Top Resources & Reports to Define Salary Expectations in the UK

Are you contemplating a career change or negotiating a salary for a new job in the United Kingdom? It’s crucial to have a clear understanding of salary expectations in your desired field and location. Thankfully, there are several valuable resources and reports available to help you define salary expectations accurately.

Defining salary expectations is a crucial step in any job search or career advancement journey. It allows individuals to negotiate fair compensation and make informed decisions. Fortunately, there are several resources and reports available in the UK that provide valuable salary insights.

In this article, we will explore the top resources and reports to help you define your salary expectations accurately.

Government Resources

Government entities play a significant role in gathering and publishing salary data. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is a prominent source of information in the UK. The ONS provides comprehensive reports and publications on various industries and occupations. Their data covers a wide range of factors such as average salaries, wage growth, and regional variations. By accessing ONS resources, job seekers can gain a clear understanding of salary trends and benchmarks in their desired field.

For example, the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) published by the ONS provides detailed information on earnings by occupation, industry, and region. The ASHE data is based on a sample of employee jobs, covering approximately 1% of the UK workforce. This report offers valuable insights into median earnings, pay percentiles, and gender pay gaps, allowing individuals to gauge their salary expectations.

Another valuable government resource is the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Although primarily focused on tax-related information, the HMRC also provides insights into salaries. Understanding tax brackets and how they impact net income can help individuals estimate their take-home pay accurately. The HMRC’s website offers a tax calculator that allows individuals to input their salary and determine their net income after taxes. By referring to HMRC resources, job seekers can align their salary expectations with tax implications.

Office for National Statistics (ONS)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is a reputable government agency that provides comprehensive data and statistics on various aspects of the UK economy, including average salaries. Their Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) is particularly useful for understanding salary ranges across different industries and occupations. By consulting the ONS website, you can access the latest data on average salaries by region, industry, and job role, enabling you to benchmark your salary expectations effectively.

Industry-Specific Salary Reports

Many professional bodies and associations in the UK conduct regular salary surveys and reports tailored to specific industries. For example, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) releases comprehensive reports on HR salaries, while the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) provides salary guides for professionals in the property and construction sectors. These industry-specific reports offer detailed insights into salary ranges, benefits, and other compensation-related information. By utilizing these reports, individuals can benchmark their expectations against industry standards and negotiate from an informed position.

The CIPD’s “Reward Management and Pay Practices” survey provides a wealth of information on salary trends, bonuses, and benefits within the HR profession. The survey covers various job roles, experience levels, and regions across the UK, offering a comprehensive view of HR salaries.

In addition to professional bodies, recruitment agencies and job boards are valuable sources of salary information. These platforms often publish salary guides and reports based on their extensive industry knowledge and market research. Examples include Hays Salary Guides and Robert Half Salary Guides. These reports cover a wide range of professions and provide detailed breakdowns of salaries based on experience, location, and job title. While using recruitment agencies’ data, it is important to consider factors such as sample size, industry biases, and regional variations.

Online Salary Research Tools

The digital landscape offers numerous salary research tools to aid job seekers in their quest for accurate salary expectations. Salary comparison websites like Glassdoor, PayScale, and Indeed Salary Search provide crowdsourced salary data. Users can input job titles, locations, and experience levels to access average salary ranges. These platforms also provide insights into additional factors such as benefits, bonuses, and employee reviews. It’s important to keep in mind that these websites may have certain limitations and potential biases due to self-reported data.

For example, Glassdoor is a popular platform where employees voluntarily share their salary information. It offers a range of filters to narrow down salary data based on factors like company size, industry, and location. Users can also find detailed reviews and ratings of employers, providing a holistic view of compensation and work culture.

Online forums and communities can also be valuable resources for salary research. Websites like Reddit, Quora, and professional networking platforms such as LinkedIn host discussions where individuals share their salary experiences and insights. Participating in these discussions can provide a firsthand perspective on industry-specific salaries and help individuals gauge their own expectations. However, it’s crucial to verify information and consider the credibility of the sources.


PayScale is an online platform that offers real-time salary data and insights. Their extensive salary database covers a wide range of job titles, industries, and experience levels. By utilizing PayScale, you can access valuable information such as salary ranges, median salaries, and factors influencing compensation, including education, experience, and certifications. PayScale also provides a salary negotiation guide, helping you navigate the negotiation process confidently.


Glassdoor is a popular website that offers an extensive collection of employee-generated reviews, salaries, and company insights. This platform allows you to explore anonymous salary reports submitted by employees in various companies and industries across the UK. Glassdoor’s salary information can help you gain a deeper understanding of the salaries offered by specific employers and identify trends in your desired field. Additionally, you can read company reviews to gather information about workplace culture and employee satisfaction.

Reed Salary Checker

Reed, a well-known UK-based job site, provides a useful salary checker tool on their website. The Reed Salary Checker allows you to input your job title, location, and experience level to receive an estimated salary range based on data from their extensive job listings. This tool can provide you with a realistic expectation of salary ranges for your desired position and location.

Robert Walters Salary Survey

The Robert Walters Salary Survey is an annual report that provides comprehensive insights into salary trends across various industries and job roles in the UK. This report covers a wide range of sectors, including finance, technology, legal, and more. By reviewing this report, you can gain valuable insights into salary benchmarks, regional variations, and factors affecting compensation. The Robert Walters Salary Survey is a reliable resource for understanding salary expectations in the UK job market.

Networking and Informational Interviews

While online resources are valuable, networking and conducting informational interviews can provide unique insights into salary expectations. By connecting with industry professionals through networking events or LinkedIn, individuals can gain access to insider information that may not be publicly available. Engaging in informational interviews with professionals in their desired field allows individuals to ask specific questions about salary ranges, benefits, and industry trends. This firsthand knowledge can greatly enhance their understanding of realistic salary expectations.

Remember, it’s essential to consider factors such as your qualifications, experience level, location, and industry-specific dynamics when determining your salary expectations. Use these resources as a starting point, and tailor your expectations accordingly. Best of luck in your career endeavors!


Defining salary expectations in the UK requires thorough research and consideration of various resources and reports. By utilizing government resources like the ONS and HMRC, individuals can access official data on salary trends and tax implications. Industry-specific salary reports from professional bodies and recruitment agencies offer valuable benchmarks. Online salary research tools and forums provide crowdsourced data and firsthand insights. Lastly, networking and informational interviews enable individuals to gather insider information. By combining these resources, job seekers can make well-informed salary negotiations and career decisions.