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Average wage UK: what salary should you be earning at your age?

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), average gross annual earnings for full-time employees was £27,600 in 2015, which was a 1.6% increase from the previous year.

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 2016 is between £19,000 and £22,000, which isn’t far from 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.

  • Education – It is well known that a degree, or at least a good qualification from a reputable institution, will positively impact your salary potential.
  • 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.
  • Industry – As can be expected, salary ranges differ wildly across industries according to skills needed, demands on the employee and level of education required.
  • 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.
  • Gender – Recruitment site Monster reports that the average annual salary for women is £30,000, while for men it’s £32,970. The gap is also reflected in ASHEs figures, which show women peaking earlier than men, and then experiencing a decline in salary.
  • Location – Where you live can impact your earning potential. According to Cities Outlook 2016, London is the city with the highest monthly workplace wages at £2,925 a month, while Huddersfield is the lowest at £1,729.

What can you expect to earn at your age?

According to ASHE, 18 to 21 year old’s can expect to earn between £1,270 and £1,361 a month. Thankfully, by the time you reach your mid to late twenties and have far more responsibility, this 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. The average monthly earnings of employees between the ages of 22 and 29 is between £1,829 and £1,924. Your salary at this age can grow quite quickly and will, of course, be dependent on the other factors listed above.

The most obvious dearth in a twentysomething’s arsenal is experience. Monster estimates an average annual income of £20,172 for employees with less than one year of experience. By the 20 years’ experience mark, this number almost doubles at £39,033. 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 monthly wage estimate. The average monthly wage for employees between the ages of 30 and 39 is between £2,331 and £2,535. This is also when average salaries for women peak, at around £2,331 per month.

  • 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, and employees between the ages of 40 and 49 can earn between £2,258 and £2,830 a month. According to ASHE, this is when men hit their average earning peak at around £2,830 per month.

Five fastest growing UK industries in 2016

According to UK recruitment company Pertemps, these are the five fastest growing industries in 2016:

  • Hospitality
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Engineering
  • General private sector (specialists in various industries)

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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