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Highest HR salaries in England revealed

Highest HR salaries in England revealed - Ciphr

New regional employee earnings figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that HR professionals in the East of England and London get paid far more than many of their counterparts across England.

While some geographical variance may be expected, analysis by HR software provider Ciphr has revealed a significant 52% pay gap between the highest and lowest-paid regions for the country’s 150,400 full-time HR managers and directors.

Based solely on mean average wages, HR managers and directors based in the East of England are among the highest earners in their profession. They enjoy an average salary of £67,172, which is considerably more than their region’s average full-time salary of £40,544.

HR salaries in the East are also around 7% higher than those in Greater London and 12% higher than those in south-east England (which average at £62,788 and £60,198 respectively).

At the opposite end of the earnings scale, HR managers and directors in the North East and West Midlands have the lowest mean average salaries compared to anywhere else in England at £44,158 and £47,037 respectively.

The top five regions in England with the highest average salaries for HR managers and directors are:

  1. East – £67,172
  2. London – £62,788
  3. South East – £60,198
  4. South West – £56,357
  5. North West – £50,615

Comparable data for Wales and Northern Ireland was unavailable from the ONS. Scotland’s HR managers and directors, however, reportedly earn £48,601, and the average across the UK is £57,314.

East of England is top paying region for HR jobs

The East of England is also home to some of the best paid HR and industrial relations officers, who enjoy an average salary of £39,636. This group includes employees with job titles such as HR specialist, HR generalist, HR consultant, diversity and equality adviser, recruiter, and personnel officer.

The next two highest-paying regions for these roles are the West Midlands (£35,374) and South West (£34,563). Both coming in above the UK average of £33,692.

It’s worth noting that while HR salaries are mostly higher than they were at the start of the cost-of-living crisis in 2022, many people’s wages will likely have fallen in real terms compared to inflation (which rose 7.8% for the 12 months to April 2023, when these ONS figures were collated).

London and the South West were the only areas in England where full-time HR managers and directors saw inflation-beating pay growth in 2023 (with mean and median average salaries for these regions both increasing by over 7.8%). Full-time HR and industrial relations officers in the South West and West Midlands also benefited from the same above-inflation increases.

“Pay is never the only consideration for people looking to change jobs or move areas – otherwise everyone would simply down tools now and head to the East of England! But this ONS data is very useful to get a better understanding of what similar roles are being paid around the country.

“One of my favourite things about being an HR professional is the versatility of working in almost any type of organisation, anywhere in the UK. And knowing that, wherever you are in your career journey and whichever industry you work in, your specialist skills and strategic business insights will always be highly valued and in demand by employers.”

Claire Williams, chief people and operating officer at Ciphr

All salary figures shown are mean gross annual earnings for full-time workers (which includes basic pay plus incentive pay, overtime pay and other pay). This data was released by the ONS on 5 February 2024.

Ciphr is the go-to HR software and solutions partner for medium and large organisations in the UK. Its integrated HR, payroll, learning and recruitment software, services and content provide invaluable insights to HR teams to inform their people strategy and grow and develop their organisations. Ciphr is on a mission to amplify the voice and value of HR through intelligent people data solutions that help HR be heard – in the boardroom and across the business.

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