Professional salaries grow by 3.6%

11th October 2016

Average starting salaries for professional roles have grown by a composite rate of 3.68% in the past three years, according to the recruitment specialist Robert Half. Salaries for professional roles in finance and accounting, financial services, technology and administration are predicted to grow by a further 2.1% in 2017.

Starting salaries for accountancy and finance roles are predicted to rise on average by 2.9% across 100+ positions in SMEs and large businesses. The most difficult areas to recruit for according to UK CFOs3 are compliance (cited by 21%), accounting (20%) and business and financial analysis (19%) and this is reflected in higher than average predicted salary rises for financial planning and analysis managers (5.8%), group accountants (3.8%) and financial analysts (3.8%). Salary rises for compliance roles range from 2.5% for compliance managers to 3.0% for compliance associates.

 Salaries are predicted to continue rising for finance and accounting professionals across the board and businesses are eager to hire candidates with the right cultural fit along with technical expertise and experience. Part-qualified candidates looking to advance their careers with the same company are seeing their starting salary offers increase.

 Table accountancy and finance highest salary rises by role

Top three

2016 UK average

2017 UK average

% change

Financial planning and analysis manager

£63,750 – £74,250

£64,000 – £82,000


Financial controller

£57,500 – £69,250

£59,500 – £72,750


Commercial financial controller

£75,750 – £88,250

£76,250 – £94,250


The emergence of the challenger banking sector and fintech in general is creating strong opportunities for professionals with retail banking skills. This is putting further pressure on the ‘traditional’ financial services sector when competing for new employees. Starting salaries in the sector remain high and are predicted to continue their upward trajectory by an average of 1.7% across all specialisms.

The highest salaries for finance and accounting roles in the financial services sector include those for internal audit managers (3.7%) and financial accountants with up to three years’ Post Qualified Experience (3.6%); the highest salaries for risk professionals include those for senior operational risk managers (5.2%) and operational risk managers (4.3%); and for banking operations roles, operations managers (2.3%) and futures clearing/broker reconciliations specialists (2.3%).

 Table financial services highest salary rises by role

Top three

2016 UK average

2017 UK average

% change

Senior operational risk managers

£80,000 – £115,250

£85,000 – £120,500


Operational risk manager

£60,000 – £90,500

£62,000 – £95,000


Internal audit manager

£79,250 – £104,750

£84,500 – £106,250


Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director of Robert Half UK, UAE and South America, said “Productivity and growth are today’s premium business mantras and the growing skills shortage is one of the key challenges for any organisation to overcome. Competition for the best people is intensifying and as this year’s guide demonstrates, salaries for hard to fill roles continue to rise and outpace the average salary by a significant margin.”

More details from the report can be found here.