Median gross base salary for UK entry level roles is £26,000


The median gross base salary for entry level professionals in the UK is £26,000 a year, according to research by Willis Towers Watson.

Its Global 50 Remuneration Planning Report, which collates pay and benefits information for 50 positions across 60 countries worldwide, found that the UK’s median gross entry level base salary ranks 14th out of the top 20 European economies.

Switzerland, on the other hand, reports a median gross base salary of £68,959 for its entry level professionals. This is followed by Denmark, where entry level professionals have a median gross base salary of £45,194, and Norway, which offers its entry level staff a median gross base salary of £42,822. Poland pays its entry level professionals the least, according to the research, with a median gross base salary of £11,628.

The median gross base salary for middle managers in the UK is £69,480, which ranks 10th out of the top 20 European economies. Switzerland tops this list, paying middle managers a median gross base salary of £125,890, followed by Germany (£85,261), Denmark (£85,038) and Luxembourg (£82,540). The research found that Slovakia pays its middle managers the least, with a median gross base salary of £35,239. Poland (£37,011) and the Czech Republic (£38,899) also feature at the bottom of the list.

When the median gross base salary is adjusted for purchasing power parity, which reflects the tax burden and cost of living across the respective countries, the UK ranks eighth for entry level employees, offering £29,739. It ranks fourth for middle managers, with a median relative buying power of £57,129.

Switzerland has a median relative buying power total for entry level professions of £47,202, and £77,963 for middle managers. This places it highest for both among the top 20 European economies. Luxembourg comes second, with median relative buying power figures of £44,011 for entry level staff and £73,876 for middle managers, while Germany is third, with £36,511 and £66,615 respectively.

Slovakia places last for median relative buying power, as entry level professionals have £13,587 and middle managers have £33,465.

Tom Hellier, UK practice lead, rewards at Willis Towers Watson, says: “Although dependent on prevailing exchange rates, this data shows that from a cost perspective the UK remains relatively attractive for business compared with European peers. However, staying open to talented [employees] with fast-growing emerging economies will be critical to realising the UK’s long-term growth potential, and employers also need to be mindful of the total package; for example in some countries such as the UK, annual bonuses play a more prominent role in addition to base pay.

“Increasing competition for talent, amplified by medium-term uncertainty from Brexit, highlights the need for organisations to position themselves as an employer of choice and look at the overall perceived value of their offer. Enhancing the non-financial aspects of the deal, such as career-advancement opportunities, learning and development programmes and flexible work arrangements are key to improving retention and ensuring [organisations] remain competitive across the region.”