SJD Accountancy

Specialist skill sets sees contractor rates on the rise

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The UK’s top contractors are earning three times the national average wage, finds a recent report.

Research carried out by talent management service Professional Representation Network, has found that the average annual earnings of the Top 100,000 contractors in the country is now approximately £80,000 per annum, compared to a national average income of £27,000.

This certainly goes against the opinions of those who still believe that a contracting career is a risky one. 

The Professional Representation Network revealed that the highest earners were found in Central London and the City of London, where nearly 20,000 contractors have average earnings of approximately £120,000 per year.

The report also found that the most common contracting sectors are IT, financial services, oil & gas, engineering and construction.

Kristian Gourlay, Director at Professional Representation Network, comments: “These findings illustrate the healthy state of contracting in the UK today. Such high levels of earnings suggest that for an increasing number of highly skilled professional people, working as a contractor is now a very attractive and rewarding career choice.” 

“Most people recognise that the days of a “job for life” are over, so their perceptions of the risk/reward balance of being a self-employed contractor versus permanent employment are shifting.”

“Increasingly, what we are seeing is that many of the best opportunities as well as the highest pay are going to contractors. More and more employers are choosing to engage workers with the expertise they need on a contract basis rather than recruiting permanent employees for the most highly skilled and best paid roles.” 

“As UK business moves towards higher and more specialised skills, and areas like technology, finance, energy and engineering continue to grow, contractors’ earnings should continue to outpace those of employees.”

How much could you be earning as a contractor? Type in your daily or hourly rate into our contractor calculator and see how much you could be taking home.

If you have any questions about contracting or would like further tax and Limited Company advice please contact our New Business Team on 01442 275789 or email

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