Media Salary Survey: Are you being paid what you are worth?

Posted on January 13, 2012


Stuck in one of the worst recessions of all time this year’s salary survey, which has been produced by media recruitment specialist Sylex, paints a slighter brighter picture for the industry.

edia Salary Survey: what should you be paid?
edia Salary Survey: what should you be paid?

After a 2010 that finally saw pay and recruitment freezes lifted last year, 2011 was witness to a number of salary increases across the media sector.

In this first part of Sylex’s annual survey we focus on how salaries fared in 2011 for those employees working at media agencies.

The survey sample, which has been taken from a range of candidates and job opportunities that have been in the marketplace for the past 12 months, covers the top 20 media agencies, independent agencies, and takes into account both international and digital roles.

The results have shown that average salaries started to increase across the board except for those in the most junior and senior levels.

At entry level there has been a 0.3% drop in average earnings with the highest salary being £19,500. This can be explained by the increased number of candidates vying for significantly less roles.

However, one of the biggest increases was for those employees with six to 12 months experience, who have seen an average increase of more than 4% with the top level rising by £2,000.

Sylex believes this can be attributed to a lower number of entry level employees being taken on in the previous year, which in turn lead to a shortage of candidates at this level whilst demand for junior employees has risen, meaning those with more experience can negotiate higher pay packets.

Impressively the biggest increase was for those workers with one to two years experience, who witnessed an average rise of 11.4%, while employees with three to four years also saw a healthy bump with an average upturn of 5%, and those with six years plus experience also saw a substantial rise.

In complete contrast it appears that most of the high earners have been culled and as a result those at the most senior level, which includes business and client director roles, have seen a 6.5% decrease in their average salaries, which means the minimum salary dropping from £60,000 to £53,000.

While the survey highlights the fact that the most junior and senior roles have seen decreases the overall picure of salaries in the market is looking more positive. Hopefully this momentum will continue throughout 2012, particularly with regards to the advertising work that is expected to become available around the Olympics.

The full breakdown of the 2011 salaries can be seen here:

Job title/level Min (£) Max (£) Average (£)
Graduate 18,000 19,500 18,250
Assistant (6-12 months) 18,000 25,000 21,300
Planner/buyer(1-2 years) 22,000 30,000 25,450
Planner/buyer (2-3 years) 24,000 35,000 28,900
Planner/buyer (3-4 years) 24,000 40,000 32,770
Manager (4-6 years) 33,250 55,000 43,150
Group head/account director (6 years+) 42,000 75,000 57,550
Client/media/business director 53,000 160,000 87,300

Next week Media Week will reveal the breakdown of the salary survey for media owners.

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