Agency vs in-house salaries: who’s bringing home the bacon?

14 February 2017


Discrepancies between in-house and agency PR and communications salaries are still evident, but the gap is fast closing. Salaries for PR and communications professionals have increased across the board since our 2015 Salary Survey, both in-house and agency-side, demonstrating the continued growth and positivity of the industry.

Starting salaries for corporate PRs show the biggest difference at the junior level, with Account Executives earning on average £24,000 in an agency, compared to £28,000 for their in-house counterparts. At the senior end, however, this gap tends to close, and we see similar remunerations between senior-level professionals in both agency and in-house environments.  

Salaries for those working in the consumer and public affairs sectors have levelled out in 2016, with junior-level salaries for consumer PRs ranging from £22,000 for agency, and £23,000 for in-house – compared to £20,000 for agency and £24,000 for in-house in 2015. For the Public Affairs sector - which has seen a particularly busy year following June’s Brexit result – starting salaries for in-house average at £25,000 compared to £23,000 for agency. At the top end, Head of and Director level professionals can expect an average of £135,000 for agency, in comparison to £120,000 for in-house, further illustrating the closing gap between the two sides at every level.

The wage differences between the various disciplines are broadly similar as seniority increases. Interestingly, in-house marcomms professionals saw the lowest salaries at every level - £22,000 for Assistant level to £110,000 for ‘Head of’ level. Those working in the corporate sector can continue to expect higher salaries than those in consumer at every level, despite consumer salaries seeing the biggest overall increase in 2016.

The distinction between In-house and agency salaries is therefore blurring, with less clear cut differences at every level and in every sector. Salary may therefore become less of a factor for PR and communications professionals deciding whether to make the move to an agency or in-house in 2017. The overall boost in salaries is testament to the candidate-driven, buoyant market, which remains positive and progressive.  

To access the full results of our 2016 Salary and Benefit Survey for the PR and Communications Industry, please follow this link -

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