Do you feel that you earn enough in your current career? It’s a question many may ask themselves when looking at job opportunities or comparing their current role in their chosen industry. Of course, wages differ vastly depending on the sector you are working in, your qualifications, and your experience, so what one person feels is a good salary may differ from another. Other factors such as lifestyle and cost of living also play a big part in deciding if you are paid enough.
So, what on average do workers earn in the UK? Are you below or above average in salary league tables? At QuidMarket, we know that any conversation around money and finances usually starts with what you are earning. When applicants apply for our online loans, they know they’ll need to prove the loan repayments are affordable for them, so those on a low income may struggle to do so.
Here, you’ll find out what the average income in the UK currently is, how this looks for different sectors, and what it means for your finances.
Average Income in the UK 2022
Many people don’t like to talk about how much they earn, let alone compare their earnings with friends and family. However, whilst we may not talk about it, we definitely are interested in whether we earn below or above average.
According to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the average weekly income was estimated to be £601 for total pay and £565 for regular pay. This has increased consistently every year since 2002, with the exception of early in the pandemic in 2020. Total pay refers to wages including any bonuses, whereas regular pay excludes bonuses.
The mean average UK salary is estimated to be £31,447 p.a for all UK employees. Those working full-time hours have a median average salary of £31,285 p.a, whereas part-time workers averaged £11,310 p.a. The median salary is the middle figure of all UK employees, so many people will be above or below this figure. It provides a representation of where the middle salary currently is so you can compare when looking at roles within a chosen industry. So, what are some of the average earnings per industry?
Average Income by Industry 2022
Depending on if you work in the public or private sector, you will notice a difference in average salaries. The median salary in the private sector was £30,973 in 2020, whereas the public sector earned a median salary of £32,743. Below are some of the top paying industries according to ONS and the median annual earnings:
- Finance & Insurance: £43,821
- Electricity, Gas, Steam, Air Supply: £42,450
- Mining & Quarrying: £42,386
- Information and Communication: £42,267
- Professional, Scientific, Technical: £27,484
When looking at industries, there is a range of job roles within them and workers earn higher and lower than the median. Some of the highest earning job roles are those with higher responsibility, so it’s no surprise to see CEOs and legal professionals high on the list, earning £81,102 and £69,513 respectively in 2021. Train and tram drivers continue to earn a good salary at £59,189 as well as medical practitioners at £56,869. But while these are some of the highest average wages, what are some of the lowest?
- Bar staff: £15,896
- Hairdressers: £15,357
- Kitchen and catering assistants: £16,254
- Educational support assistants: £16,721
- Smiths and forge workers: £16,519
These were some of the lowest average median salaries in the UK in 2021, with playworkers earning the lowest at £14,345. Most of the lowest-earning jobs are part-time roles and tend to be employees with less experience or of a younger demographic (16-21), whereas the highest-earning roles are those in managerial and professional roles and are slightly older (35-49). The UK as a whole has 14.2% low-paid employee roles and 24.5% high-paid employee roles in 2021, meaning the vast majority of the working public are in the middle.
What to Do if You Are on a Low Income
If you find you are in the lower bracket of average income in the UK, or you are below average for your current job role, seeking financial help may provide some direction. You may be eligible for government benefit schemes to help you top up your salary, or you may be able to negotiate a higher wage. Being open to opportunities to improve your skill set will help to showcase your worth and be able to speak to your employer to increase your salary. Whether it’s learning a new skill essential to your role, or looking to take on more responsibility, you could improve your current income without having to leave your job to do so.
If improving your salary is difficult at this moment in time or you are not able to top up with benefit schemes, looking at your outgoings and financial situation may help to identify where reductions can be made. Periodically looking at your income and outgoings and looking for any trends in spending that can be reduced will help to free up more funds for the essentials or for savings. This can be particularly helpful if you aren’t sure why you run out of money so quickly before your next salary date.
Financial Help at QuidMarket
Whilst we can’t help you improve your current salary at QuidMarket, we may be able to help when the unexpected happens. If you find yourself in a financial emergency with no savings available to help you, we may be able to approve a short term loan with affordable repayments. You’ll need to ensure repayments are affordable for you, and you can choose a loan term for up to 6 months. If this would help you resolve your unexpected expense, click apply now to start an application.
If you need any further financial assistance or want to discover more about average income in the UK, please visit Money Helper.