Who are the big earners in the industry?

As might be expected, qualifications and experience will shape your salary -- but at the end of the day it is your position that is the real deciding factor.

At the top of the corporate tree, directors might be expected to be the big earners, but the survey showed that there are huge differences between the biggest and smallest pay packets in this bracket.

Qualifications seem less important here than time spent in the job and those having more than ten years' experience under the belt can be fairly confident of a healthy salary.

Some directors, albeit those of limited experience, claim to be earning as little as £15,000 to £20,000 and while there may be myriad reasons for this it is safe to assume that in many cases it will be the director-owners of the micro-consultancies - the one-man-bands or those that employ a tiny staff and which are just starting out and building contacts.

Another possible answer to the mystery is that respondents are directors for several larger companies and are claiming this kind of salary from each of them.

At the other end of the scale are the directors earning up to £60,000 - it is worth noting that those claiming this kind of pay, however, have both the qualifications and the long service record to justify it.

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The responses from Senior Managers paint a far clearer picture - you should be paid well, wherever you work. While a handful of the least qualified managers with less than five years' experience claim to earn less than £30,000, the vast majority are looking at over £40,000 with some bringing in up to £70,000 once perks are taken into account.

Qualifications have an impact in this area but to a far lesser degree than those who are involved in the scientific cut and thrust of front line consultancy.

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For senior consultants, the average salary hovers around the £35,000 mark, with modest variations for those who are very new to the job or, at the other end of the scale, who have spent more time in the profession than their peers and have had time to build up a wealth of empirical knowledge.

Academic qualifications appear to have little bearing on pay, as senior consultants are expected to know their subject inside out and will struggle to do the job if they do not.

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As for the junior consultants, it is clear that employers see the position as a stepping stone to bigger things. Employees just entering the profession - often graduates fresh out of university - can expect modest recompense for their labours with the average pay for those in their first year on the job somewhere between £15,000 and £20,000.

By and large they won't have to tighten their belts for too long though, as average salaries show a steady increase as they gain more experience and no respondents admitted to being a juniors consultant for more than ten years - as they had presumably moved up a notch and achieved senior status or left the profession.

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Those working in marketing and development found a Masters degree or the equivalent of Chartered status carried roughly the same rewards, but education to PhD standard saw an increase of around £5,000 on the annual pay packet.

Experience also added value, with a gap of about £25,000 between the average pay for a fresh-faced newcomer and the most seasoned marketeer.

An average wage in this profession looks to be around £30,000.

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It doesn't take a rocket scientist to deduce the fact that academic qualifications are the key factor for employers looking for scientists but experience also plays a bigger role than might be expected.

According to our respondents those with a PhD do not necessarily earn much more than those with an MSc but a doctorate coupled with plenty of experience did prove to be a killer combination, netting an average salary in excess of £50,000, around double the average for the profession.

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Technicians receive the lowest average pay of any of the categories, with few earning in excess of £20,000 regardless of their qualifications and experience.

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Sam Bond


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