Industry Wages: What salary should your role be paying?

New research from RS Components has revealed that 57% of jobs in the UK are paid less than the UK average salary:

  • The average weekly wage in the UK is £569, while the average salary is £29,558
  • CEOs earn an average of £67,525 more than the national average wage, being paid £97,083 per annum compared the £29,558 UKs average salary
  • Waiting and bar staff receive the lowest pay in the UK, earning just £15,263 per year
  • On average workers between the ages of 22 and 29 earn £4,747 per year less than the national average

Let’s be honest, we’d all love to see an extra zero (or a few) on our payslips, but unfortunately, that’s not very realistic. When it comes to choosing a career or considering a career change, it’s good to have an understanding of the average salary in that particular field. By analysing ONS data, RS Components has revealed the highest and lowest paying jobs across the UK.

According to ONS data, the average working Brit earns £569 per week, equalling £29,558 per year. However, this can vary greatly based on the type of role, age and even gender.  

Differences in occupations

In the UK, CEOs are the highest paid occupation and earn an average of £97,083 per annum, £67,525 more than the national average. The average CEO also earns £21,228 per year more than the second highest profession, medical practitioner.

Medical practitioners earn around £75,855 per year, closely followed by marketing and sales directors who receive around £75,126 per year.

At the other end of the scale, bar staff receive the lowest pay in the UK, earning an average of just £15,072 per year, 6.4 times less than CEOs. Meanwhile, the second lowest earning workers are waiters/waitresses who earn £14,104 less than the national average, being paid a gross yearly salary of £15,454 (£297 per week).

In their analysis, RS Components found 57% of the 270 occupations earned less than the national average. However, the analysis also found 94% of ‘professional’ roles – such as legal professionals, journalists & newspaper editors, architects and civil engineers – earn more than the average salary.

Differences in age

According to RS Components’ analysis of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), people between the ages of 22 and 29 earn £4,747 less than the national average per year, being paid an average of £24,840 per year.

Whilst this sounds like a somewhat healthy salary for those in the graduate age group, Graduate Jobs estimates that graduates are paid somewhere between £19,000 and £22,000 per year.

The highest earning age bracket is 40 to 49 years, where the average salary across the UK is £33,246, more than £3,600 more than the nations average salary. The second highest age bracket is 30 to 39 years, with an average salary £1,744 higher than the national average at £31,332 per year.

Differences in gender

As part of their analysis of the ONS data, RS Components looked at how pay was split between men and women. In their analysis, they found, on average, that men earnt £4,144 more than women per year.

The age group with the highest discrepancy of pay between the genders was 50 to 59, where men were paid £7,950 more per year than women. This is closely followed by 40 to 49, with women earning £7,108 less than men of the same age per year.

The closest age groups to equal pay are those under 30. Although this is something of a positive, there is still a difference of £1,840 per year between the salaries of men and women at the 22 to 29 age bracket. Even women under 21 earn £1,120 less than male counterparts.


Overall, the UK Wage Chart by RS Components indicates how different occupations are paid. While it isn’t too surprising to see CEOs come out on top, it is something of a surprise to see such a gap between them and the next highest salary.

The additional analysis by RS Components reiterates the need for equal pay, with discrepancies between the genders reach as young as 16; when young adults are just entering the workforce often in part-time roles.