Are You Paid Enough?

Aquent/Vitamin T, the specialist recruiters for creative, digital and marketing talent, have launched their 2018 salary guide. The data has been compiled based upon 2017 UK placements the company has made for professional marketers, creatives and digital specialists.


Aquent has also analysed UK marketing sector salaries from the past three years and the following trends have emerged.



Seniority pays


Junior salaries have been relatively flat, even within marketing technology/development roles.  Notable exceptions are front end developers with a 12% rise over three years, and junior insights and analysis marketers who’ve seen an 8% bump. Designers have seen an increase but this is only a paltry 5% over three years.


For midweight professionals, with over four years’ experience but less than ten, there is more of a mixed picture. Again design roles have seen increases, about 8-9% for graphic, digital, packaging and artworkers in the past year. Motion graphics designers have bucked the trend and seen 16% y-o-y growth. Surprisingly, in the technology category, only front end developers have seen any increase (25% over three years).


Mid-level project and account managers have seen no change in salaries in the past year with the exception of print project managers who’ve seen a 7% increase. The salaries for project and account managers are in the range of mid £30,000s to low £40,000s.


Senior professional roles have seen the biggest growth with the highest rate of increase seen by UX architects (47% over three years to an average £70,000). Other jobs that have seen a big rise include CRM Marketers (28% to £67,500), Web Analysts (27% to £70,000) and Packaging and Graphic designers (28% to £35,000 and £45,000 respectively). Event managers have seen a 40% increase bringing their average pay to £67,500.


Design and UX


Senior graphic designers and experienced UX professionals have seen some of the strongest salary growth with UX Architect’s having almost 50% salary growth over the past three years and seeing 17% increase since 2017. Their average salary is now £70,000. Senior graphic designers have seen an almost 30% salary increase to an average of £45,000. However, creative director’s packages along with artworkers and retouchers have not changed in the past three years. The average creative director’s salary is £92,000 and experienced artworkers/retouchers are on about £40,000.


Conversely, middleweight, (four to nine years’ experience) packaging designers and artworkers have seen around a 10% salary growth over the past three years. But integrated and digital designers have had it tougher with a 3% fall in salaries.


Motion graphic designers of all levels have seen a 16% pay increase over the last three years.  Most junior design roles (less than four years’ experience) have seen around a 5% increase in the past year but this is really a cost of living adjustment after a couple of years without any increase rather than real growth.


Marketing salary growth presents a mixed picture with analysis, CRM and social roles all seeing substantial uptakes. Insights and analysis roles at all levels have seen increases; with 8% for juniors, and a bump of more than a third over three years for senior insights and analysis professionals. Web analysts have seen a 25% increase for the least experienced and approaching 30% for seniors.  Social media and community managers have seen salary rises of 5%, raising to 17% for seniors and around 6% for midweight professionals.


Top tier CRM marketers have seen a salary rise of almost 30% bringing average salaries to £67,500.


Marketing communication specialists have seen their salaries fall 2% in nominal terms to £67,500 (in 2016 the average salary was £69,000)


Project and Account management roles have seen very little salary growth, with the exception of senior technical project managers, who’ve seen a 7% bump, with an average salary of £60,000. Print project managers at mid and senior levels have seen a 7% and 5% rise respectively.


Writing and content


In the past three years, writing and content salaries have remained flat, regardless of seniority, junior copywriters, web editors and content editors are seeing pay in the mid-twenties. Senior content strategists’ are paid about £72,000 on average and those copywriters with around ten years’ experience see an average pay of £55,000.


Development and Technology


Technology roles have seen little salary growth, with the exception of front end developers who’ve seen their wages rise by around a quarter for midweight and senior roles, bringing their salaries to £50,000 and £65,000 respectively.  Senior mobile app developers have seen a 25% increase in the past year. Top flight mobile app developers can expect a median salary of £75,000.


Mike Berry, UK Country Manager says “Marketing is a fast moving, responsive industry and brands have had to react quickly to find new ways to reach their audiences and to assess success. Certain skills are in high demand, driven by the move to digital and increased use of big data, so it’s no surprise roles like developers and analysts have seen large salary increases. While events management may seem an unexpected role to see a big jump this has been driven by the increased demand from brands for more experiential events and the need to reach people in the real world, beyond digital. 


He continues, “Employers are keen to recognise and reward talent but they are operating in a challenging market. The overall salary picture for marketing employees is more positive than the broader UK one, where the average salary increase is forecast to be 2.9%.


“There’s a lot of people excited by the prospect of working in the creative industries, offering employers a lot of choice at junior levels. This is no doubt a factor in the lack of salary growth in both the past year and over the past three years. However, senior people are always in shorter supply, especially in growing marketing sectors, so employers have had to adjust salaries accordingly. Those with ten years’ or more experience are seeing some large pay rises.


“Aquent/VitaminT places top talent both agency and brand-side so we’ve got a unique overview of what’s happening in the marketing space.”


Author: Editor

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