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Average Wage UK: What Salary should you be earning at your age?

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Average Wage UK: What Salary should you be earning at your age?

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Your age isn’t the only number that increases over time. As you accrue more experience in the workplace, your value to employers inevitably increases, and salary expectations should follow in line.

There’s a direct correlation between age and salary – for most of your life they will increase together as you learn new skills, gain more experience and increase your potential. But it also depends on several variables, including your industry, development, skill set and even gender. Here’s what you 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), 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.

Depending on which sector you join and where you’re situated, your salary could quickly outstrip this amount.

According to Graduate Jobs, the median starting salary for UK graduates in 2018-2019 is between £19,000 and £22,000 while Total jobs estimates a higher average at £25,000. Those working in the London area can expect to start with an even better salary, which Glass door 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

These factors play a significant role in determining how much you should be earning at your age.

o Education
It is well known that a degree, or at least a good qualification from a reputable institution, will positively impact your salary potential.

o Experience
This is perhaps the most obvious factor, and one that most closely correlates with your age. The amount of years you have spent in a particular role or industry will have a big impact on your salary.

o Industry
As can be expected, salary ranges differ wildly across industries according to skills needed, demands on the employee and level of education required.

o Company
Big, small, traditional, progressive…any number of attributes will play a role in determining how much a company is willing to pay an employee.

o Gender
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 £25303 and men earning an average of £30,524.

o Location
London remains the beating heart of the UK’s finances and of course, its denizens can expect a hike in pay.

What Can You Expect to Earn at Your Age?

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

Employees and job hunters in their twenties can use their skill sets and education as solid 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. Your salary at this age can grow quite quickly though and will, of course, be dependent on the other factors listed above.

The most obvious dearth in a twenty something’s arsenal is experience. As of August 2018, Monster & PayScale estimated an average annual income of just £20,404 for employees with less than one year of experience. After 5-9 years, this figure burgeons to £30,915, and around the 20-year mark it’s up to £39,199. For a fresh graduate looking for work experience, these figures can be quite disappointing, but keep in mind that they do not take industry fluctuation into account.

- Stable thirties

Here is when you can start outstripping the national average. Your experience, wisdom and carefully curated set of skills will start to pay off.

In your thirties, you can expect to gain quite a significant boost to the weekly wage estimate. ASHE calculated the average weekly wage for employees aged 30-39 at £613.3 for men and £557.5 for women. This is also the age group where women’s earning potential typically peaks.

- Fabulous forties

This is when your extensive experience, years of expertise and deep knowledge of the industry fulfils your potential as an employee. As with age, individual years become less important than the bigger picture of what you have done with those years.While women’s earning potential is highest in their thirties, the 40-49 age group is where men hit their earnings peak.

Five Fastest Growing UK Industries in 2018

The top industries for growth in the UK in 2018 include:

  • Information Technology
  • Construction
  • FinTech
  • Manufacturing
  • Healthcare
  • Engineering

Road to Success

Whether you’re in the highest or lowest paying industries, 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:

1. Negotiate a salary raise

Keep details of your achievements at work and use them as leverage when negotiating a salary increase.

2. Research and compare your salary

Know how much your skills are worth and compare your salary with the industry average for an overview.

3. Become an expert

Consider training or studying short courses to become more knowledgeable in your industry.

The moral of the story? Keep improving your worth, learning from great mentors and studying your niche to find success in your industry through every stage of your life.


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