Revenue Increases in AEP Firms

Fayetteville, Ark. – Revenue per employee is up across the board for A/E/P and environmental firms, according to ZweigWhite's 2012 "Financial Performance Survey of Architecture, Engineering, Planning & Environmental Consulting Firms."

The median amount of net service revenue generated per employee increased to $125,781 this year, said a report in the May 28 issue of The Zweig Letter, ZweigWhite's weekly management publication. This is a 9.2 percent increase from last year's record low. This figure increased steadily from 2002 to 2009, before falling in recent years.

The 156 firms that responded to the survey ranged in size from small operations with less than 24 employees to large firms with more than 500 employees. Median net service revenue per total staff was highest among companies with 250 to 499 employees, at $133,593. Among those earning the least per employee, a meager median of $118,106, were companies in the 50- to 99-employee range.

Certain regions of the United States are performing better than others. According to the survey, firms in the South Central region of the U.S. had higher median net service revenue per total staff than any other region, at a whopping $145,206. The South Atlantic region had the lowest median net service revenue per total staff, at $115,732.

While these figures seem optimistic at first, the increase is indicative of two potential factors: revenue increase or staff decrease. Unfortunately, "These numbers are up because staff is down. Everyone has cut to the bone," says Mark Zweig, founder and CEO of ZweigWhite.

The survey found that staff growth held steady at a median of 0 percent for the second year in a row, after a steady decline that began in 2007 and ended in 2010 at negative 6.8 percent – a reflection of dramatic staff cuts.