Architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms are charging more for their employees’ time than ever before, a new report shows. Data in ZweigWhite’s 2006 Fee & Billing Survey of Architecture, Engineering, Planning & Environmental Consulting Firms show that across the 29 employee positions reviewed for the report, hourly billing rates increased an average of 17% since 2003. Seven percent of that increase has come in the past year.
Data in the new edition of the annual report, published every year since 1998, was compared to data from the 2003 edition, revealing that median hourly billing rates increased the most for senior architects (32%), senior scientists (28%), mechanical engineers (27%), senior process engineers (26%), and senior planners (25%).
Senior landscape architects, senior civil engineers, senior mechanical engineers, architects, and planners all increased from 20-22% each over the same time period. Senior staff are defined as those with at least five years of experience, with some project management responsibilities, while non-senior staff have fewer than five years of experience and are not typically in project manager roles.
At the other end of the scale, structural engineers, senior interior designers, and senior structural engineers saw the lowest percentage increases from 2003 to 2006–all less than 10% over their 2000 rate. No position saw a decrease.
Other findings from the survey show that 79% firms update their billing rates annually, while another 10% do so every two years. Additional survey data show current project design fees as related to construction costs for a range of architecture and engineering services in a series of major market sectors.
The 2006 Fee & Billing Survey of Architecture, Engineering, Planning & Environmental Consulting Firms is available from the publisher for $395, plus $8 shipping and handling. To order, contact Zweig White Information Services by sending an e-mail [email protected]