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Highest HR salaries in England revealed

The average salary for an HR manager or director is £40,544

HR software provider, Ciphr, has revealed the areas of England where HR managers and directors earn the highest salary.

Analysing earning figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in February 2024, the Ciphr team showed that HR professionals in the east of England and London get paid 52% more than their counterparts across the rest of England.

HR managers and directors in the east of England are paid an average salary of £67,172.

The average full-time salary for an HR manager or director is £40,544.

Salaries in the east are 7% higher than those in Greater London (which average at £62,788), and 12% higher than those in south-east England (averaging at £60,198).

HR managers and directors in the North East and West Midlands have the lowest average salaries (£44,158 and £47,037 respectively).

Claire Williams, chief people officer at Ciphr, told HR magazine that HR professionals’ salary reflects the value they bring to organisations.

Read more: Senior HR disconnected from employee money worries

She said: “HR professionals play a pivotal role in the success and health of an organisation.

“Their compensation is often reflective of the critical functions they perform, from strategic planning, talent acquisition and compliance, to improving capability and performance of the business.”

According to financial wellbeing service Bippit, 3% of senior HR professionals said they worry about money every day, compared with 22% of UK employees in 2023. Just 3% of HR said they thought most employees worry about money daily.

Williams added that HR professionals’ salaries are not too high for the work they do.

She continued: “Whether high salaries disconnect HR professionals from the employees they're making policy for, it's a matter of perspective.

“When you consider for example that they are responsible for helping organisations optimise the biggest cost line in their P&L, or compare it to other corporate functions such as financial controllers and qualified accountants, I’d argue their salaries are in most instances below where they should be.”

Ian Moore, managing director of Lodge Court, said HR salaries do not create a disconnect with their employees.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: "The effectiveness and empathy of HR professionals are not solely determined by their compensation.

"Rather, their ability to understand and address employee needs effectively, maintain open lines of communication and foster an inclusive and supportive work environment are more critical indicators of their alignment with employee interests."

Read more: Employers fail to meet increased demand for financial support, research reveals

Moore added that HR professionals' salary is driven by demand for their skills.

He continued: “HR professionals' high salaries are driven by several key factors, including the high demand for skilled HR personnel versus the available supply, which increases competition among companies for top talent.

"This is especially true for roles focused on critical areas such as cultural change and employee support, essential for business success."

"Specialisation in fields like compensation, talent acquisition and diversity also leads to higher salaries due to the unique skills and knowledge required."


Salaries for HR managers and directors in England by region:

  1. East - £67,172
  2. London - £62,788
  3. South East - £60,198
  4. South West - £56,357
  5. North West - £50,615
  6. East Midlands - £49,679
  7. Yorkshire and The Humber - £47,442
  8. West Midlands - £47,037
  9. North East - £44,158