural qualification. For practitioners who completed an architectural qualification outside Australia the Overseas Qualifications Assessment provides access to the Architectural Practice Examination.
See here for a summary of pathways to registration.
Architectural Bodies in Australia
Architects Accreditation Council of Australia – The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia is a not-for-profit company owned by the state and territory architect registration boards. It is responsible for advocating, coordinating and facilitating the National Standard of Competency for Architects which provides the benchmark for all assessment on the path to registration as an architect in Australia.
Australian Institute of Architects – The Australian Institute of Architects is the peak body for the architectural profession in Australia, representing 11,000 members (not all of whom are registered architects).
Association of Consulting Architects – The Association of Consulting Architects is the peak body representing architectural employers in Australia.
Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia – The Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia comprises the heads of the faculties, schools and departments offering accredited degrees in architecture in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Government Architects Network of Australia – The Government Architects Network of Australia is a national collaborative network offering each Government Architect’s Office the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge, experience and resources of other Government Architects around the country.
Australian Deans of Built Environment & Design – The Australian Deans of Built Environment & Design is the peak body in the tertiary education sector in the fields of architecture, design and the built environment. As both a representative and advocacy body, ADBED seeks to elevate the important role that Universities play in the design and making of our cities through research, teaching and practice.
For more information on architects in Australia, see the full report Profile of the Architectural Profession in Australia and Summary of Provisions of Architects Acts in Australia