Professional salaries expected to grow by a further 2.17% in 2017

Highest salary rises in technology roles include software developers and mobile app developers

Average starting salaries for professional roles have grown by a composite rate of 3.68% in the past three years, with salaries for professional roles in finance and accounting, financial services, technology and administration predicted to grow by a further 2.1% in 2017.
That’s according to the latest Robert Half 2017 Salary Guide, which is thought to be the most comprehensive and authoratitive resource on starting salaries and recruitment trends in finance and accounting, financial services, information technology and administration.
According to the Edinburgh-based recruitment agency, its Salary Guide enables employers and employees to benchmark starting salaries for more than 275 different permanent professional roles on a national and regional basis.
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.”
Accountancy and finance
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 CFOs (chief financial officers) 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 1: 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
Financial services
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 2: 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
The huge emphasis on digitisation within organisations across all sectors means companies are heavily focused on growing their technology talent pool. Integration of technology capabilities into business models also means that professionals at all levels need to be more client facing and act as business partners with the rest of the organisation. The need for professionals to build new systems is creating a war for the best talent and salaries for developers and junior developers are predicted to grow above average at 4.5% and 4.2% respectively, with salaries for mobile app developers set to rise by 4.3%.
Table 3: technology highest salary rises by role
Top three
2016 UK average
2017 UK average
% change
£26,750 – £45,500
£27,500 – £48,000
Mobile app developers
£32,500- £61,500
£36,000 – £62,000
Junior developers
£19,000 – £28,500
£19,500 – £30,000
Administration and office support
The need for more clearly defined administrative roles is set to continue in 2017 with specialists in telemarketing/telesales expected to reap the highest salary rises at 3.2%, while customer services supervisors (2.6%) and sales assistants (2.4%) will be rewarded for the part they play in retaining happy customers and driving new business. Almost half (46%) of HR directors expect to increase salaries for professional level employees in the year ahead.
Table 4: administration and office support highest salary rises by role
Top three
2016 UK average
2017 UK average
% change
£16,750 – £17,000
£17,000 – £23,000
Customer services supervisor
£20,250- £27,500
£21,000 – £28,000
Sales assistant
£17,250 – £24,750
£18,000 – £25,000
Sheridan added: “As ever the 2017 Salary Guide provides a fascinating overview of developing trends in the UK professional employment sector, from above average salary rises predicted for software developers and mobile app developers building systems to satisfy the digitisation agenda to increased remuneration for the customer service, sales and marketing staff who help to drive commercial business activity.
“As businesses undergo planning and recruitment strategies for 2017, they can turn to the latest Salary Guide to ensure they know where the salary hotspots are likely to be and whether they are paying top performers the salaries that competitors are likely to offer in the year ahead.”
For help with tax, accounting and finance, including staff salaries, in Fife, Edinburgh and the Lothians, contact Condies, which specialises in all of the above.

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Hannah Hamilton, who is a former Fife College student, is a reporter and assistant content editor for Scotland B2B, specialising in B2B news and features. She can be contacted via