Canada vs. UK for a recent grad

I have just graduated with an undergrad in Architecture (in UK Part 1), I'm planning on taking 1 - 2 years in practice before doing the Part 2/Master's in Architecture and I'm trying to decide whether to stay in the UK or move back to Canada for that...

I know what expected wages for a Part 1 architecture assistant are in the UK but what does an architecture graduate (with only the undergrad) earn in Canada? I cannot find an expected hourly wage rate anywhere. I know it probably varies vastly between cities, but can anyone give me a rough idea of what someone at my level would earn in Canada?


Jul 3, 13 9:13 am

Depends where you are looking. In Toronto, with a 3 year Bachelors, you'll make at least 15/hr and probably around 20 depending on your experience. I'm out of UofWaterloo and before our masters we can make between 20 and mid/high 20s but we come out of our undergrad degree with a couple years of work experience. Montreal wages are lower, but the cost of living is also lower. Having done an internship in Vancouver a few years ago I'm guessing the wages there are similar. I couldn't say for the prairies or the maritimes. 

I'm actually curious to know what a Part 1 wage in the UK would be and about getting Canadian degrees recognized there? I very nearly considered going to the UK for Part II but in the end decided to get it done here first and go to Europe for a post-grad instead (I've got the Bartlett and the Berlage on deferral for now...)


Jul 9, 13 11:37 am

17-25 / hour depending on city, office, and of course, you.  A fairly large range, but then again,  there are a ton of variables.

Jul 23, 13 9:27 am

The UK is doomed. Go to Canada.

Jul 23, 13 12:16 pm

Canada!  The more I go, the more I become a fan of Eastern Canada and less so of Western Canada.

One of the few good things about the UK is all those low-cost carriers flying to warm climates (Spain and the Canaries, Portugal and Madeira, Italy, Greece, and Malta, to name a few).  So that's not saying much about the UK.

Jul 23, 13 12:40 pm

For pay and job prospects alone, I'd say Canada.

For quality of life and the fact you live in Europe, in close proxmity to neighbouring countries, UK definitely.

Jul 23, 13 7:44 pm

Hi All, thanks for the responses! Things are seeming pretty grim here in the UK in my job search so far. One of the main draws of staying in the UK is that Europe is at my doorstep. Sadly there are just so many architecture grads and not that many jobs that it is becoming a bit depressing.

@Claire Lubell. Part 1's earn between 17,000 and 21,000 GBP gross per year (according to the RIBA pay scale) depending on where you live. London pays the higher end of the scale, depending on the size of the practice. Outside of London it is definitely on the lower-end with some people only making minimum wage (which is only around 15 000 per year). I believe you need to attend an interview with the RIBA in order to get your degree recognised as an equivalent to the Part 1 or 2. But I think that you might not need to do it to attend university, as far as I know you only need to go through the process if you intend to take your Part 3 here and be licensed as an architect in the UK.

Jul 29, 13 3:31 pm

Hi guys, kind of a late response I suppse.

Caitlin, I just wondered if you made the move to Canada or stayed in the UK? I too am considering this decision.

Regarding your pay scales I find the RIBA average pay to be grossly incorrect. I know many Part 2 assistants with experience who earn between 15k and 18k. However, of course, London will be much higher than this but I believe that the RIBA does not paint an accurate picture in any case.

Mar 11, 14 4:57 pm

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