What is the Average UK Salary?

The UK's biggest salary study | StandOut CV
Andrew Fennell photo Andrew Fennell | Updated November 2023

As Brits, we rarely talk about salaries and how much we earn. This means many of us don’t have a clue if we’re earning above or below the average salary in the UK. We wanted to change that.

To do so, we’ve reviewed the latest annual Government report, released in November 2023, via the Office for National Statistics (ONS), to create the most comprehensive guide to the salaries and the average wage in the UK. [1] We also took separate 2023 ONS data on pay to see how the average salary in the UK may change next year.

Our analysis will let you know if you’re getting a good deal or not.

Below you’ll find statistics on the average UK salary per gender, age, industry, and how these have changed over the years.



What is the average salary in the UK now?

The average salary in the UK is £29,669 but this doesn’t tell the full story of what Brits are earning.

There are a few ways to view the data for the average pay in the UK, and the table below shows the most important ones from the latest ONS data.


All employeesFull-time workersPart-time workers
Median average £29,669£34,963£12,527
Mean average £35,404£42,210£15,212


Mean Vs Median: The mean figure is the total amount of earnings divided by the number of people in the working population, whereas the median figure is the earnings of the person in the middle of the range. The median figure is considered a more accurate way to measure the average salary of a population, because when the median is used ; mega-high earners (footballers, celebrities etc.) push the average figure up to a figure which is not representative of the majority of the population.


Average pay has grown by 6.8% from 2022 to 2023. Full-time roles saw an increase of 5.8%, whilst part-time employees saw an average salary increase of 2.8% from 2022 to 2023.

For this analysis, we have reviewed median salaries as they are typically considered the most accurate way to view and compare this data. You can see how this compares over time, gender, and age in the full average salary analysis below.


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What you need to know about the UK’s average salary

  • The current median average salary in the UK is £29,669, which was a 6.8% increase from 2022.
  • For full-time employees, the median average salary is £34,963, while part-time employees earn an average wage of £12,527 (including gig economy workers).
  • The highest-paid job in the UK is chief executive and senior official, earning an average of £81,946.
  • Leisure and theme park attendants statistically earn the lowest average salary in the UK at £17,860.
  • 2023 saw the highest average annual earnings change at 5.8%, the biggest increase in over a decade.
  • Clothing, fashion and accessories designers working full-time saw the highest percentage change in average salaries by 29.3% to £40,503.
  • In 2023, clinical psychologists working full-time had the largest percentage decrease in average salaries (-12.5%) to £36,315.
  • In 2023, the gender pay gap decreased from 16.6% to 16.5%, where full-time employed men earn an average of £5,510 more a year.
  • Those aged 40-49 earn the highest average salary (£39,491) while those aged 18-21 earn the lowest: £20,437.


Average UK salary for full-time and part-time employees

According to the ONS, the average salary in the UK in 2023 for all employees was £29,669, a 6.8% increase from 2022. For full-time workers, the average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963, a 5.8% increase YoY.

Part-time employees in the UK earned an average of £12,527 in 2023, which was a 7.9% increase from 2022. Part-time workers are defined by the UK Government as someone who works fewer hours than full-time workers at the same place of employment, therefore, part-time hours could typically range all the way up to 34 hours a week.

The below chart shows the average full-time earnings since 2011 in the UK.


Average full time salary 2011 - 2023


Top paying industries in the UK

Below are the industries with the highest median annual earnings for full-time employees in the UK.

The electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply industry has the highest median salary at £50,528, followed by the financial and insurance industry with a median salary of £48,197.

IndustriesMedian salaries for full-time employees
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply£50,528
Financial and insurance activities£48,197
Mining and quarrying£46,978
Information and Communication£44,733
Professional, scientific and technical activities£41,453


Which jobs pay the most in the UK?

According to the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) report by the ONS, CEOs (and similar) are paid the highest salary on average at £81,947. This is an increase of 0.98% compared to the same job’s annual median salary in 2022, and is 176.2% higher than 2023’s average salary in the UK.

This is followed jointly by marketing, sales, and advertising directors, and information technology (IT) directors who are both paid an average of £79,726.

The ONS classifies marketing, sales, and advertising directors as all one job, therefore salaries could vary drastically between those who hold a role that covers only marketing, or only sales for example.

In 2022, CEOs were also the highest-average earners with a reported annual salary of £81,151.


Highest paying jobs in the UK

When looking at median average salaries for full-time jobs in the UK, this is what the top five looks like.


Highest paying jobs in the uk 2023


You can see the full top 15 highest-paid jobs in the UK in the table below as well as how that salary has changed on average since 2022. The data here reflects the ONS provisional 2023 data, therefore this may change in a 2024 autumn release.

Job Title2023 SalaryYoY Change
CEOs (and similar)£84,1315.5%
Marketing, sales and advertising directors£83,0157.2%
Information technology directors£80,0008.4%
PR and communications directors£79,88619.5%
Directors in logistics, warehousing and transport£72,177N/A*
Aircraft pilots and air traffic controllers£71,6766%
Financial managers and directors n.e.c.£70,0008.1%
Functional managers and directors£69,93313.9%
Transport associate professionals£66,2786.6%
Specialist medical practitioners£66,031-3.9%
Train and tram drivers£64,3489.3%
Senior officers in protective services£59,8814.1%
Medical practitioners£59,346-3.2%
Senior police officers£59,0530.3%

*N/A due to lack of historical data from ONS for this specific role.



Average CEO salary in the UK

As the highest-earning job in the UK, we’ve analysed CEOs’ average salaries over time to see further insights that are not found in just one snapshot year analysis.

Despite being the highest earners in the country, CEOs have seen a 13.7% decrease in average salary from 2019 (£97,467) to 2023 (£84,131). The chart below reveals the annual average CEO salary from 2011 to 2023.

Average CEO salary 2023


Average marketing, sales, advertising director salary in the UK

Historically, advertising/marketing/sales directors have been the highest-paid job when CEOs earned slightly less in a year. Due to this, it’s a job we track in our report each year to see how they perform over time too.

When reviewing the data it is important to note that before 2021, the ONS classed the role as ‘Marketing and sales director’ then advertising was added to the role in 2021 and 2022. This is likely due to marketing directors being responsible for paid marketing (advertising) more in recent years.

From 2011 to 2023, the average salary for marketing directors grew 28.7%% from £64,515 to the current high of £83,015 in 2023. It’s important to note that the ONS periodically revises this dataset throughout the year as they gather more data, re-analyse their existing numbers, and sometimes fix errors, therefore this number is prone to change.


Marketing advertising director salary 2023


Which jobs in the UK have the lowest average salary?

In 2023, leisure and theme park attendants were the lowest-paid full-time employees earning an average salary of £17,860, followed by bar staff (£18,103), and waitstaff (£18,426). Likely due to the 2022 impact of the pandemic, waiters and waitresses have seen a 7.7% increase in salary YoY.


Lowest paid full-time jobs in the UK

The table below reveals the 15 lowest-paid jobs on average in the UK in 2023, with theme park attendants a new entry compared to 2022’s data.

Job Title2023 SalaryYoY Change
Leisure and theme park attendants£17,860N/A*
Bar staff£18,103N/A*
Waiters and waitresses£18,4267.7%
Retail cashiers and check-out operators£18,6020.8%
Beauticians and similar£19,0261.8%
Teaching assistants£19,03310.1%
Educational support assistants£19,34312.8%
Hairdressers and barbers£19,5898.6%
Launderers, dry cleaners and pressers£19,61211.1%
Teaching and Childcare Support Occupations£19,68110.3%
Coffee shop workers19,727N/A*
Kitchen and catering assistants£20,12610.1%
Early education and childcare practitioners£20,34010.3%
Pharmacy and optical dispensing assistants£20,8709.4%
Cleaners and domestics£21,0589.2%
** N/A due to lack of historic data from ONS for this specific role.


UK salary changes over time

At the end of the 2023 financial year, the average full-time earnings in the UK increased by 5.8%, the highest earnings change increase in recent years, after a 5.7% increase in 2022. This is likely due to the lower figures recorded in the 2020/2021/2022 financial years due to the furlough scheme and the ongoing financial impacts of the pandemic.

Part-time salaries had an even bigger annual percentage change at 7.9% in 2023, while the overall average salary in the UK increased by 6.8%.

Average full time earnings change 2023


Jobs with the highest earnings growth

By analysing full-time earnings data from 2023 we can see which roles had the highest percentage increase change in their average salaries year-on-year. We’ve broken this down by both full and part-time jobs. Those jobs which the ONS labels ‘Not elsewhere classified’, were removed from this analysis as it is difficult to define exactly what the role is.


Full-time jobs with the highest earnings growth

The biggest salary jump for full-time employees was found in those who work as clothing or fashion designers who saw a 29.3% increase in their earnings in 2023 up to £40,503. Those employed in aircraft maintenance saw the second-highest jump at 22.2%, followed by travel agents (20.5%).

Job Title2023 SalaryYoY Change
Clothing, fashion and accessories designers£40,50329.3%
Aircraft maintenance and similar£44,50622.2%
Travel agents£29,61820.5%
Crane drivers£42,18020.2%
PR directors£79,88619.5%
Therapy professionals£34,44818.5%
Pub owners and managers£33,47718.2%
Air travel assistants£28,92916.5%
Vehicle paint technicians£31,07516.2%
Photographers, AV, broadcasting equipment operators£29,04716%


Part-time jobs with the highest earnings growth

When it came to those who work part-time hours (anything fewer than full-time hours at the same business) midwifery nurses had the biggest percentage change (28.2%) in their 2023 pay up to £27,070. This was followed by HR officers (17.1%) and part-time IT technicians who saw their salary bumped 15.6% to £16,141.

Job Title2023 SalaryYoY Change
Midwifery nurses£27,07028.2%
HR officers£20,05117.1%
IT technicians£16,14115.6%
HR and training guidance professionals£17,47314.1%
Care escorts£8,80313.8%
Youth and community workers£13,49413.7%
Corporate managers and directors£15,00013.5%
Legal secretaries£16,70513.4%
Science, engineering and technology associate professionals£15,51313.3%


Jobs with the highest earnings decline in 2023

The average pay across the UK saw a 5.8% increase, however there were a number of roles that did not follow this trend, and to an even worse extent, suffered a decline in average wages when compared to 2022.



Full-time jobs with the highest earnings decline

Those working full time as clinical psychologists in the UK saw the largest percentage salary decrease in 2023 of 12.5% to £36,315 out of any other job analysed by the UK Government. Sports coaches/instructors had the second largest decrease in salary of 10.6% followed by those working as delivery drivers/operatives at 10%.

The below table reveals the top ten full-time jobs in the UK that suffered the highest percentage decrease in average pay.

Job Title2023 SalaryYoY Change
Clinical psychologists£36,315-12.5%
Sports coaches and instructors£23,206-10.6%
Delivery operatives£22,193-10%
Building and civil engineering technicians£29,911-9.3%
Health and social services managers/directors£43,876-8.8%
Sports and fitness occupations£23,863-8.5%
Children's nurses£34,024-7.8%
Interior designers£33,274-7.7%
Taxation experts£46,272-7.5%


Part-time jobs with the highest earnings decline

When it came to part-time employees, those teaching in higher education saw the largest earnings decline in 2023 of 14.4% to an average of £14,662. This was followed by specialist medical practitioners (-14%) and legal professionals (-12.4%).

You can see the top ten part-time jobs in the UK ranked by their average salary decline in the table below.


Job Title2023 SalaryYoY Change
Higher education teaching professionals£14,662-14.4%
Specialist medical practitioners£34,649-14%
Legal Professionals£26,478-12.4%
Assemblers and Routine Operatives£12,448-11.4%
Launderers, dry cleaners and pressers£10,211-9.5%
Solicitors and lawyers£31,149-8.5%
Pensions and insurance clerks and assistants£16,134-6.3%
Quality assurance and regulatory professionals£22,624-5.6%
Welfare professionals£21,117-3.6%
Office managers£13,859-3.3%


The national minimum wage in the UK

The UK government announced that the National Living Wage (NLW) would increase by 9.7% to £10.42 as of April 2023, a £0.92 increase from the previous NLW of £9.50.

This increase came following recommendations from the Low Pay Commission, with the 21-22 year old rate rising the most by 10.9% to £10.18. It is expected to add £1,600 per year to a full-time employee’s yearly wages. [2]


UK gender pay gap 2023

The latest ONS data reveals that average male full-time workers in the UK earn 16.5% more than their female counterparts. When it comes to part-time work, the difference is in favour of female workers as they earn an average of 2% more. This is due to the fact that more women are employed in part-time roles than men (38% vs 13%).

In 2022, the gender pay gap for full-time employees sat at 16.6% in favour of male workers, while the part-time difference was 3.4% in favour of female employees. While this shows the gender pay gap has not changed much from 2022 to 2023, it does show that the pay gap is continuing to worsen when it comes to full-time salaries.

2022 Gender Pay GapFull-timeFull-time differencePart-timePart-time difference

In financial terms, a full-time male worker in the UK earned, on average, £5,510 more than their female co-workers in 2023, that’s £66 less than 2022’s gender pay gap.


Gender pay gap in full-time salary since 2016

In the below chart you can see the year-by-year play of how the gender pay gap in the UK has developed over time. This data is based on full-time earnings from the ONS.


Gender pay gap change UK


Which roles have the biggest gender wage gap in the UK?

With men’s full-time salaries 16.5% higher than women in the UK, we dug into the data to compare average full-time earnings for men and women to see which jobs had the largest gender pay gap in the country.

Consistent with other years of this analysis, financial managers/directors had the highest gender pay gap with men earning an average of £25,266 more than women in the same role.

The below table shows the top roles with the largest gender pay gap in favour of male employees in the UK. Elementary occupations and those not classified by the ONS have been removed from this part of the analysis.

Job TitleGender pay gap (in favour of men)Average male salaryAverage female salary
Financial managers and directors£25,266£81,509£56,243
Functional Managers and directors£20,758£76,269£55,511
Marketing, sales, advertising directors£15,879£87,918£72,039
Specialist medical practitioners£13,784£71,888£58,104
PR directors£12,826£87,736£74,910
Assemblers (vehicles and metal goods)£11,738£35,492£23,754
Corporate managers and directors£10,794£58,730£47,936
Medical practitioners (GPs)£10,481£64,907£54,426
Tax experts£10,212£52,405£42,193


Jobs where women have the highest gender pay gap

Only 26 of the 284 roles analysed by the ONS (where they have enough data for both and women) have women earning more than men on average in the same roles.

Welfare professionals working full-time who are women, earn an average of £7,465 more than men, while publicans/managers of pubs (landladies) have a gender pay gap in favour of women earning £3,432 more a year.

You can see the top five jobs where women earn more than men in the UK in the table below.

Job titleGender pay gap (in favour of women)Average male salaryAverage female salary
Welfare professionals£7,465£32,002£39,467
Pub owners and managers£3,432£32,271£35,703
Managers in logistics£2,823£41,654£44,477
Child and early years officers£2,754£25,698£28,452
Chartered surveyors£2,660£41,122£43,782
Arts officers, producers and directors£2,626£34,948£37,574
Specialist nurses£1,883£40,881£42,764
Bar and catering supervisors£1,805£20,138£21,943
Agricultural and Related Trades£1,510£24,440£25,950
IT quality and testing professionals£1,277£39,072£40,349

Due to limited data published by the ONS, there may be some roles where women/men earn very high salaries but the male/female data was not published to be able to provide a comparison. You can, however, see the highest-earning professions for men and women below.


Highest earning professions in the UK by gender

Below you can see the highest-earning professions for both men and women in the UK in 2023 based on full-time salaries.

Job titleAverage salaryJob titleAverage salary
CEOs£90,5241Chief Executives and Senior Officials£77,396
Marketing, sales, advertising directors£87,9182IT directors£76,293
PR director£87,7363PR directors£74,910
Financial managers and directors£81,5094Marketing, sales, advertising directors£72,039
IT director£79,6765Headteachers£62,818
Functional manager/director£76,2696Specialist medical practitioners£58,104
Aircraft pilots and air traffic controllers£72,8677Financial managers and directors£56,243
Specialist medical practitioners£71,8888Functional managers/directors£55,511
Headteachers£71,6919Medical practitioners (GPs)£54,426
Transport associate professionals£68,72710IT project managers£48,303

Average UK salary by age

As you age and spend more time in an industry, accruing more and more experience in your career, your value to employers naturally increases, and at the same time your expectations probably follow suit.

This is evident in the latest data which shows that those aged 40-49 are the highest earners in the UK, with an average salary of £39,491, an increase on 2022’s £31,476, with those below this age bracket “working their way up”.

Those aged older, in their 50s and above, see a reduced salary as people begin to take retirement or reduce hours as the need for money is typically reduced with children leaving home for example.


Average salary by age group uk 2023


In comparison, those aged under 21 and in full-time work earn over £19,000 less than that of 40-49-year-olds. Year-on-year we can see that all age groups have seen an increased average salary, with those in their 40s seeing the highest increase (£2,381).



Age and the gender pay gap in the UK

Across all the age groups, male workers make more than their female counterparts, with the highest percentage difference found in the 60+ bracket, where men earn 21.2% more than women.

The smallest gender pay gap is among those in the graduate age group (22-29), where male employees have an average salary 6.2% higher than females.

In monetary terms, workers aged 40-49 have the biggest gender pay gap, where men earn £7,352 more than women on average in full-time salaries.


You can see a full analysis of the average graduate salary in the UK in our complete report.


The full breakdown of age groups and gender pay gap in the UK can be seen in the table below.

AgeMenWomenPercentage differenceAverage pay difference (in favour of men)


Data was sourced and analysed from the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Where duplicates or similar descriptions were used for roles, the highest value was retained and used in the analysis. Job titles were amended by our analysts when reviewing the ONS data to ensure clarity and consistency across our data.


[1] Office for National Statistics, ‘Employee Earnings in the UK’ (https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/annualsurveyofhoursandearnings/2023)

[2] UK Government, ‘Minimum Wage Rates for 2023’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/minimum-wage-rates-for-2023)