Construction project managers have seen average salaries slide by 5.5% in the past 12 months to £38,961, according to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings from the Office of National Statistics. But other members of the project team – including quantity surveyors and construction trade supervisors – have seen modest increases in the past year.
The ASHE survey is compiled from the PAYE returns of 1% of the national workforce, approximately 280,000 people. The survey looks only at employees and does not include the self-employed.
It found that 17,000 individuals categorised as “construction project managers and related professions” had gross earnings averaging £38,961. The median figure – the point where 50% of the group earns more and 50% earns less – was 0.1% less than a year ago at £35,244.
But 24,000 quantity surveyors had more success in protecting their earnings, although their salary increases still lag inflation. The median QS salary was up 1.1% to £36,008, and the average was up 0.4% to £38,156.
The survey also suggests that site supervisors are maintaining their earnings, with the median up 2% at £30,701 and the average up 1.5% at £31,467.
Construction managers have seen their pay decrease, although some trades are better off
Several construction trades registered modest pay increases, but the overall winners this year were “bricklayers and masons”, a 16,000-strong group with median earnings up 7.6% to £23,767 and average salaries up 5.4% to £24,149.
However, 26,000 architects also had a tough year, with the median salary falling by 2.6% to £35,208, although the average was up by 0.8% to £42,563. This higher figure is likely to reflect the earnings of highly paid cohorts in “superstar” practices.
But the architects fared far better than chartered architectural technologists, who saw median earnings drop a dramatic 15.8% to £23,461 while average earnings were down 8.2% to £27,597.
The ASHE survey also looks at the gender pay gap, splitting each professional category for men and women. It found a striking difference in earnings in the “construction project managers and related professions” category, where 15,000 men earned a median of £36,401 and an average of £40,177, while the 2,000 women in the group earned an average of £29,856.
The gap was also noticeable at trades level, where male earnings in the “skilled construction and building trades” averaged £25,813, while women on site earned an average of £19,884.