Salaries in technology outpace other professions in 2018

  • Senior business analysts and junior developers set for the biggest increases in starting salaries
  • Businesses willing to pay a premium for those with the right skills and experience

London, 3 October 2017 –  Demand for highly-skilled IT professionals means those in the technology sector are set to experience the most significant starting salary increases, compared to other professional occupations. According to the Robert Half Salary Guide, specialised IT and technology staff, such as  junior developers (4.5%), senior business analysts (4.4%) and will be awarded the greatest pay rises in 2018, well above the national average of 1.4%. This is followed by experienced fund accountants (4.2%), chief financial officers (4.0%) and financial controllers (4.0%) as the competitive market for high-performing talent within technology as well as accounting and finance drives salaries higher.

“In the year ahead, businesses will be navigating a number of local, regional and international factors, such as Brexit, automation, digital transformation and meeting data regulations” explained Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director of Robert Half UK, South America and the Middle East. “However, one of the biggest challenges plaguing all UK businesses is the shortage of specialist skills. In an effort to win the war for top talent, organisations are willing to pay a price for those with the right skills to support their business goals.”

Table one: average salary increases, by professional occupation in 2018


Average starting salary increases



Administrative and office support


Accounting and finance


Financial services


National average




A high value is being placed on IT professionals with the skills to support digital disruption. Analysts who can support the business by improving businesses processes and performance have a specialised skill set that is in short supply, while front-end developers and full stack developers with knowledge of programming languages like .NET, SQL and Java are also in high-demand. IT professionals with a specialised skill set tend to start on a higher salary when starting new roles and employers are using a combination of pay, bonuses, strong pension offerings and flexible working arrangements to attract technology candidates.

Table one: technology highest salary rises by role

Top three

2017 UK average

2018 UK average

% change

Junior developer

£19,500 - £30,000

£19,750 - £32,000


Senior business analyst

£42,500 - £71,500

£46,500 - £72,500


Data analyst

£23,500 - £56,500

£24,500 - £58,500



Administration and office support

In line with growth plans, businesses are recruiting mid-level administrative and office professionals with the industry experience and systems knowledge in areas such as Microsoft, SAP and CRM to provide specialist support. Permanent, professional-level employees can expect to see a salary increase and often a bonus structure linked to the success drivers of the position.

Table two: administration and office support highest salary rises by role

Top three

2017 UK average

2018 UK average

% change

Executive assistant

£29,000 - £39,000

£31,000 - £39,500


HR business partner

£31,500 - £50,250

£33,250 - £51,500


Senior administrative assistant

£18,000 - £30,000

£18,500 - £31,000


Accounting and finance

Financial controllers and risk associates who can combine technical skills with commercial awareness and business acumen are sought after as firms focus on improving the overall productivity of the finance function. There is also growing demand for CFOs who can transform finance and introduce greater automation. On the whole, starting salaries within finance and accounting will increase over the next 12 months and those professionals with specialist skills or industry-specific experience are likely to benefit from the greatest increase.

Table three: accounting and finance highest salary rises by role

Top three

2017 UK average

2018 UK average

% change

Chief financial officer/
Group finance director (SME)

£86,000 - £100,000

£86,500 - £100,000


Financial controller (SME)

£41,500 - £53,250

£44,500 - £54,000


Risk Associate (large company)

£47,000 - £58,000

£48,000 - £60,500



Financial services

Given the skills shortage of junior professionals within the financial services market, newly-qualified (NQ) accountants can expect to see an increase in starting salary over the coming year. The demand for high-performing talent within accounting and finance in financial services, particularly for professionals with post-qualification experience (PQE) is seeing an increase in starting pay. Overall, the majority of financial services firms plan to award salary increases over the next year, which will be prioritised over standard benefits.

Table four: financial services highest salary rises by role

Top three

2017 UK average

2018 UK average

% change

Fund accountant (NQ – 3 years’ PQE)

£52,000 - £61,500

£52,500 - £65,750


Regulatory accountant (4–7 years’ PQE)

£65,000 - £95,000

£70,000 - £95,000


Finance director

£90,000 - £174,500

£95,000 - £176,500



“In the face of an expanding skills shortage, organisations are thinking about what they can offer alongside competitive salaries to attract new staff and entice experienced professionals with the right skills to join the business,” concluded Sheridan. “Rather than just competing on salary alone, many businesses are looking beyond pay and at the full package they can offer to keep staff engaged, motivated and happy.”

– ENDS –

About the Robert Half 2018 Salary Guide

Since 1950, Robert Half has produced Salary Guides to offer business owners, hiring managers and professionals information on prevailing starting salaries in their geographic areas and insight into the latest employment trends. Companies consult the annual Salary Guide to determine appropriate remuneration for accounting and finance, financial services, technology and administrative professionals at all levels.

Information in the Salary Guide is based on the thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements managed each year by Robert Half's recruitment consultants, along with the company's ongoing surveys of executives. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported because many external factors – such as seniority, work ethic, non-monetary benefits, job performance and training – impact the salaries of permanent professionals as work histories develop.

Download the Robert Half Salary Guide

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and