This post's overview:
- 1 What makes London so attractive to so many people?
- 2 Just a few on the things London can offer…
- 3 What’s a comfortable salary in London in 2023
- 4 What’s the average salary in London by industry?
- 5 Is your profession not on the list? How to find the average salary for your job / industry in London?
- 6 Feel free to check my other articles about London:
In this article, we will discuss salaries in London and the average salary in London in 2023. How much money is enough in London, and how much do you need to earn to live in London comfortably? Let’s talk about it!
In this article, I used a variety of sources, from the yearly reports of huge recruitment agencies to salary aggregators like Glassdoor and Linkedin.
London is an amazing city, however, the living expenses in London can be quite high (especially with the Cost of Living Crisis), making it important to know what kind of salary you can expect to earn if you plan on working in the city. In this article, we will take a closer look at the average salary in London, what factors influence it, and what is the salary needed to live comfortably in London in 2023.
What makes London so attractive to so many people?
With everything it has to offer, from amazing museums to some of the best shops in the world, it’s no wonder that many people aspire to live and work in London. It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s multicultural, and so many people who come to visit even for a day, feel like home there. Even myself – I first came to London in 2011 as a tourist and immediately felt that London is the city where I could live (and would like to live). I love many cities in Europe, from Seville to Prague, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, at least for now.
To me, London is still probably the best city in the world in terms of beauty, entertainment and opportunities. As a foreigner, I find London welcoming and because the city is so multicultural, I don’t feel that I attract too much attention or stand out too much because there are so many people from all around the world.
Just a few on the things London can offer…
I love working out and going to various gym classes – London has an insane amount of amazing fitness studios like Victus Soul, 1Rebel, Psycle, P45, FS8 each of them offering unique workouts and fun classes – I haven’t seen a city with that many different studios (maybe NYC can compare, but I’m not sure it would win).
Theatres in London are amazing – you’ve got fantastic opera and ballet at ROH, lots of different award-winning plays and musicals and lots of plays with A-list celebrities performing in the West End. London has some of the best museums in the world.
For fashionistas, London is equally amazing – the department stores like Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Liberty’s are probably the best in the world. You also have exclusive streets with luxury boutiques like New Bond street.
For foodies, London is heaven – you can pretty much try all the cuisines of the world in London and also, there are so many amazing restaurants! My favourites are, probably, The Barbary and Oficina 00.
What’s a comfortable salary in London in 2023
Of course, to be able to experience a lot of things London has to offer, you need to earn a decent salary. So what’s a decent salary in London? Honestly, I struggle to name a number, because everyone has a very different situation and different needs and wants. I have a separate article about the cost of living in London – when you look at all the spending categories and the average costs, it will be easier to understand the salary you need to earn to live in London comfortably based on your lifestyle and spending habits.
I’d say, in 2023, you need to earn at least 60k a year (before taxes) to be able to share a flat with 1 person in a nice area in zones 1-2 (paying around £1100-1200 for your room), go out whenever you want, go on trips a couple of times per year and save some money every month. If you’re willing to live further away (London zones 3-5), you might be okay with £45k per year.
I also have 3 articles showing how far money stretches in London on 3 different salaries:
Now that you know much much do you need in London to live comfortably, let’s look at the average salary in London by industry (2023 data).
Average, median and mode salary – what are the differences?
When I publish any articles or videos about salaries and prices, I always get a lot of surprised and sometimes even angry comments asking where I got this data from and that this data is completely wrong, because no one they know earns this money.
“My mate John said he knows no one making over 30k in London”
“None of my friends make below 70k in London”
Actually, while I’m using the term “average” salary, it might not be the most accurate representation of what you’re expecting to see. According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average salary for a full-time employee in London was £36,611 in 2020. Yet, if you’re a lawyer, you will laugh if you see anything below 100k. If you’re a carer, you will also be disappointed because this number would seem too high and you have only seen opportunities paying up to 25k.
So how is the average salary calculated and what might be a more accurate metric?
What’s an average salary?
Well, the average salary is found by adding up all the salaries in a group and then dividing by the number of people. It gives you a general idea of what the typical salary might be. However, if John makes 20k and Sam makes 100k, the average salary would be 50k, even though none of them actually makes 50k. So average salary can be misleading if the data set includes extremely high or low numbers. I think that’s a case with London as there are many high earners. According to this article by Financial Times, in order to be in the top 1% of earners in London, you need to make over £700,000 a year!
It’s easier to look at the average salary by industry and your years of experience – in this case, you will eliminate all the investment bankers and CEOs from this list if you’re a librarian, for example and see a more accurate representation of the salaries for your role.
What’s a median salary?
Median salary refers to the salary that separates the higher half of a data set from the lower half. It is a better indicator of the typical salary than the average when the data set has extreme outliers, as it is not affected by the values of the outliers. For example, the median UK taxpayer earns around £22,000 a year. Someone earning a little more than £50,000 a year would be in the top 10 per cent of taxpayers.
What’s a mode salary?
Finally, mode salary is the salary that appears most often in a group. This tells you what the most common salary is, but doesn’t give a good overall picture of all the salaries and the highest/lowest salaries.
Since these terms are statistical terms and might sound a bit too technical, most articles use average salary as the most important salary metric when, sometimes, it’s actually the mode or the median salary.
For example, the most common salary for a CRM manager would be around £49k in London (data and screenshot from Glassdoor below) and if you’re seeing a job that offers something like £60k, that would be a very high salary for this role!
What’s the average salary in London by industry?
The average salary in London can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including the type of job, industry, and the level of experience and education of the individual.
Let’s talk about the average salaries by profession / job type
I’m sorry that I wouldn’t be able to cover all the occupations and professions, and in case I haven’t covered your desired job, I’ll tell you later where and how to get this data for the job that interests you!
Average Software Developer Salary in London (not in FANG)
- entry level – £45k
- mid-level – £58k
- senior level – £78k
- mid-level – £62k
- senior – £81k
Designer (Visual, UX etc)
- Designer – £40k
- Lead designer – £58k
- Entry-level – £47k
- Senior – £58k
Analytics & Data:
- Junior Analyst – £35k
- Data Analyst – £45k
- Senior Analyst – £57k
- Head of Analytics – £90k
- Executive – 36k
- Manager – 52k / Senior Manager – £65k
- Director (Sales Director) – 120k
- Marketing executive – 28k
- Manager – 49k
- Senior Manager – 57k
- Head of Marketing – 90k
- Marketing Director – 110k
- Marketing executive – 33k
- Manager – £50k
- Senior Manager – £65k
- Head of Marketing – £90k
- Marketing Director – £130k
Copywriter – 33k
Recruiter – 35k + commission
Logistics & Supply chain
- Coordinator – 31k
- Manager – £60k
- Head of Logistics – £73k
- Attorney – 81k
- Head of legal – 113k
- General Counsel 144k
GP – £90k (depending on experience, starting from £50k)
Nurse – 29k-45k based on experience
Executive assistant – £44k
Office manager – £36k
Receptionist – 22k
Sales (base pay only, commission depends on %)
- Associate – 28k
- Manager – 50k
- Director – 93k
Waiter/waitress – £20k + tips
Barista – £20k
Teacher – £28-45k depending on experience
Train driver – £57k
Bus driver – £27k
Quantitative analyst – £81k
Is your profession not on the list? How to find the average salary for your job / industry in London?
If your profession is not listed above, don’t worry, I’ll explain how to find the average salary for your role in London. While a lot of these salary benchmarks come from the reports of various recruitment agencies in London, you can find a lot of salary benchmarks and open roles with listed salaries on Glassdoor and Otta. The easiest way would probably be using Glassdoor, as all you need to do is to register and provide some information about the company where you’re working now (you can do that anonymously, too). Then, in exchange for your information, you would be granted access to Glassdoor’s Salary section, where you can look for the average salary in your desired role.
I hope that this article was useful for you!