Hays’ salary guide shows many consultants looking to leave their jobs within a year

More than 60% of consultants are planning to change jobs within the next 12 months according to recruitment consultant Hays’ annual consultants’ salary guide.

The report, which surveyed almost 600 architects, engineers and surveyors, revealed that job satisfaction is dwindling in this sector. Some 63% of consultants said they anticipated leaving their job within a year, while 36% said they felt “very insecure” in their roles. Only 36% said they would recommend their employer to a friend and over half said their work-life balance has worsened in the recession.

Greg Lettington, director at Hays Construction, said: “The construction industry continues to be one of the industries hardest hit by the recession and the fear of redundancy remains. Plus, professionals may be tempted to change jobs to secure a higher wage.”

Salaries for graduates and entry level staff have been particularly hit, remaining static or decreasing over the past year.

Major consultants, including Capita Symonds and Scott Brownrigg, concede that investing in more senior fee earners and work winners has taken priority over junior staff.

Entry level staff have been accepting salaries £2,000 to £3,000 below what the same role would have been valued at a year ago and roles such as graduate infrastructure and water engineers have fallen by as much as 10-15%.

Gary Sheldrake, senior business manager at Hays, said: “Experience accompanied by good client contacts and the ability to bring in business is still sought after. Average salaries for associate and senior structural engineers in central London have gone up 4% and 5% respectively, while there has been no change in the average wage in the capital at the level of engineer.”