Architects design buildings and oversee and provide advice on their construction. They may also advise on urban design projects.
With the Canterbury rebuild continuing, and the growth in Auckland, the
construction industry will continue to require architects and landscape
architects. Increasing building activity in other New Zealand regions,
also contribute to improved job prospects over the next few years for
At a glance
Ɣ How to become an architect or
Architects design buildings and oversee and provide advice
on their construction. They may also advise on urban design
The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for
students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed
→ Tenancy Services: www.tenancy.govt.nz/rent-bond-and-bills
→ StudyLink: www.studylink.govt.nz
→ Sorted: www.sorted.org.nz/calculators/money-planner
Landscape architects design and oversee the construction of
outdoor spaces such as parks, gardens, urban plazas, coastal
and waterfront areas. They also manage, conserve and restore
natural or heritage landscapes and public open spaces.
Where to study
Both architecture and landscape architecture have three accred-
ited programmes offered in New Zealand.
Secondary school subjects that can give a good background
to studying architecture and landscape architecture include:
physics, mathematics, art, design, graphics, computer studies,
environmental studies, history, biology, geography, communica-
tions, and technology.
University of Auckland:
Victoria University of Wellington:
Architects and landscape architects must complete a degree
programme. To become a registered architect, students must
• Bachelor of Architectural Studies (3 years), and
Landscape architecture programmes:
• Master of Architecture (Professional) (2 years).
Lincoln University, Canterbury:
Landscape architects must complete one of the following accred-
• Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (4 years)
Victoria University, Wellington:
• Bachelor of Architectural Studies in Landscape Architecture
(3 years) together with a Master of Landscape Architecture
(2 years), or
• Approved Undergraduate degree and post graduate Masters
of Landscape Architecture (2.5 years).
The New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA) has
details of all accredited landscape architecture programmes.
Cost of study
NZILA-accredited Landscape architecture programmes:
Bachelor of Architectural
Studies + Master of
Bachelor of Landscape
over 5 years
over 4 years
After completing 2 to 3 years of practical work experience,
an architecture graduate can apply to become a registered
architect. The New Zealand Registered Architects Board over-
sees registration and monitoring of architects in New Zealand.
Average costs in 2016 for a domestic student. Costs vary between
institutions. Further costs include materials, textbooks, and
→ NZRAB: www.nzrab.org.nz
Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by
region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy
A landscape architecture graduate can apply to NZILA to
become a registered landscape architect after 2 to 3 years of
practical work experience, and the passing of an examination
ARCHITECTS AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS
in professional practice. NZILA is the internationally recognised
professional body representing qualified landscape architects in
→ NZILA: www.nzila.co.nz
The number of completed bachelor’s degree qualifications in
architecture has fallen from the peak 475 in 2011, down 16% to
400 in 2014. Over the last few years, master’s degrees have
become more common, increasing from just 10 in 2008 to 180
Where to find job vacancies
Number of students
The number of online job vacancies for architects and landscape
architects increased by 16% from September 2014 to September
2015, suggesting that opportunities continue to grow, but at a
slower pace than that seen previously. This compares with an
overall increase of 1.9% for all vacancies over the same period.
Architects and landscape architects vacancies are advertised on
websites such as Trade Me Jobs and Seek. The NZIA (New Zealand
Institute of Architects – a professional body representing over
90% of registered architects in New Zealand) and NZILA websites
also advertise vacancies. Architecture Now also has vacancies.
Bachelor's - Landscape Architecture
Master's - Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Bachelor's - Architecture
Source: Ministry of Education
→ Trade Me Jobs: www.trademe.co.nz/jobs
Ɣ Income and employment prospects
→ Seek: www.seek.co.nz
→ NZIA: www.nzia.co.nz
The average income for architects and landscape architects is
$67,200, although it is possible for them to earn up to $110,000.
→ NZILA: www.nzila.co.nz
→ Architecture Now: architecturenow.co.nz/careers
Estimated Average income
Career paths vary depending on the size and structure of the
firm you work for. Some people will eventually end up running
their own businesses.
Average income from the New Zealand Income Survey 2015.
Architecture can lead to a wide variety of career choices.
Although some architects focus on residential or commercial
architecture, there are many other areas available to architects,
such as urban planning or conserving heritage buildings.
Graduates with master’s degrees in architecture and urban
environment earned $36,300 one year after their study ended.
After five years, their income had increased to $66,500.
Landscape architects can work in councils or in private practice.
Some choose to specialise in landscape planning, whereas others
work as designers – creating areas for private, commercial,
or public use in rural or urban areas. Landscape architects
are increasingly using the principles of green infrastructure in
Median earnings after Master’s degree completion
Source: Ministry of Education
Employment and skill shortages
Architects and landscape architects’ employment
More information on architects and landscape architects is avail-
able on the Careers New Zealand and Portico websites.
→ Careers New Zealand: www.careers.govt.nz
→ Portico: portico.space/home
*Growth projections are for the broader category “Architects, Designers,
Planners and Surveyors.”
Over recent years, the number of architects and landscape
architects employed has remained relatively stable. Employment
growth of about 4.0% per year is projected until 2019 and 3.6%
from 2019 to 2024.