New research reveals that last year, average salaries within the HR sector grew by 1.9 per cent – lower than the UK average salary growth.

Research conducted by Reed and outlined in their Human Resources Salary Guide 2021 has shown COVID-19 did not have a negative impact on overall salary levels within the sector.

Overall, in 2020, the majority of HR jobs advertised a salary that was higher in comparison to previous years. Reed documented a 1.9 per cent growth in HR salaries during this period, rising from £46,355 in 2019 to £47,220 in 2020.

When analysing the HR roles that saw the largest salary increases, training managers (9.9 per cent increase), HR directors (7.2 per cent increase) and health & safety managers (4.8 per cent increase) made the list.

Despite this and the pivotal role that HR played during the crisis, salary growth within this sector was lower than the UK average.

Whilst HR professionals saw an average of a 1.9 per cent increase in their salary, the UK national salary rose by 2.32 per cent in 2020.

Overall, HR was the the third lowest performing sector for salary increases. Conversely, sectors such as sales and procurement and supply chain saw a salary growth of 6.4 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively.

The only sector to see a decrease in the average salary was the accountancy and finance sector which was subjected to a 0.1 per cent fall on average.

Bukola Odofin, Reed Human Resources Expert, said:

HR professionals have faced multiple challenges over the past year. The rapid roll-out of remote working, the increased need for employers to consider employee wellbeing, redundancies, pay cuts and the government furlough scheme are only a few of the issues those in the sector have faced.

2021 will continue to be challenging, but with a vaccine rollout planned, and the job market remaining steady, things are looking up for the profession. The enforced move to remote working has meant that companies across the UK have had to adapt fast. This rapid futureproofing of the workforce has been problematic, but has set businesses in good stead for the future. It also means it’s vital for businesses to attract HR talent to continue to manage workforce change and employee wellbeing.


This research was obtained from Reed’s Human Resources Salary Guide 2021 which analysed over 6.5 million jobs posted on reed.co.uk over the last 3 years.