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2018 UK Salary Survey Key Findings

2018 UK Salary Survey Key Findings

2018 Proposal Writer Salary Survey – Compare your Proposal Writer Salary.

There have been some fascinating changes in our profession since we conducted the last survey in 2015, and on the whole, I am pleased to report that the changes are positive. As well as outlining average salaries based on core job titles, these top-level statistics provide an indication of trends against variables such as location, education, and professional certification. For the first time, we have also collected information on the mindset of respondents, exploring whether they believe they will receive a pay rise this year and whether Brexit will impact their earnings. The detailed report and analysis will be released in February.

Key Findings

• The average industry salary across all permanent full-time roles is £51,816. This represents an 8% increase since 2015 (£48,088).

• The average salary for women is £47,211 (9.5% increase from 2015 (£43,099)). For men, the average is £57,321 (7.5% increase from 2015 (£53,339)). Across all those surveyed, men on average earn 21.5% more than women (the difference was 23.8% in 2015).

• In real terms, basic salary increases have outpaced inflation for the first time in our ten years of surveying salaries. Tracking inflation (Source:, the 2015 average female salary would now equate to £45,737. The male salary would be £56,603. In real terms, men effectively have 1% more buying power whilst women have 3% more.

• The average man in our industry is 41 (41 in 2015), and the average woman is 37 (38 in 2015). The average age of all professionals surveyed is 39. There is insufficient data to report on gender variants.

• Heads of Proposal Management are now the best-paid professionals within our industry, earning £73,436. Heads of Bid Management are a close second earning £71,149. Bid / Proposal Coordinators are the lowest paid earning £30,362. Bid Managers earn £54,358 (7% increase) whilst Proposal Managers earn £46,699 (4.5% increase). Bid / Proposal Writers earn £38,429 (9% increase).

• Heads of Bid Management are the best-paid contractors earning £678 per day. Proposal Managers earn £553 per day (5% increase). Bid Managers earn £549 per day (3% increase). Bid / Proposal Writers earn £413 per day (8% increase).

• Professionals located in Greater London (inside the M25) attract the highest basic salaries – £58,803 (13% increase). North East England recorded the lowest salaries – £40,263 (static since 2015).

• Over 72% (up from 67% in 2015) of participants have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. 93% have A-Levels or higher. Less than 0.5% are currently on an Apprenticeship.

• 51% (up from 27%) of respondents have achieved APMP Foundation Level or higher. 24% of respondents feel the APMP Certification programme isn’t applicable to their current role (down from 37%). Disappointingly, 24% said their organisations do not support the training (previously 16%).

• 46% of respondents (down from 75%) regularly work unsocial hours but are able to claim it back as time off in lieu. 17% of respondents still work late on a regular basis. Only 8% work regular 9-5 hours.

• 48% (same as 2015) of respondents have no personal development plan. This increases to 60% for self-employed contractors.

• 59% of respondents haven’t attended any training courses during the past 12 months. This rose to 73% for self-employed contractors. Only 1 in 4 respondents had attended some form of external training in the past 12 months.

• 3% of respondents are unemployed / seeking work (2% in 2015). 81% are permanently employed (down from 87%). 16% are self-employed or in temporary work (up from 11%).

• 61% of respondents are either ‘Satisfied’ or ‘Very Satisfied’ with their current role. 44% are not satisfied or felt their current basic / day-rate could be better.

• 76% of those surveyed would choose work-life balance over pure financial reward (94% in 2015). Only 13% state career progression / financial reward as their main driver.

• 334 (up from 298) different job title variations were recorded in the survey.

• Brexit worries appear to be having little impact on the mindset of the profession. 28% of respondents feel ‘Extremely Positive’ about their prospects in the next 12 months whilst only 10% are ‘Extremely Negative’.

• Balancing all relevant individual, company and market factors, a resounding 31% of respondents feel ‘Extremely Positive’ about securing a pay rise in 2018. Only 2% are extremely negative and expect a pay cut.

* Please note all salaries / contractor rates discussed are an average of basic salary / day-rates unless otherwise stated.

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