Gloss Salary Survey 2011



Gloss Creative Recruitment

Salary survey for Yorkshire 2011


Gloss Creative Recruitment’s Salary Survey 2011

Representing Yorkshire’s finest talent


Once a year, we down tools in anticipation of spending a good week analysing a year’s worth of numbers and data.  A refreshing change (or should that be challenge) for us, to produce our eagerly awaited salary survey, but no mean feat with over 150 new job vacancies since September 2010!  We would like to share our findings, thoughts and reflections with you, our valued clients as we focus on the salaries across the digital / creative / Marketing and PR industry from September 2010 to September 2011.  We are always heartened to receive your positive feedback on our efforts and hope this latest survey is of some use to you.

We have experienced a surge in demand for candidates (across the board) in this period, producing a record year for placements – a real positive considering the previous year’s events. There has been a significant demand for digital talent – the biggest trend being the need for front end web designers / developers who can hand code. This demand showed no signs of faltering but the only raise with regards to salaries came from the more technical UI / UX type roles.

Nearly half of the vacancies registered with Gloss Creative Recruitment over the last 12 months were in the digital design field with a large part of these being associated with the retail sector.

We have also seen a much higher rise in the level of digital project management roles this year. Reasons will vary from agency to agency, but a common theme is the fact that digital creative is becoming an absolutely crucial part of an agencies overall marketing strategy.

In our previous survey, our search division had rocketed with many integrated and digital agencies adding a SEO / PPC offering as a bolt on to business. Unfortunately, this division has had a tough year due to the lack of qualified expertise available. The biggest trend we witnessed here was a large transition of senior SEO and PPC experts taking up the freelance mantle or setting up smaller / low overhead businesses.

Many agency opportunities for search specialist candidates have been available this year but the majority of permanent candidates in this sector gave preference to inhouse roles rather than agency for the following reasons – more pay, less hours and more time to develop a smaller amount of specific accounts / products.

Finally, we have witnessed the high commitment of our digital candidates to the use of social media and corresponding networking events. A much greater percentage of candidates/applications now come to us directly or via referrals from places such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Key trends:

1. Rise in demand for the more technically strong developers rather than front end creatives.

2. Digital account handlers still in very high demand with low availability.

3. SEO and PPC vacancies level out as the sector suffers from a skills shortage.





Digital Account Handlers Digital Creatives
Position Typical Max Position Typical Max
Account Executive £20k £26k Digital Director £45k+
Account Manager £26k £35k Junior Web Designer £17k £22k
Account Director £38k £45k+ MW Web Designer £24k £28k
SEO /PPC executive £19k £25k Senior Web Designer £27k £35k
SEO /PPC Manager £26k £35k Project Manager £35k £45k+
SEO /PPC Director £40k+ PHP Web Developer £26k £35k+

Key Contact:

Ian Rigby


Graphic Design, Marketing and PR.


Graphic design within the print sector made a much healthier return from the dismal period in 2009 / 2010 – although, it is still an incredibly tough market at the graduate and junior level. We have seen a rise in demand for candidates in both the graphic design and artworking divisions. Salaries have not risen, as expected, but the amount of freelancers looking to return to permanent employment has.

Our results show that the average salary across the creative agency sector is still below previous levels.  Most new roles have arisen as replacements rather than as a result of economic growth (apart from within roles that require high end creativity or illustrative skills e.g. greetings cards).

We have had a steady flow of PR roles on both client side and agency from executive to director level – the most significant aspect of this being a large demand for digital PR and social media skills. New roles have emerged within this market as a greater awareness of the use / need for content comes under the umbrella of PR (from search engine friendly product definitions through to online journalism).

With all our roles, the emphasis on local talent has been hot on the agenda with the age of medium to long haul commutes (1 hour+) fast becoming a thing of the past.  With salaries remaining static and with little chance of growth, it has been hard to entice candidates away from the stability of their current roles with little or no monitory compensation for travel.

Lastly, we have noted a huge increase in the number of long term contract roles for reasons such as flexibility ( in terms of costs and resources) as well as a larger than normal rise in maternity cover –  it seems like the credit crunch was good for something!!!


Key trends:          

1. Bounce back in demand for traditional skills including graphic designers and artworkers

2. Clients still want very specific skills sets with matching experience to hit the ground running

3. Salaries mainly frozen from the year before with more emphasis on location

5. Rise in client side roles whereas agencies still prefer direct and freelance applications




Creative Roles Account Handlers
Position Typical Max Position Typical Max
Artworker (Junior) £13k £16k
Artworker (M’weight) £17k £22k Account Executive £15k £25k
Artworker (Senior) £22k £28k Account Manager £26k £35k
Studio Manager £28k £33k Account Director £38k+
Designer (Junior) £14k £18k Client Services Director £45k+
Designer (M’weight) £19k £24k
Designer (Senior) £25k £32k Copywriter (junior) £14k £20k
Copywriter (M’weight) £20k £28k
Art Director (Junior) £16k £18k Copywriter (Senior) £30k+
Art Director (M’weight) £18k £28k
Art Director (Senior) £28k £40k Project Manager £22k £25k
Creative Director £40k+ Design Manager £25k £35k

Key Contact:

Nicola Burbridge


The data summarised in this survey has been collated from Candidates and Clients that have registered with our agency and are based on actual paid salaries and client job specs. Please note that Gloss Creative Recruitment operates on Permanent positions both Inhouse and agency only within Yorkshire.

For more information please visit or call us on 0870 321 9788


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s