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Which are the Highest Paid Jobs in HR?


For those in a HR career, much time is spent considering others’ pay packet, but what can HR professionals themselves expect to earn early in their careers as junior managers and later on as senior managers?, the salary benchmarking site, gives an insight into the salaries of those working in HR.

Junior Managers (0-5 Years of Experience)

Sector Salary Bonus
Energy, Chemicals, Environmental £38,600 £0
Insurance £37,000 £2,200
Banking & Financial Services £36,850 £2,250
Manufacturing & Industrials £33,000 £1,250
Technology & Telecoms £32,800 £0
Consulting & Outsourcing £30,000 £0
Law Practice £28,000 £0
Media, Communication, Music, Gaming £27,500 £0
Construction, Real Estate, Architecture £26,752 £0
Consumer Goods & FMCG £25,750 £0
Services, Tourism, Restaurants £25,250 £0
Charity & Not For Profit £24,736 £0
Retail & Trade £24,200 £0
Public sector & Education £23,000 £0
  • And the top paying sectors are: Insurance & banking top the table, pegging their junior recruitment in their HR departments with other high paying jobs in the industry such as places on front office graduate Analyst programmes.
  • With bonuses to boot! Not only are Insurance & banking the best paying HR sectors for juniors, they are also some of the only sectors to offer bonuses early on in their HR employees career, again probably mimicking the sectors’ practices.

Senior Managers (10-15 Years of Experience).

Sector Salary Bonus
Insurance £99,000 £19,894
Banking & Financial Services £88,500 £28,000
Technology & Telecoms £85,000 £15,000
Retail & Trade £80,500 £11,000
Manufacturing & Industrials £79,000 £3,083
Consulting & Outsourcing £77,500 £3,000
Public sector & Education £61,500 £0
Charity & Not For Profit £41,000 £0
  • Increased pay spreads: As HR professionals move up through the ranks to senior managerial positions, HR salaries become much more polarised with as much as a £60,000 gap in base salary between Insurance & banking and Charity positions
  • Competing with front office? With bonuses averaging £28,000, HR pay flirts with front office bonuses. Coupled with the highest salaries (£90,000) in the HR profession, HR pay inches close to average M&A packages currently standing at £148,000 (bonus+fixed salary)

Gender gap in HR departments

This study has found that on average – and based solely on salary (excluding bonus), men are paid 21% more than women in HR professions. A surprising fact considering HR departments are directly responsible for informing gender and diversity policies.

Declining HR salaries – An activity under threat?

Since 2011, HR managers salaries have dropped from a median of £75,000 to £56,000, which could be explained by the development of effective HR software and systems, competition from cheaper RPO services and the lack of personnel growth over the period.

Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & COO at said:

‘HR careers range from working for a recruitment firm or as part of an internal HR department, across a wide range of sectors and in very different stress levels. In banking, HR departments are usually under pressure from line managers who resent HR’s intervention in the recruitment process. From our findings though, it seems HR salaries take the extra stress into account with both high fixed and discretionary pay. Beyond HR salaries stands a wider issue of the job description itself and how it is currently being redefined through new tech tools and processes with the need to have a presence on Glassdoor or monitor staff mood. We certainly expect HR as a career to morph substantially in the coming years’.

Methodology: We compared the salaries of 336 Junior Managers, and 147 Senior Managers, in the UK.


Chris is a digital marketing and publishing whizz by trade, having worked alongside the Automotive, Information Security and Software Asset Management sectors.

Specialising in data analysis and social media, he combines an analytical approach with a creative flair to achieve the best results. With a keen interest in Technology and Politics, Chris is constantly on the look-out for the latest stories around change and innovation.

As a lover of all things innovative, he has developed a keen eye for spotting the latest trends and hot topics. He sources and reads the latest news and thought-leadership articles from the world of recruitment before sharing them with the social media population.


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