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News & opinion

16 JAN 2019

Contribute your professional insight: what will 2019 bring?

The 2018 UK Rewards and Attitudes Survey showed salaries for UK property professionals increased in 2018, reaching a 10-year high, with RICS chartered status continuing to boost wages. We want your knowledge to bolster our insight into the market strength in 2019.

2018 salary survey - key findings:

  • Salaries increased for professionals across all sectors to a 10-year high.
  • Working as an 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.

10-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.

What did we find out in 2018?

Salary survey-Average base salary by membership
Average salary by membership
Salary survey-Base salary by region
Average salary by region
Salary survey-Bonuses received
Bonuses received over the last twelve months

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. While 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. While 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 survey continues the success of earlier surveys; 6,905 UK surveying professionals participated online between November 2017 and January 2018, making this the largest survey of its type in the industry.

Besides statistics on current salaries, recent salary increases, bonuses and employment package benefits, the results give an insight into wider issues that are important to professionals in their role and their attitudes toward employment.