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Digital, creative & tech salary survey 2018

Digital, creative & tech salary survey 2018

Major Player’s annual salary survey, supported by The Drum, is the most comprehensive benchmarking reference tool on salaries and trends in the digital, creative & tech industries.

This year, despite the recent political turbulence with Brexit and the US election, there has been minimal impact on recruitment and hiring. Overall unemployment in the UK has reached a low of 1.44 million. Major Players has experienced a 32% overall increase in the number of permanent and freelance vacancies over the past year.

The report shows some interesting insight across bonuses, job satisfaction, job security and gender differences in pay. There are also some distinct trends across key specialisms. Despite modest growth in the economy, there were still a significant number of pay rises.

The UK’s creative industries contribute almost £90bn net to GDP; it accounts for one in 11 jobs, a rate rising more quickly than all other parts of the economy. There are a large number of these jobs that are also among the least likely to be lost to automation. Employment in the creative industries is still rising, compared to the falling in financial services.

We have seen a rise in demand for specialist talent across many disciplines in performance marketing around big data & analytics and also digital designers. There has been an increase in brands pushing for greater transparency and control of their marketing and as a result they are bringing their talent in-house.

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The majority of companies are actively hiring and around 65% are recruiting for multiple roles either on a permanent or freelance basis.

Pay increases

There has been significant pay increases across all disciplines, either by progression within the same

company or by moving jobs. The highest pay rises were witnessed in digital design (43%) and performance marketing (40%) above the national average of 3%. There were modest increases in project management, marketing and PR.

Why do people leave their jobs?

By far the biggest reason for people wishing to leave their jobs was due to limited career progression in their current role, followed by remuneration.


Automation, voice recognition, AI and augmented reality are all expected to grow. Simplicity in design, moving talent in-house and greater diversity are all featured as important trends. There is also a hope for more flexible working.


The is a rising need for a better work-life balance which has become increasingly more desirable for all, with flexible working the most desirable benefit. This was favoured even over a bonus.


Those in the industry are well-educated – around 84% have a degree or masters.


Budgets are highest in digital marketing – 48% of our survey working in digital marketing have a budget of £1million+.

About the survey

The survey was compiled by Major Players using data collected from 3,000 respondents combined with insight gathered from industry experts. The table represents an overview of job levels and salary averages in all listed disciplines. For full information on specific job roles, visit: or call: 020 7836 4041

This is just a snapshot of the primary roles. For freelance rates and other roles download the full report here.

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