From education to employment

Factors that Influence Salary Growth in the UK


There’s a direct link between age and salary – for most people they will increase together as new skills are learned, more experience is gained, and potential is increased. Several variables also affect salary, including industry, development, skill set and even gender. Here are the facts about what employees need to know according to Instant Offices.

Average Wages in the UK

The average UK annual salary or monthly wage of full-time employees differs drastically across industries. According to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), the median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees in the UK were up 2.2% between April 2016 and 2017, rising from £539 to £550.

When it comes to graduate jobs, research collated by Fresh Student Living, shows graduates are quite cynical about their starting salaries, with women pricing themselves almost four grand lower than their male counterparts.

With London doubling up as the education capital of the world, and the UK’s biggest hotspot for graduate recruitment, those working in the area can expect to start with an even better salary, which Glassdoor estimates at an average of £29,975 – a full 7% above the national average. However, this figure is heavily influenced by several factors that will determine just how much you earn at what age.

Factors that Influence Salary Growth

While the type of industry and the size of your company are both factors that can influence salaries, these additional factors also play a significant role in determining how much you should be earning at your age:


It is common knowledge that having a degree or qualification that is relevant to your profession positively impact your salary potential, however having experience can be equally as beneficial.


The average annual income for employees with less than one year of experience compared to those with 20+ years is, on average, £20,404 vs £39,199. Research shows that many employers value experience just as much, if not more than education. This is perhaps one of the most prominent factors and one that most closely correlates with your age. The number of years you have spent in a role or industry will have a significant impact on your salary.


In April 2017, the gap dropped to 9.1%, compared to 9.4% the year before. This is the lowest since the ASHE survey began in 1997, where the gender pay gap was 17.4%. In 2016, Monster reported that the average annual salary was £22,381 for UK women and £32,961 for UK men. More recently, in August 2018, the figures also showed the gap diminishing, with women earning an average of £25,303 and men earning an average of £30,524.


London remains the beating heart of the UK’s finances and of course, those working in the area can expect a hike in pay.

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Milton Keynes





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What Can You Expect to Earn at Your Age?

Late Teens: According to ASHE, 16-to-17-year-olds entering the job market can expect to earn under £200 a week. Thankfully, by the time you reach your twenties and have far more responsibility, this figure will improve significantly.

Terrifying Twenties: At this age, salaries can grow quite quickly, and employees/job hunters in their twenties can use their skill sets and education as stable motivating factors for more money. ASHE calculated the average earnings of employees aged 22-29 at up to £477.9 a week for men and £440.8 a week for women.

The most apparent dearth in a twentysomething’s arsenal is experience. As of August 2018, it has been estimated that the average annual income, for employees with less than one year’s experience, is just £20,404 for employees with less than one year of experience. However, after 5-9 years, this figure burgeons to £30,915.

Stable Thirties: This is the age where experience, wisdom and carefully curated set of skills will start to pay off, and also when women typically reach their earnings peak. Employees can expect to gain quite a significant boost to the weekly/monthly wage estimate. ASHE calculated the average weekly wage for employees aged 30-39 at £613.3 for men and £557.5 for women. The overall annual figure comes up to £30,440.

Fabulous Forties: The overall annual salary figure for this age group comes up to £49,504. While women’s earning potential is highest in their thirties, the 40-49 age group is where men hit their earnings peak.

Road to Success

Despite your current salary, there’s always room to grow. Your salary and potential earnings will increase automatically as you improve your skills, knowledge and experience, but there are a few ways you can increase it right now:

  • Negotiate a salary raise – Keep details of your achievements at work and use them as leverage when negotiating a salary increase.
  • Research and compare your salary – Know how much your skills are worth and compare your salary with the industry average for an overview.
  • Become an expert – Consider training or studying short courses to become more knowledgeable in your industry.

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