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What Is the Average UK Salary in 2021 by Industry and Age?

In the ever-changing world of work, knowing what an average salary looks like for your industry and age can be essential to understand your earning potential, negotiate pay rises, and plan your career trajectory. This article will provide an in-depth overview of the average United Kingdom (UK) salary in 2021, broken down by industry and age group.


  • Impact of COVID-19 on UK Salaries
  • Overview of Average UK Salaries in 2021
  • Average Salaries by Industry

   - Healthcare
   - IT and Telecommunications
   - Finance
   - Manufacturing
   - Retail
   - Education
   - Construction
  • Average Salaries by Age Group

   - 18-24
   - 25-34
   - 35-44
   - 45-54
   - 55-64
  • Tips for Successfully Negotiating Salary
  • [/ulist]

Impact of COVID-19 on UK Salaries

The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably affected the job market and salaries in the UK. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), between September-November 2020, the unemployment rate was estimated at 5.0%. This figure was 1.2% higher compared to the previous year, highlighting the uncertainty and unparalleled changes that many UK workers faced in 2020.

While some industries experienced salary stagnation or reductions, others, such as technology and healthcare, witnessed growth and demand due to the accelerated use of digital services and urgent healthcare needs.

Overview of Average UK Salaries in 2021

In 2021, the average full-time salary in the UK was estimated to be approximately £31,000 per annum, based on ONS data. However, it is essential to note that this average figure can be misleading, as it encompasses all industries and age groups. It does not take into account the wide range of salaries and variations within different sectors and experience levels.

Average Salaries by Industry

Each industry has its unique pay structure, influenced by factors like demand, skill set, location, and company size. The following section dives into the average UK salaries in 2021 within various sectors.


Medical professionals experienced an increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare workers' average salary ranges depend on their specific field and experience. Here are some approximate figures:

  • General Practitioner: £60,000 to £105,000
  • Registered Nurse: £25,000 to £35,000
  • Pharmacist: £35,000 to £45,000
  • [/ulist]

IT and Telecommunications

The IT and telecommunications sector saw significant growth due to the increased reliance on digital technology during the pandemic. Notable average salaries within the industry include:

  • Software Developer: £30,000 to £50,000
  • IT Project Manager: £40,000 to £60,000
  • IT Consultant: £40,000 to £90,000
  • [/ulist]


Finance professionals play an essential role in managing businesses and economies. The average salaries in the financial sector can vary based on experience and specific job titles:

  • Financial Analyst: £30,000 to £50,000
  • Accountant: £28,000 to £50,000
  • Financial Manager: £45,000 to £80,000
  • [/ulist]


Manufacturing workers' salaries may differ based on their specialization and experience. Here are a few examples:

  • Production Manager: £30,000 to £50,000
  • Manufacturing Engineer: £28,000 to £45,000
  • Quality Manager: £35,000 to £60,000
  • [/ulist]


The retail sector's average UK salary varies greatly depending on factors such as store size, location, and titles. However, here are a few examples:

  • Retail Sales Assistant: £14,000 to £23,000
  • Retail Store Manager: £24,000 to £38,000
  • Area Sales Manager: £27,000 to £50,000
  • [/ulist]


The education sector's average salary ranges are based on qualification levels and years of experience:

  • Primary School Teacher: £25,000 to £37,000
  • Secondary School Teacher: £25,000 to £41,000
  • University Lecturer: £35,000 to £86,000
  • [/ulist]


Construction roles and salaries vary greatly depending on specialization and experience:

  • Construction Labourer: £17,000 to £28,000
  • Construction Project Manager: £35,000 to £60,000
  • Architect: £28,000 to £45,000
  • [/ulist]

Average Salaries by Age Group

Salaries also tend to vary depending on age as individuals generally progress in their careers and gain experience. The approximate average UK salary ranges by age group in 2021 are as follows:

  • 18-24 years: £16,000 to £26,000
  • 25-34 years: £24,000 to £41,000
  • 35-44 years: £32,000 to £53,000
  • 45-54 years: £31,000 to £50,000
  • 55-64 years: £29,000 to £45,000
  • [/ulist]

    Keep in mind that these figures are estimates and can vary depending on industry, experience, and location.

Tips for Successfully Negotiating Salary

Knowing the average salary for your industry and age group is vital when negotiating for fair compensation with employers. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the negotiation process:

  • Research and prepare: Understand the industry standards and average salary for your role based on your experience, location, and company size.
  • Be confident: Clearly articulate your value and achievements to support your desired salary range.
  • Consider total compensation: Look beyond base salary, and factor in benefits such as stock options, bonuses, and flexible work arrangements.
  • Practice negotiation: Role-play with a friend or family member to build confidence and refine your negotiation skills.
  • Be flexible: Sometimes, employers may not be able to meet your salary requirements. Show your willingness to compromise, but be sure not to undersell your worth.
  • [/ulist]

    Understanding the average UK salary in your industry and age group is crucial when evaluating job offers, requesting pay raises, and planning your career path. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be better equipped to navigate the job market, negotiate confidently, and achieve your professional goals.

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