UX Salary Bench-marking 2017

Nathan Drew

Nathan Drew

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Happy new year, folks! As the market begins to pick back up, we thought it would be useful to provide our take on salaries and day rates across permanent and contract work in the ux job market. 

At Futureheads, we feel we’ve something of a helicopter view of the market. As a result, these numbers aren’t reflective of any polls or surveys but are instead based on our take on the current landscape.


  • Junior: £100 - £300/day
  • Mid-weight: £300-400/day
  • Senior: £425-475/day
  • Lead: £500-600/day
  • Head of: £600+/day

These ranges are broad due to variance in industry sectors. It stands to reason that a fintech organisation or a blue-chip will have a higher budget than a non-profit or a start-up.

Typically, candidates will only turn their hand to contracting after having a few years of experience under their belt (preferably within an established digital agency or across a few roles). Therefore the vast majority of roles will be budgeted at £350 per day and above.


  • Junior: £20,000 – 30,000
  • Mid-weight: £30,000 – 45,000
  • Senior: £45,000 – 65,000
  • Lead: £65,000 – 85,000
  • Head of/Director £90,000 – 130,000

While a lot of new contractors entered the market in 2016, we’ve also seen several contractors returning to, or seeking permanent positions. Individual personal factors aside, the oft-cited reason is the pursuit of a position within a company willing to invest in the practitioners continued professional development.

Freelancers will usually be employed to perform work they’ve some previous experience in. Some are fine with this. Others feel they would prefer to continue upskilling their softer skills (leadership, formal management, client-facing responsibilities etc.) in order to take on an increased responsibility.

If you’re unsure whether your current salary or contract rate reflects that of the rest of the market, please drop us a line at ux@wearefutureheads.co.uk and we would be happy to provide a guide.