Newly released data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has unveiled substantial disparities in Human Resources (HR) salaries across England, with the East of England emerging as the top-paying region for HR professionals.

The statistics, analysed by HR software provider Ciphr, highlight a notable 52 percent pay gap between the highest and lowest-paid regions for the country’s 150,400 full-time HR managers and directors.

In terms of mean average wages, HR professionals in the East of England are enjoying significant financial rewards, with an average salary of £67,172. This figure stands well above the region’s average full-time salary of £40,544.

Surprisingly, HR salaries in the East are even surpassing those in Greater London by 7 percent and south-east England by 12 percent.

Conversely, HR managers and directors in the North East and West Midlands find themselves at the lower end of the earnings spectrum, with mean average salaries of £44,158 and £47,037, respectively.

The top five regions in England with the highest average salaries for HR managers and directors are:

  1. East – £67,172
  2. London – £62,788
  3. South East – £60,198
  4. South West – £56,357
  5. North West – £50,615

Regrettably, comparable data for Wales and Northern Ireland was unavailable from the ONS. However, Scotland’s HR managers and directors reportedly earn £48,601, contributing to the UK’s average of £57,314.

Beyond managerial roles, the East of England also claims the top spot for HR and industrial relations officers, boasting an average salary of £39,636. This group, including HR specialists, consultants, and recruiters, outranks their counterparts in the West Midlands (£35,374) and the South West (£34,563).

Wages have dropped

Despite the positive trends in HR salaries, Claire Williams, Chief People and Operating Officer at Ciphr, highlights the broader economic context. She notes, “While HR salaries are mostly higher than they were at the start of the cost-of-living crisis in 2022, many people’s wages will likely have fallen in real terms compared to inflation.”

London and the South West were the only regions where full-time HR managers and directors experienced pay growth beating inflation in 2023. These regions saw mean and median average salaries increase by over 7.8 percent. HR and industrial relations officers in the South West and West Midlands also benefited from above-inflation increases during the same period.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.