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Pay in HE

UCEA regularly analyses pay data to understand how the sector compares with the wider economy and how different occupations fare against their counterparts in other sectors. Our interactive data presentation covers pay by sector and occupation and enables viewers to select different time periods, pay measures and comparison groups. The presentation is best viewed in full-screen mode which can be activated by clicking the icon in the bottom right corner.

Pay in Higher Education (presentation opens in new window)

Our analysis of pay data shows that:

  • Average earnings in higher education are higher than the average for both the public and private sector and have grown faster than in the wider economy. Average earnings in the UK economy were 85% of those in higher education in 2017 compared to 93% in 2002.
  • Over the period between 2002 and 2017, median earnings in the sector have exceeded inflation by 15%. In the wider economy earnings increased by just 2% ahead of inflation during this period.
  • Full-time academic staff were paid £46,924 at the median in 2016-17. The median full-time basic pay for professors was £73,014 with other academic staff paid £42,955.
  • The pay premium for higher education teaching staff over other teaching occupations has increased over the past decade with secondary school teachers earning 75% of their median earnings compared to 89% in 2002.
  • Average earnings for staff in other occupations in higher education are typically higher than for employees in similar occupations outside the sector. For example, science, engineering and production technicians in the wider economy earn 98% of the median hourly earnings for the equivalent group in higher education.
  • In the decade to 2016-17, average full-time salaries for academic and professional services staff have remained broadly in line with inflation.

The charts in the presentation are based on the pay data information originally collected and analysed for the 2008 Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES) Review of Higher Education (HE) Finance & Pay Data. This review was conducted as a consequence of the 2006 pay agreement and sought to establish commonly accepted data on the remuneration of HE staff.