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What Is the Average Wage in the UK?

Written by, Marija Petkova

Updated September, 6, 2022

Salaries in the UK, and any country for that matter, vary across industries, age, educational level, and even location. 

Have you ever wondered how you stack up and what is the average wage in the UK?

Let’s look at the numbers.

Ten Fascinating UK Salary Facts and Stats

  • The median salary in the UK in 2021 was £25,971.
  • Londoners have the highest average income in the UK.
  • The highest-paid age group in the UK in 2021 is 40-49-year-olds.
  • The average graduate salary in the UK is £35,000
  • Average weekly earnings in the public sector were £579.
  • The average CEO salary in 2021 was £81,102. 
  • The highest-paying graduate jobs are in the investment banking sector.
  • The lowest-paid profession in the UK is a bar staff worker.
  • .Teachers in the UK can earn up to £32,157 a year.
  • The employment rate has fallen from 76.03% to 75.5%.

General Salary Statistics

1. The median salary in the UK in 2021 was £25,971.

(ONS)

As the world returns to normalcy, the average UK salary rose by 0.3% from 2020, when the average UK salary was £25,893. For comparison, the mean average salary in 2021 was £31,447.

2. Londoners have the highest average income in the UK.

(GQ)

The capital is where UK salaries are the highest. Lonoders earn a median weekly wage of £728 per week. That’s £117 more than the median weekly wage in the UK as a whole. Yet this doesn’t make London the cheapest place to live in the UK.

3. In 2021, the average pay in the UK  for teenagers was £220 per week.

(GQ)

Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 17 earned a little over £200 a week in 2021. The average for male teenagers was £219.10 and £220.40 for female teenagers

4. The highest-paid age group in the UK in 2021 is 40-49 year olds.

(GQ)

Those aged between 40 and 49 were paid an average of £704 per week. Men and women between the ages of 18 and 21 earned £354 and £327 per week respectively, and anyone older than 49 had an average UK wage of £648.

5. The average graduate salary in the UK is £35,000.

(Statista)

In 2020, non-graduates in the UK had an average annual salary that’s only £.9,5 lower than that of graduates. Brits with postgraduate degrees had a salary of £.42,000.

6. In 2021, full-time workers earned an average salary of £31,285.

(Statista)

The average annual salary for full-time employment, was a little over £31,000 per year, an increase of 0,6% compared to 2020. On the other hand, the UK median salary for part-time workers, which was £11,310 in 2021, dropped by 0,6% from the previous year. Other stats show that UK freelancers make an average of £13.77 per hour!

7. Average weekly earnings in the public sector were £579.

(BBC)

In 2021, employees in the public sector had higher wages that those working in the private sector, where the average weekly earnings were £536. 

Average UK Salaries by Industry

8. The average CEO salary in 2021 was £81,102. 

(Payscale, StandOut CV)

CEOs also saw a bump of 1.8% and their average weekly earnings in  2021 were £2,514 per week. CEOs in large companies in the UK can earn up to £158,000 and those on the lower end around £36,000.

9. The highest-paying graduate jobs are in the investment banking sector.

(HESA, Statista)

The highest-paying graduate jobs in the UK in 2020 were in the investment banking sector, averaging £50,000. Jobs in consulting were a close second with an average salary of £40,800.

10. The lowest-paid profession in the UK is a bar staff worker.

(Statista)

In 2021, the lowest- paid workers in the UK were bar staff workers, whose average wage was £301. Other professions on the low end include smith and forge workers and waiters and waitresses who earned an average of £303 and £314 per week, respectively. On the other hand, professions like Deliveroo and Just Eat drivers make between ​​£7-£10 per hour.

11. Junior computer engineers have an average salary of £25.000.

(Save the Student)

Junior Computer engineers’ average annual salary is half of that of people working in the investment banking sector. They are better-paid than those in the marketing sector, where the average yearly salary in the UK is £17,000 – £23,000.

12. Teachers in the UK can earn up to £32,157 a year.

(Save the Student)

The highest teacher salary in the UK is a little over £32,000, but it largely varies, depending on location and qualification. In Scotland, teachers’ starting salary is £27,498.

13. IT directors earn an average weekly wage of £1,298.

(Statista)

Information technology and telecommunication directors had an average weekly wage of £1,298 in 2021, while advertising and public relations directors earned an average of £1,263 per week.

Salary Trends

14. The employment rate has fallen from 76.03% to 75.5%.

(House of Commons)

Young workers and those aged 65+ saw the biggest increase in unemployment claims. 

15. More than 4.9 million jobs have been furloughed in January, 2021. 

(House of Commons)

Between January and September last year, which marked the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), that number dropped to 1.2 million.

16. Full-time male workers’ average salaries are 18,5% higher that those of female workers.

(StandOut CV)

Full-time male workers’s average annual salary was £33,414, while female workers earned an average annual salary of £28,305 in 2021. That’s approximately £5,109 more than their female colleagues.

Conclusion

The coronavirus pandemic has a significant impact on the labour market in the UK and around the world. 

The answer to the question “what is the average wage in the UK?” is £25,971, which is an increase from the previous year, though, before you go off celebrating, keep in mind that the number is not adjusted to inflation. 

Sources

My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.