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Having been one of the first generations to pay for higher education tuition fees alongside increasing unemployment and rising inflation, you may be feeling under considerable financial pressure. However, when deciding on a career path the important factors that influence your decision might be your career development; working environment and values; the need for change and of course lifestyle (i.e. pay, location and flexibility).

Many of you will be concerned with what salary you can earn in different professions. This is an important question, especially if you are dealing with student loans and a whole variety of new expenses. We take a look at entry level salaries in management and what you may earn as you progress as well as differences in sector and location.

But remember, salary is not everything, many companies will offer a range of benefits to form your employment package.

Overall there has been a small increase in salaries but this is lower than that of 2010. Perhaps an indication that the turmoil in national and international economies is subduing salary increases. Retail and HR are the only two sectors which have done better this year.

Junior positions

Salaries for junior members of staff start at around £17,500 pa. This rises quickly as you progress to manager, with the average salary at £62,000 pa. There are regional and sector differences in pay as you can see from the graphs below:

Senior positions

Basic managerial level pay averages at £62,000 but as you progress to Director level, average salaries range from between £110,423 (Public sector) and £170,618 (Banking & Finance). This difference shouldn’t be of any great surprise as banking and finance has traditionally been much more affluent sectors.

Regional and sector differences

The biggest rise in pay has been seen in the South East with 3.9% for 2011 from the previous year. Other areas range between 2.1-2.5% except Northern Ireland which has seen the lowest rise of 1.3%.

Regional average salaries

UK £36,413
Wales £23,857
East Anglia £25,094
North West £29,129
North East £29,813
Northern Ireland £32,019
Scotland £34,502
Midlands £34,631
South West £35,856
South East £36,537
Outer London £39,755
Inner London £47,021

If you’ve read our article about the future of management it will be no surprise to see that the retail sector have had the largest increase in pay at 2.8%. However, IT managers are the highest earning.

Sector average salaries

National £36,413
Manufacturing £33,715
Retail £33,912
Public sector & charities £33,967
HR £37,281
Banking & Finance £37,288
IT £45,481

Salary calculator tool

The CMI have an introduced a new tool to calculate your salary and compare it against average national figures. Take a look at the Salary Check. 

Source: 2011 National Management Salary Survey, published by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and XpertHR
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