Research from Ezra, the leading provider of digital coaching, has found that HR professionals are earning more than the average income in just one UK region.

Ezra analysed earnings data looking at the average net income across each region of the UK and then comparing it to the average wage earned by HR and Industrial Relations Officers.

The figures show that across the UK as a whole, HR professionals are taking home an average net salary of £23,584, -6% lower than the wider UK average of £25,123.

Lowest HR Wage vs Regional Average

However, in some areas of the UK, this gap is far larger and Wales is home to the worst rate of HR pay with the average professional in the sector making -17% less (£18,161) than the wider average earnings in Wales (£21,869).

The South East and East Midlands are also home to some of the largest HR pay deficits, with a -16% difference between the average earnings on offer in the sector and the wider average income for both regions.

In fact, there is also a double-digit drop between the average regional earnings and the average earnings of HR professionals in the West Midlands, South West and London.

Highest HR Wage vs Regional Average

Just one region of the UK is home to a rate of HR pay that exceeds the wider regional earnings. Across the North East, the average HR professional currently earns £22,483, 2% higher than the regional average earnings of £22,106.

Best and Worst HR Wage Growth Since 2015

The North East has also seen the biggest increase in the average rate of pay within the HR sector over the last five years, with wages up by 15%.

However, other regions have also seen strong HR wage growth which could soon help readdress the balance when compared to the wider earnings in each region. The West Midlands has seen the average earnings of HR professionals jump by 13% in the last five years, with Scotland also seeing an 11.4% increase.

In contrast, the average pay for HR workers in the South West has dropped by -16.8% since 2015, with the East Midlands (-4.5%), South East (-3.8%) and Wales (-1.6%) also seeing a drop.

Founder of Ezra, Nick Goldberg, commented:

“HR as an industry has become one of the foundations on which business is built and so it’s surprising to see that wages trail the wider average earnings in all but one area of the UK.

The positive trend is that take-home pay of many in the sector has increased over the last five years and this should help address the balance.

With such drastic changes to the way we work currently taking place across the board, we should see the need for HR increase as businesses look to adjust appropriately and professionally in what is a challenging climate.

As they do, the requirement for HR expertise to aid in this adjustment should help boost both their value to UK businesses, as well as the salary they are paid for imparting this knowledge.”

Location 2015 2020 Salary Difference
Average Salary Average HR Net Salary Average Salary Average HR Net Salary Increase in HR Salary (2015 to 2020) HR Net Salary vs Wider Regional Average (2020)
North East £19,714 £19,546 £22,106 £22,483 15.0% 2%
West Midlands region £19,973 £18,441 £23,639 £20,864 13.1% -12%
Scotland £21,161 £20,513 £24,028 £22,851 11.4% -5%
London £27,743 £27,715 £32,655 £29,428 6.2% -10%
Yorkshire and the Humber £19,417 £20,346 £22,747 £21,027 3.3% -8%
East of England £23,171 £23,484 £26,159 £24,221 3.1% -7%
North West £20,148 £21,826 £23,120 £22,385 2.6% -3%
Wales £19,319 £18,462 £21,869 £18,161 -1.6% -17%
South East £24,241 £23,863 £27,468 £22,948 -3.8% -16%
East Midlands £20,148 £20,503 £23,333 £19,571 -4.5% -16%
South West £20,160 £24,518 £22,684 £20,399 -16.8% -10%
United Kingdom £21,818 £22,884 £25,123 £23,584 3.1% -6%

By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.