Salaries for UK property professionals increased in 2018, to a 10 year high, with RICS chartered status continuing to boost wages, according to the latest survey by RICS and Macdonald & Company.

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Survey in brief:

  • Salaries increased for professionals across all sectors to a 10 year high
  • Working as a RICS qualified professional led to a 21% higher base salary
  • Gender pay gap still large among senior posts but gap continues to close in younger professionals.

Ten year high

In the 2018 Salary Survey, professionals’ – covering 42 professional strands of property -  base salaries grew on average by 12% to £58,633; levels not seen since the 2009 report, post financial crash.

The RICS & Macdonald & Company Salary Survey assesses salary, rewards and attitudes from across the entire sector, taking results from almost 7,000 people of the 42 professionals strands of property, including Rural Practice, Commercial property, Facilities Management, Building Surveying, Construction, Asset Management, Quantity Surveying, Industrial Agency and Residential.

Wage growth increase

The survey reported that wage growth increased in all areas of the UK this year, with Northern Ireland seeing the greatest wage growth, closely followed by the South East and London. The average wage packages were shown to have increased by £6,271 on average with those with higher qualifications seeing the greatest growth.

Those who reported receiving a pay rise in the 2018 survey, received an average increase of 6.3% with remuneration packages also boosting professional base rates. Bonuses also increased to an average of £15,703, with those working in Marketing and International Project Marketing seeing the greatest bonus pay-outs.

Once again this year, the survey highlights the benefits of being professionally qualified with RICS professionals earning 21% more than their counterparts. Of those who received a pay rise in the last year, 14.2% did so through gaining professional qualifications.

Gender pay gap

This year, for those aged 26 and under the gender pay gap remains at 3.5%, which is encouraging for new entrants to the sector. Working in a diverse work place environment also ranked higher on respondent’s agendas this year.

The survey as a whole shows however, that on average male property professionals earn 30% more than their female counterparts, with those in higher positions seeing a greater disparity in wage difference. Whilst this is higher than what was recorded in the 2017 survey, this is partly explained by the fact that the 2018 sample saw more respondents from a higher seniority and the Greater London area.

As a sector, property continues to offer a diverse career for people making it an attractive sector to work in. Whilst pay continues to be professionals’ top priority, a job offering a ‘range of interesting work’ and management style continues to rank highly when employees are assessing their job aspects. Attractive benefit packages also appealed with respondents citing contributory pensions, work phones, and paid subscription fees as taking precedent over flexitime, discounted lunches and profit share.

For the second year on the bounce over half of respondents believe their company will increase headcount in 2018 with companies focusing on entry level and graduate talent and increasing roles at the associate/staff level.

Looking ahead, on average, 28% of respondents expect an increase in economic activity in the coming year, with those working in Northern Ireland, South West, Wales and the Midlands being the most optimistic.

The latest results from this survey show the built environment continues to be an attractive sector to work in with professionals’ pay hitting highs not seen since the financial crisis. As headcount is once again expected to increase in 2018, more employers are placing greater focus on attracting and retaining talent, with attractive pay and benefit packages. However, organisations must embrace an offering beyond an attractive salary and benefits package if we are going to truly diversify the profession and meets the needs of our future.

In 2018, the gender pay gap still remains evident and whilst it is significantly less for those under 26, more still needs to be done. People should be able to bring their whole self to work in an inclusive environment, celebrating their individual talent irrespective of differences. For the property profession to be a world leader in Diversity and Inclusion we need to place diversity at the heart of an organisation and ensure we retain our talent and build off the great advances we are seeing with our younger professionals.
This annual survey remains the benchmark survey of remuneration and attitudes across the UK property industry with almost seven thousand respondents. With the demographic of respondents similar to the 2017 survey the results offer a robust comparison to last year.

In terms of salary increases, 65% received a salary increase of an average of 6.3%, similar to the past three years. Surprisingly only 4.3% of those who got an increase did so as a result of an annual salary review, whereas 23.4% received an increase having attempted to resign or having found another job. A surprising 41% of those working for consultancy/advisors are likely to move jobs in the next twelve months with 74% citing salary as being the principal reason for the move.

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