Supported by Stott and May

This year's survey shows that salaries and bonuses have increased since 2010, but this is not experienced evenly throughout the business community. 

In the past 12 months 57% of respondents had a salary increase (up from 53% in 2010). The average annual basic salary in 2012 is £92,100, with the highest level of average salary growth seen amongst those with 20+ years experience. 

Jump to average salary and bonus by sector : global region : UK region : job rolecareer stage







Average salary figures are inflated by a small number of high earners. The median salary for all ICAEW Chartered Accountants, which is perhaps a better indicator of majority earnings, is £78,000 which also represents an increase from 2010. The median bonus in 2012 is £4,000. 



Salaries vary considerably by sector. Those in the banking and capital markets sector remain the highest earners, with an average basic salary of £111,700. But the growth rate of their salaries since 2010 (5%) is outstripped by most other sectors. 

The proportion of respondents that received a bonus in the past 12 months has increased, 59%, up from 55% in 2010.  ICAEW Chartered Accountants in the banking and capital markets sector also remain the highest earners in terms of bonuses. And, along with those in the insurance sector and the energy, water, mining and utilities sector, are most likely to have received a bonus in the past 12 months. But overall, it is the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector where there has been the greatest increase in the proportion that have received a bonus at all in the past 12 months, 70% in 2012, up from 52% in 2010.

Global region

Average earnings of ICAEW Chartered Accountants working outside the UK are substantially higher than those in the UK, with an average salary of £128,300 and bonus of £35,600. 




Within the UK, the highest average salaries (£101,400) and bonuses (£31,900) are received by those based in London.

Job role

Career stage

Technical information

Data collection for the ICAEW Salary Survey was carried out online by an independent market research company during the period 13 to 26 February 2012.

All ICAEW members in businesses other than accountancy practices – a total of 63,912 members – were invited to complete the survey. In addition to direct invitations by e-mail, the survey was also publicised on the ICAEW website.

In total 6,454 completed survey responses from those currently working in business were processed and form the data analysed in the ICAEW Salary Survey 2012 (6,162 responses came through direct e-mail links and 292 additional members completed via a general link).

Data has been weighted to ensure the profile of the survey sample accurately represents all ICAEW members working in business. Data is weighted according to the regional distribution of members in business within the UK and outside the UK. 17% of these members are currently based outside the UK.


Further information

For a copy of the report associated with these findings please contact Nina Carpanini at Stott and May. T: +(0)20 7496 3671 E:

For further information on technical matters relating to this survey contact Yvonne Burr, Head of Strategic Research at ICAEW, T: +44 (0)20 7920 8426  E:

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