Aquent/Vitamin T, the world’s largest specialist recruiter for the marketing industry has published its 2018 salary guide. The data has been compiled based upon 2017 UK placements the company has made for professional marketers, creatives and digital specialists. Aquent has also analysed UK marketing sector salaries from the past three years. It has identified a number of emerging trends.
Firstly, junior salaries have been relatively flat, even within marketing technology/development roles. Notable exceptions are front end developers with a 12 per cent rise over three years, and junior insights and analysis marketers who’ve seen an eight per cent bump. Designers have seen an increase but this is only a paltry five per cent over three years.
For midweight professionals, with over four years’ experience but less than ten, there is more of a mixed picture. Again design roles have seen increases, about eight to nine per cent for graphic, digital, packaging and artworkers in the past year. Motion graphics designers have bucked the trend and seen 16 per cent y-o-y growth. Surprisingly, in the technology category, only front end developers have seen any increase (25 per cent over three years).
Mid-level project and account managers have seen no change in salaries in the past year with the exception of print project managers who’ve seen a seven per cent increase. The salaries for project and account managers are in the range of mid £30,000s to low £40,000s.
Senior professional roles have seen the biggest growth with the highest rate of increase seen by UX architects (47 per cent over three years to an average £70,000). Other jobs that have seen a big rise include CRM Marketers (28 per cent to £67,500), Web Analysts (27 per cent to £70,000) and Packaging and Graphic designers (28 per cent to £35,000 and £45,000 respectively). Event managers have seen a 40 per cent increase bringing their average pay to £67,500.
Senior graphic designers and experienced UX professionals have seen some of the strongest salary growth with UX Architect’s having almost 50 per cent salary growth over the past three years and seeing 17 per cent increase since 2017. Their average salary is now £70,000. Senior graphic designers have seen an almost 30 per cent salary increase to an average of £45,000. However, creative director’s packages along with artworkers and retouchers have not changed in the past three years. The average creative director’s salary is £92,000 and experienced artworkers/retouchers are on about £40,000.
Conversely, middleweight, (four to nine years’ experience) packaging designers and artworkers have seen around a 10 per cent salary growth over the past three years. But integrated and digital designers have had it tougher with a three per cent fall in salaries.
Motion graphic designers of all levels have seen a 16 per cent pay increase over the last three years. Most junior design roles (less than four years’ experience) have seen around a five per cent increase in the past year but this is really a cost of living adjustment after a couple of years without any increase rather than real growth.
Marketing salary growth presents a mixed picture with analysis, CRM and social roles all seeing substantial uptakes. Insights and analysis roles at all levels have seen increases; with 8 per cent for juniors, and a bump of more than a third over three years for senior insights and analysis professionals. Web analysts have seen a 25 per cent increase for the least experienced and approaching 30 per cent for seniors. Social media and community managers have seen salary rises of 5 per cent, raising to 17 per cent for seniors and around 6 per cent for midweight professionals.
Top tier CRM marketers have seen a salary rise of almost 30 per cent bringing average salaries to £67,500.
Mike Berry, UK country manager says: “Marketing is a fast moving, responsive industry and brands have had to react quickly to find new ways to reach their audiences and to assess success. Certain skills are in high demand, driven by the move to digital and increased use of big data, so it’s no surprise roles like developers and analysts have seen large salary increases. While events management may seem an unexpected role to see a big jump this has been driven by the increased demand from brands for more experiential events and the need to reach people in the real world, beyond digital.
He continues: “Employers are keen to recognise and reward talent but they are operating in a challenging market. The overall salary picture for marketing employees is more positive than the broader UK one, where the average salary increase is forecast to be 2.9 per cent.
Berry notes there is a degree of excitement held by candidates who want to work in the creative industries, offering employers a lot of choice at junior levels. This is no doubt a factor in the lack of salary growth in both the past year and over the past three years, however, senior people are always in shorter supply, especially in growing marketing sectors, so employers have had to adjust salaries accordingly. Those with ten years’ or more experience are seeing some large pay rises.