20 July 2022

Our Architecture team is busier than ever supporting our clients and candidates with their recruitment needs. As a result, more and more of our clients are looking for experienced candidates who are immediately available to join their practices and provide value.

Would you consider working as a contractor?

For permanent candidates, the idea of switching to a contractor position can seem daunting. After all, the idea of moving into a completely different way of working brings an element of uncertainty. At FRAME we are often asked by candidates “what are the benefits of switching to contract work?

Clients enjoy the benefits of a flexible recruitment solution that helps to solve workforce or skill shortages, outsourcing work, or projects.

But, there are many benefits for candidates too.

We wanted to highlight a few key reasons why operating as a contractor can be an appealing career move to make, including:

Career development

​Contractors are hired because they bring value and are experts in their field. As a result, contractors are expected to hit the ground running and produce results from day one. Therefore, moving into a contract role will provide you with the invaluable skill of being able to work under pressure and to tight deadlines. For candidates working in a fast-paced industry like Architecture, these are great qualities to have.

Additionally, working as a contractor means that you will soon build up a huge amount of experience from working in a variety of roles for different clients. This is because you are exposed to more sectors and projects than you would be normally working as a permanent employee with one practice.

With the potential that no project is the same, for those in their first year of working in the industry, contract work can also aid career development. It is a great way to future-proof careers, making you more employable with more options for the type of work and market you can choose from.


​As a contractor, you are hired either on a fixed-term contract with an end date or an open contract with no end date. You get to decide when you work next. You also get to choose which contracts you accept and which projects really excite you. Additionally, if you are unsure about the type of practice you want to work for, contracting is a great way to get a feel for what you are looking for in your long-term career.

When you complete an assignment and decide you want to take a month or two off you have the flexibility to do so. This is a perfect opportunity for individuals who have a number of other commitments or ambitions that they would like to fulfil throughout the year, whilst knowing they have the security of being able to take on new contracts when it suits them.

Just remember to plan and forecast this so you know when your next assignments or breaks are coming up. It’s always good to plan ahead and we advise staying connected with recruiters for updates on the latest contractor opportunities.

Work-life balance

When speaking with career contractors many cite the flexibility of contract work means they are able to balance their home and work life better. Contracting can really work for many people, with varying work-life balance needs. Different people have different demands on their personal life, professional life, and family
life and it is key that their working arrangement has a positive impact on all three.


​IR35 and the pandemic have made an impact on the number of contractors available in the market. The demand for contractors with Revit or Vectorworks software experience is extraordinary right now and the availability of these people has swiftly declined over the last two years.

Often we have clients who need a contractor, but someone who can slot into the project team quickly and support the project lead with their workload. Other clients need someone who can work independently and that have varied project experience.

It is no secret that the working days in Architecture can be long. Extended working hours are often required to ensure project deadlines are met to a high standard. As a contractor, this will go in your favour as you are paid for every hour you work. Additionally, because of their high level of expertise, experience and specialist skill sets contractors can pitch themselves at a higher hourly rate. So, if you believe you have the right level of experience and are open to the idea of working on an hourly basis, a contractor role could be a great one to consider.

Please note, that some contractors do work on daily rates.


They say variety is the spice of life and if variety is what you are looking for, there is no doubt this is what you will get working as a contractor.

Assignments typically vary from a couple of weeks to a year and throughout their careers, contractors will work on a number of different assignments. Therefore, the role of a contractor is best suited to individuals who enjoy working in different environments, with different people, on different projects or using different software.

Should I make the switch?

Switching your career from permanent to contract is an important decision to consider. The benefits are great but you need to understand every aspect before taking the plunge.

It is not a question of whether a particular contract job is the right one, but more of a question of whether it suits your lifestyle, personality and if the time is right in your career.

The contract recruitment consultants at FRAME are always on hand to offer advice and guidance on how to start a career as a contractor. Keep in mind we also act as agents to find candidates their first contracting role.

The life of a contractor will certainly not be right for all, but for some people, it is the best move they have ever made and most would not return to a permanent position. 

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Working as a Contractor in Architecture - FRAME Recruitment

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