Hays UK jobs and employment blog


Which jobs are set to get the biggest pay rises in 2020?

By Simon Winfield, Managing Director, Hays UK & Ireland


As we approach 2020, market uncertainty remains and the end isn’t yet in sight. Despite this, organisations up and down the country are continuing to invest in people to adapt to a changing world of work, and with that investment comes salary increases.

The Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 guide shows that, over the last year, 88% of employers experienced some form of skills shortages when hiring, and the primary obstacle they expect to face in the next 12 months will continue to be a shortage of suitable candidates.

As a result of these ongoing skills shortages in niche areas, employers have had to look at the packages they offer and many salaries have increased to allow companies to secure top talent. The other good news is that more employers increased salaries last year than expected – 76% awarded pay rises in 2019, compared to 72% who thought they would the year before.

Technology roles dominate top ten salary increases

Overall, salaries across the UK rose by an average of 1.8%, just shy of last year’s 1.9% average increase. However, there are a number of professionals who received double digit increases and the top role received an increase of over 13% - a significant pay rise by anybody’s standards! But, which roles are getting the highest pay increases and what do you need to do to secure them?  

In 2019, eight out of the top ten salary increases were in tech roles. Perhaps not surprising given the widespread digital transformation projects, which continue to shape both our personal and work lives. There simply aren’t enough people with the right technical skills to meet the demand from employers. Competition for talent with digital skills is fierce and set to continue, given that three quarters of organisations across the UK say digital transformation is a focus for them.

Other roles in the top ten list were in marketing, optimisation managers and SEO/PPC executives both received salary rises of above 5%.       

The top ten roles receiving the highest pay increases are:

  1. Technical Lead – C#, – 13.3%
  2. Software Architect – C#, – 12.5%
  3. CTO (SME) – 11.1%
  4. Junior Web Developer – PHP/Ruby/Perl/etc – 9.5%
  5. Software Engineer – C/C++/Python etc – 9.1%
  6. Senior Front End Developer – JavaScript/HTML/CSS/etc – 8.1%
  7. Optimisation Manager – 7.1%
  8. Web Developer – PHP/Ruby/Perl/etc – 7.1%
  9. Front End Developer - JavaScript/HTML/CSS/etc – 7.1%
  10. SEO/PPC Executive – 6.5%

Increase your value, develop your soft skills

The top ten list features job titles with technical skill sets that can be difficult to learn and transfer across from other jobs. But, that’s not to say that you don’t have options. Our guide shows that employers are on the lookout for professionals who are able to demonstrate strong communication and interpersonal, problem-solving, flexibility and adaptability and people management skills, to name a few. These skills allow you to add value no matter what new technology is being invested in, and they are highly sought after. Taking the time to further develop these skills will help you to stand out to employers and negotiate a better salary in 2020.

For further insights into salaries and employment trends for 2020 request your copy of the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trend 2020 guide.

About this author

Simon joined Hays in 2006, having commenced his recruitment career in 1993. Initially responsible for our businesses in Western Australia and Northern Territory, Simon relocated to the UK in 2014 where he was responsible for our operations in the West & Wales and Ireland, before being appointed Managing Director of the UK & Ireland business in 2018.



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