Salary Survey 2014 – Part II – Location, location, location


How much does where you work in the country influence average salary levels for engineers and sales staff? Electronics Weekly’s national survey of salary levels reveals interesting regional variations across the electronics industry, writes Richard Wilson.

Salary Survey 2014 - location location

Salary Survey 2014 – location location

Whether you are a design engineer, sales and market executive or company CEO, you will be able to compare your salary with average salary levels in different regions of the country in this survey which Electronics Weekly has carried out in association with recruitment specialists, European Recruitment.

See also: Electronics Weekly Salary Survey 2014 – The results, part I

The average salary of engineers, managers and sales staff working in the electronics industry has increased by 5% in the last three years to £46,321.

An equivalent survey carried out in 2011 found the national average salary to be £44,161. Earlier surveys in 2007 and 2005 recorded national average salary levels of £39,540 and £36,540, respectively.

Consistently increasing salary levels across the country is a reflection of the increase in business confidence in the electronics sector in the last 12 months, with salaries in the industry are rising at above the annual rate of inflation.

However, the survey indicates definite regional variations in average salary levels. Some regional differences in salary have reduced in the last three years, but some have widened.

How do average salary levels vary across the country?

Respondents by sector

Respondents by sector

The region where electronics design and business skills are most in demand is the South East of England, which includes the Home Counties with Hampshire, Wiltshire, Gloucester and Oxfordshire and an average salary level which more than 8% above the national average reflects this.

The highest regional average was found to be in the South East where the survey recorded a average salary level of £50,228.

As we move from the South East of England to Scotland the average salary level falls by almost 5%. We find a similar differential when we move from East Anglia to the south west.

Still, the average salary in the Scottish electronics industry was found to be £47,882, which is comfortably above the nation average.

This is at an appreciably higher level than average salary levels in the northern regions of England. It is even a high regional average than the Midlands and South West, which has been dubbed “Silicon Gorge” due to the growing number of semiconductor start-ups around Bristol.

This indicates that Scotland retains its status as an important centre for electronics design and manufacture.

Global players retain a presence in Scotland – Texas Instruments at Greenock, Freescale Semiconductor at East Kilbride, Glasgow and Plexus at Kelso.

But similar to other regions of the UK, Scotland has an active start-up community centred largely round the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

In comparison, the northern regions of England have lower average salary levels. Yorkshire and Humberside the average salary level is £42,000.

While in the North East and North West it is closer to £40,000. This is more than 12% below the national average and a surprising 20% less than the average salary level for the Home Counties and South East England.

The average salary in Wales at just over £41,000 was only marginally better than the northern regions England.

The average salary level for the Midlands was found to be £43,051. Although this is more than 5% below the national average it is at a similar level to Greater London.

Also the survey results indicated that salary levels in the Midlands were rising on average marginally faster than in Scotland, East Anglia, the South West and even the South East. Only in Greater London are average salary increases out-stripping the Midlands.

It is interesting to see that an equivalent survey in 2011 found average salaries in Scotland and the South East at similar levels – £47,100 and £47,700, respectively.

New business activity as the economy emerged from recession, the growing demand for skilled engineers and business specialists has pushed up salary levels in the South East

In the last three years the average salary level in the South East has jumped by 5%. Over the same period the average salary level in Scotland has only increased by 1.5%.

Another region to benefit from this renaissance in the electronics sector in the last three years has been East Anglia, home of ARM, CSR and the Cambridge phenomenon. In this region the average salary level jumped by 17% since 2011 to £48,355.

The research was carried out in February and March 2014 by Reed Business Insight. In order to provide a robust sample for the study, research took the form of a quantitative online survey conducted amongst more than 1,000 electronics professionals.

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A copy of the full survey results is available free-of-charge. 

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