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The average salary in the UK based on your age (and how to get it)


Figures reveal the salary averages across the UK based on age (Image: Getty Images)

Talking about money – particularly salaries – can be daunting.

It’s not always clear where you stand and what other people are earning, but figures show the salary averages across the UK based on age – and the results are somewhat surprising.  

Inevitably, those aged between 18 and 21 average the lowest at £22,932. There’s quite a steep jump for 22-29 though, at £30,316, increasing again for 30-39 at £37,544.

It’s good news for those aged 40-49: this age bracket has the highest average earning potential at £40,040, though surprisingly this decreases for 50-59 at £37,804.

It plummets further for those aged over 60+, with this cohort averaging £33,852 – lower than those aged between 30 and 39.

The average salary in the UK by age

18-21: £22,932

22-29: £30,316

30-39: £37,544

40-49: £40,040

50-59: £37,804

60+: £33,852.

The research, conducted by Instant Offices, also analysed how salary averages can differ depending on the industry.

Financial and insurance activities experienced the largest revenue growth between 2023 and 2024 at 195.5% – so if you’re working in that sector, that could mean fantastic things for your income.

In second place came mining and quarrying, which underwent a 10.1% increase, whilst transportation and storage, administrative and support service activities, and accommodation and food service activities all grew by 6.3%.

So, if you’re below the average salary range for your age bracket, how can you get closer to it and negotiate a raise?

It’s not an equal playing field, and factors like education, gender, company size and geographic location can also influence salary averages, with the data showing that the gender pay gap significantly impacts those aged between 30 and 59.

However, there are actionable tips that you can take to get closer to a salary that works for you.

Reflect on your performance

When it comes to securing a raise, Amanda Augustine, careers expert at TopCV, first advises to reflect on your performance. Make sure to keep a note of everything you’ve accomplished in that role so that, when you’re inevitably asked to justify the extra cost, you have the receipts ready in the form of a ‘brag book.’

‘What goals have you met or exceeded since the last time your salary was under review? How has your work helped to cut costs, grow profits, increase efficiency, expand brand recognition, or retain business for the organisation?’ Amanda tells Metro.co.uk.

Do your research

Again, make sure you’ve got the figures to back it up. If you can prove that the average salary for your role is higher than what you’re being paid, then that’ll get you one step closer. Using websites like Glassdoor, Reed, PayScale and Check-a-Salary can help with this purpose.

‘Pay rises are typically granted to employees based on two factors: an employee’s performance and the current market rates. In addition to evaluating your recent performance at work, it’s important to conduct some online research to determine the market rate for the role you’re performing at present,’ Amanda adds.

Keep your emotions in check

Money isn’t just numbers: it’s emotions, too. But, as Amanda advises, keeping a level head when entering these discussions might get you to your goals quicker.

‘Remind yourself that your request for a raise is not personal; it’s strictly business,’ Amanda says.

‘Be aware of your tone of voice and body language – the last thing you want to do is convey anger, frustration, or a high level of anxiety when making your request. You have nothing to apologise for when requesting a pay rise.’

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