Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac, Toulouse, Laurens et Lousteau arch. (© S Chalmeau)
© S Chalmeau
Groupe scolaire Lucie Aubrac, Toulouse, Laurens et Lousteau arch. (© S Chalmeau)

The profession in numbers

National Registrations, Forms of practice & Architects activity.
Publié le 23.10.2015 - Modifié le 22.05.2019

National Registrations

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There were 29,831 registered architects in France at the end of 2013. About 1,200 HMONP students graduate each year from schools of architecture and there are about 18,000 undergraduate students.

An additional 995 architects were registered by the Ordre during 2013. On average, the Ordre records 800 registrations each year including 500 recent graduates.

For the most part, the profession is concentrated within only a few regions: Ile de France (32.5% of registered architects), Rhone-Alpes (10.38%) and PACA (9.22%), Aquitaine (5.68%), Midi Pyrenees (5.31%) and Languedoc-Roussillon (4.67%), Pays de la Loire (4.06%).

The profession remains predominantly male, despite a steady growth in the number of female architects: 25% of architects were women in 2013, compared to 7.5% in 1983. Among the new registrations in 2009, there were 39% women.

22% of registered architects are under 40 years, 26% between 40-50 years, 29% between 50-60 years, 19% between 60-70 years and 4% over 70 years. On average, women architects are younger as 34% are under 40, 67% under 50 and only 7.3% over 60 years.

France has 45.1 architects per 100,000 inhabitants registered with the Ordre compared to, on average, 82 within the European Union.

Forms of practice

Although the sole practitioner, "liberal", remains the bulk of the profession, this form of practice is in marked decline: 51% of registered architects in 2013 compared to 83% in 1983. In contrast, over the same period, the proportion of architects in partnership increased from 5% in 1983 to 38% in 2013. Also, in 2013, 4% were civil servants and 4% salaried architects

 In 2013, there were 9,286 architectural firms compared to 8,445 in 2011, 7,500 in 2009, 5,890 in 2007 and only 700 in 1983. For the most part, these are 52% SARL (limited liability companies) or 16% SARL single traders, and EURL (18%) which is on the decline. Amongst other types of companies, the SELARL represented 4% of all companies in 2013.


Architects activity

The volume of construction work declared by architects to the Mutuelle des Architectes Français (MAF) was 56.2 billion euros in 2013 (a decrease of 1.4% compared to the previous year). According to the MAF*, the market share of architects (MAF policy holders) in overall building activity was 44.7% in 2013; 75.7% in new construction and 20.7% in the field of maintenance and renovation.

The regions where architects declared significant volumes of construction work are the Ile de France (33.8%), Rhône-Alpes (12.1%), PACA (7.4%), Aquitaine (5.1%).

The market share of construction work declared by architects practicing in companies continues to increase sharply to the detriment of sole practionners: 70.5% compared to 29.5%.

New build outstripped rehabilitation: During 2013, new construction (including extension work) represented 73.9% of architects' workloads compared to only 26.1% for rehabilitation. Architects are over-represented in new-build and under-represented in the existing (43.6% new-build and 56.4% maintenance of annual construction turnover).

Private sector ahead of public sector: The private sector accounts for 65.2% of the volume of construction work declared by architects compared to 34.8% in the public sector during 2013. According to the FFB, in the construction industry, these figures are 79% and 21% respectively.

Non-residential ahead of residential sector: Residential sector represents only 45.4% the volume of construction work declared by the profession compared to 55.6% non-residential. The private house represents only 14.7% (10% for the detached and 4,7% for semi-detached housing). In the non-residential sector, offices lead (10.2%) followed by health (7.7%) and education (7.5%).

Architects Income:
In 2011, the average income of architects was 45,000 euros according to the Caisse Interprofessionnelle de Prévoyance et d'Assurance Vieillesse des Professions Libérales (CIPAV) with a marked disparity between the sexes because women's income was 27,700 euros compared to 51,000 euros for men.
However, the average annual income is only 28,600 euros.

According to the Association Régionale Agréée Des Professions Libérales (ARAPL), architects practicing in liberal (sole practitioners) had an average annual turnover of 154,000 euros in 2012 (in continuing decline since 2008 when the average turnover amounted to 180,000 euros).

Architectural practices remain small since, on average, there are fewer than two employees per practice (IFOP survey for CNOA)