• By Check-a-Salary
  • Posted Wednesday 28 th April 2021

What is the Average Salary in the UK?

You may well find yourself wondering whether you are being well paid for what you do.  Perhaps you are interested to find out where your salary sits, when compared with the average salary in the UK.  Maybe you just want to know what is a good salary in the UK. 

Using a salary checking website can give you the answers to most salary-related questions, and will also give you a good idea of the average salaries in the UK, as well as the average salaries by sector.  That way you can find out whether your salary is good when compared with both the UK average salary and also the average salary in your specific sector. 

It's important to remember though, that average salaries vary enormously, depending on different factors.   

Experience 

It's no surprise to learn that if you ask the question, "what is the average salary in the UK", the answer will depend on a number of factors, not least of all, experience.  There is no substitute for having experience, regardless of the industry you work in, and this is very clear when you see that the average salary for a junior person within a non-specific industry is £23,098.97, compared to the average salary of a senior person in a non-specific industry of £38,889.91.   

Now this will reassure anyone who has been diligently working in their chosen industry, putting in the hours and learning along the way.  Experience certainly pays, and as well as annual pay increases, promotions within your industry will inevitably come with more money.  Moving to a different company within your industry will ordinarily bring with it an increase in your earnings. 

Industry 

The average UK salary, when separated out into industries, also makes for interesting reading.  For example, the average UK salary in retail is over £21,063 and in veterinary services is over £37,845  Of course, to become a Vet or Veterinary Nurse, you are required to have successfully completed many years of study.  The average salary is therefore a recognition of your level of training and the years spent studying.   

Retail, in comparison, rarely has a minimum entry requirement, other than GCSEs, and the essential requirements are instead, a can-do attitude, good inter-personal skills and ideally, an interest in the products you are selling. 

Region 

It will come as no surprise to anyone to discover that the highest average salaries in the UK are in the London region (£42,674.27).  The lowest average salaries meanwhile, are to be found in the East Midlands (£26,933.16).   

Inevitably, the costs of living in any city are higher than they are outside of the city, and London is certainly no exception.   Sky-high property prices (both to buy and rent), very high living costs, as well as high travel expenses, mean that salaries need to be significantly higher to mitigate these costs.  Without inflated salaries, working somewhere like London would be impossible.   

The average salary will also take into account the nature of the businesses in different regions and in London, the financial sector is a big employer, with average salaries higher than in many other industries.  The East Midlands, with overall lower living costs, is also a major hub of manufacturing, construction and transport, and these industries will often have lower UK average salaries. 

City  

Again, London tops this list due to the high costs of living, as discussed earlier.  London aside, the city of Reading has a high average salary, at £37,350.78, thanks to it being the UK's top tech employment spot, with higher average salaries within digital technology industries.  Sunderland, in contrast, has an average salary of £27,980.07, and this is linked to car production being one of the area's biggest employers, as well as a lower cost of living overall. 

What is a Good Salary in the UK? 

Having looked at the variations in average salaries in different industries across the UK, you might well ask yourself what is a good salary in the UK?  Overall, the average UK salary is £30,849 .69 (information from Check a Salary, compiled using aggregated data from the UK's job boards and the Office for National Statistics).   

However, comparing your own salary to this figure doesn't necessarily give you an accurate picture.  As we've seen above, many factors, such as location and experience, will determine how much you can hope to earn.   

Knowing that you earn around the average salary for your industry, in your chosen location and taking into account how much experience and training you have, should put your mind at rest.  If you have a good standard of living on your salary, then perhaps that is a good salary for you.   

For others, it may be that they discover they are actually earning less than the average salary for their particular job.  This might give them the motivation to speak to their manager about a salary increase, to look at a move to a new company in the same sector, or even to change industries altogether, in order to achieve a good salary for them.   

In this way, average salary information is a very useful tool, but do remember that there are numerous factors which affect average salary information.  In the same way, a good salary for you might not be the same for someone else. 




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