Most UK creative jobs earn less than average annual salary

15 November 2019 2 min. read
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The UK’s creative sector is worth over £100 billion to the UK economy. According to a new study, despite that, most jobs in the sector earn beneath the average annual salary of roles outside the sector.

Digitalisation has had a profound effect on the creative industry. This saw growth in the creative sector flat-line earlier in the decade, as online media and the accompanying “for free” culture led to a slowdown in economic activity and a loss of jobs.

However, while the creative industries of the mainland have struggled, those of the UK have been among the economy’s strongest performing players in recent years. According to the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS), the creative sector’s worth rose from £94.8 billion in 2016 to £101.5 billion in 2018, and has grown at nearly twice the rate of the broader UK economy since 2010.

Most UK creative jobs earn less than average annual salary

Despite the increasingly important nature of creative workers’ labour to the health of the UK’s GDP, however, new research has found that a large portion of the sector continues to see its contribution undervalued. Liberty Games analysed salaries across 50 of the UK’s most creative jobs to see which would be the best to base a career around and would “put more pounds in your pockets”, only to reveal that a majority of such jobs are paid beneath the UK’s average salary.

According to the study, 58% of creative roles receive a salary of less than £35,058. While all the roles in Liberty Games’ survey earned marginally more than the minimum wage, then, most workers in the sector pick up a pay packet worth less than the average salaried position in Britain.

At the same time, roles that do earn over that UK average are significantly fewer. Top of the list is Film and TV Director, which brings in an average salary of £57,859 per annum. However, such work is hard to come by, and can take years of industry-graft to arrive at, while the broader creative sector earns nothing like as much. In fact, the salary of a Film and TV Director is £22,677 more a year than the average creative jobs salary.

Indeed, going by these figures, the creative sector itself was also found to be a hive of inequality. The highest-paid creative job (Film and TV Director) earns £142 a day more than the lowest-paid creative job in the UK – with fashion designers found to be bottom of the pile on £20,176. This represents £14466 less than the creative jobs average salary.