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Career Advice

The UK’s Best Jobs and Sectors For Salary Increases

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated 7 Jul 2020
|3 min read

When you’re thinking about a new career, it’s tempting to be drawn to the highest paying roles. But it’s even more important to understand how pay can progress in an industry throughout your career.

The inaugural report, analysing 18,125 different UK salaries, reveals which jobs to consider for the best pay increases, comparing salaries at entry level (0-3 years experience) to that of an experienced employee in the same role (8 years experience+). It also identifies which sectors job seekers should target if they are looking for substantial pay rises, and how much management could potentially be earning.

Top 10 UK Jobs With Biggest  Pay Increases

Retail is commonly known as an industry with many staff who earn  minimum wage.  According to the Office For National Statistics, retail was the second highest in terms of proportion of jobs paying less than the Living Wage in 2015 (55 percent of retail jobs in London and 59 percent outside the capital)1. However, looking at Glassdoor data, after a minimum of eight years working as a front of house retail representative, you could receive a 247 percent pay jump, earning a median annual salary of £52,000. Those who are successful in retail could earn promotions and manage stores, leading to the biggest pay increase of all UK jobs.


Other roles outside of top 10: Civil engineers could get a 67 percent pay jump between entry level and more senior counterparts. News editors could see at least a 59 percent jump after eight years in the role, representing a median average salary of £38,250. Administrators would see the narrowest pay gap, with only seven percent increase after a minimum of 8 years experience on the job.

Top 10 Sectors With Biggest Pay Increases

Working in Arts & Entertainment can be attractive, but hugely competitive. It’s the top industry in terms of the percentage jump if you are willing to stay in the sector, albeit at a relatively low salary of just £34,750, but this industry can see a 124 percent increase after at least eight years within the industry. Those working in Finance, Accounting and Business Services could see significant jumps too, especially after attaining the further qualifications needed in order to progress in these sectors. An employee working in Finance could earn at least £73,040 after just eight years in the role. The wider Retail industry just missed out as a top ten sector (#12), with an increase of 57 percent.


Last month, Glassdoor launched a new free tool called Know Your Worth which calculates a person’s estimated market value, or base pay earning potential based on the current local job market. Know Your Worth, currently in beta and only available in the U.S., is designed to not only help people determine if they are being paid fairly, but also whether they should attempt to negotiate their current salary or explore better paying jobs.

Methodology:MMFor a job title to be considered for Glassdoor’s report a minimum number of 40 salaries across all categories in the survey must have been submitted by UK-based employees over a one year period (24/07/2015-23/07/2016). In total, 18,125 UK salaries were analysed across 3,095 distinct job titles.The years experience data on Glassdoor is divided into three categories: 0-3, 4-7 and 8+. The salary increase gaps have been identified by comparing the median salaries of those in roles with 0-3 years’ experience to those with 8 years’ or more. For jobs to be considered within the 0-3 years’ category a rule has been implemented to only include salaries up to or equal to £30,000 in order to truly represent an entry-level UK job. Interns and Trainees have been excluded from this report. For the purpose of this study all job titles have been normalised. For example: Game Artist would also  include various titles such as Technical Artist, Senior Game Artist and 3D Artist.

  1. ONS – How Many Jobs Are Paid Below Living Wage In Your Area
  2. Glassdoor Research - Pay Transparency: Good for Business, Great for Workers