Average Finance Director salaries in the UK

Salary by region

Explore the average finance director salary in the UK by location:

  • London: £116,400
  • Wales: £81,400
  • Scotland: £88,300
  • East of England: £89,000
  • South West of England: £84,900
  • West Midlands: £83,900

Job prospects for Finance Directors 

There are two factors impacting demand for finance managers in the current hiring market: the global talent shortage and the nationwide struggle to find qualified senior professionals. Finance Director jobs in London are plentiful, as are Finance Director jobs in Scotland (most notably Edinburgh), thanks to its thriving finance industry. 

Businesses are starting to adopt more advanced database technologies, which raise new and more complex data compliance and IT security issues. Employers will expect a knowledgeable and proactive approach to cybersecurity and may be looking for professionals who can create agile, forward-thinking processes and procedures which protect the business.

The integration of big data into business strategy will mean that the best job opportunities will go to finance directors with strong data analysis skills. An adaptable approach to work will also be needed to complement augmented analytics, automation and AI, so better board-level business insights can be generated.

The best opportunities will be offered to professionals who are qualified accountants (ACA, ACCA, CIMA) with several years’ experience in a managerial position within the finance function.  

The global talent shortage isn’t just beneficial for professionals looking for permanent positions—opportunities in temporary and contract roles are steadily increasing as businesses strive to fill skill gaps and essential roles. Finance professionals could see excellent job opportunities by taking various temporary or contract positions.

Finance director salary opportunities 

A finance director average salary in the UK has a midpoint of £90,000 and ranges between £80,000 - £156,000, depending on the skills and experience of the professional, and the local salary benchmark for the region. 

Finance professionals who are new to the role can expect a starting salary of approximately £80,000. Mid-range professionals can earn anything between £90,000 – £116,000 and experienced, senior finance directors could earn anything up to £156,000.

For the highest earning potential, professionals should look to get hired in the capital. A typical finance director salary in London ranges between £103,509 – £201,843 due to the severe lack of available skilled senior finance professionals in the city. 

The entire Southeastern and Eastern regions of the UK offer good salary opportunities for finance professionals. The average mid-point salary in the South East is £94,500, followed closely by salaries in the East, which range between £79,171 – £154,383. A recent ONS survey found cities like Cambridge, Oxfordshire, Slough and Reading were some of the highest paying in the UK, due to their close proximity to London.

Niche skills are hard to come by, so finance professionals with specific industry experience—such as technology, fintech or specific commercial experience—often receive the most attractive offers. Finance directors can increase their professional value by ensuring that they have full ACCA/CIMA/ACA qualifications and data analysis skills.

Financial incentives are looking generous for finance professionals in the current hiring market. In order to remain competitive, employers are also flexible and remote working as an attractive benefit.

To access further salary projections and key recruitment trends affecting your sector download the Robert Half Salary Guide.


2020 Salary Guide

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