Social Care Workers In The North East Receive The Highest Salary Premium

  • Social care workers in the North East of England earn an 18% ‘salary premium’
  • Those employed in the East Midlands and South West of England also receive favourable wage packets 

Social care workers in the North East of England receive the highest salary ‘premium’, according to social care recruitment agency Randstad Care.

The recruiter analysed more than 870,000 CVs and salaries across a variety of industries – including more than 5,400 from the social care sector – to compare them to average salaries in each region. This then enabled Randstad Care to establish which areas were the most lucrative or unprofitable for different professions when compared to the regional average wage.

With studies finding that people who have an income that ranks lower than others tend to go on to experience poor health while the actual amount they earn has no significant health effect, keeping up with the Joneses has never been more important.

Employees working in social care in the North East enjoy a comparative salary premium of almost 18% – the equivalent of an extra £6,185 in their pay cheque each year. Those working in the East Midlands (16%) and the South West (14.9%) rounded out the top three.

Region Average salary Comparative salary premium/discount Cash equivalent
North East England £34,865 17.7% £6,185
East Midlands £35,383 16.0% £5,650
South West England £35,800 14.9% £5,336
Wales £32,965 14.0% £4,606
South East England £36,248 12.4% £4,510
London £39,884 3.8% £1,530
UK £32,588 n/a n/a
West Midlands £29,944 -0.4% -£131
Yorkshire & The Humber £28,709 -2.2% -£644
Eastern England £30,323 -2.8% -£856
North West England £26,087 -15.1% -£3,941
Scotland £25,402 -15.3% -£3,887

TABLE 1: Most and least distorted social care salaries by region

At the other end of the scale, Scottish social care workers were the biggest losers, suffering a salary ‘discount’ of 15.3%. Employees in the North West (-15.1%) and Eastern England (-2.8%) also have grounds to feel aggrieved, with the research suggesting they are all paid comparatively less well.

Victoria Short, MD of Randstad Care, said: “Unlike some other careers such as finance, social care isn’t necessarily a profession that people enter for the remuneration on offer, with previous research we have conducted actually finding that it was the only sector that didn’t cite salary as the major motivator, preferring job security instead. That being said, while social care workers may not want a massive salary, they do want to be paid a wage that not only reflects their hard work, but also compares with what their national counterparts – and their neighbours – are being paid.

“Everyone knows that London pays the best wages across most sectors, but this research drills deeper than that to show that it’s not necessarily the best place to be based if you work in social care. Yes, average salaries may be more handsome than in other regions, but you also have the extra associated expense. If you work in social care, you may actually be better off in the North East, the South West or the East Midlands, with the latter making particular sense for those in the West Midlands give the comparative results. The South East also enjoys a far stronger salary premium than London, so those in the sector commuting in to the capital may be better off seeking local employment.”


Randstad conducted the wide-ranging research to accompany the launch of its new Salary Checker tool which allows workers to see how much their professional counterparts and regional neighbours are earning.

As well as establishing their employment value, users of the tool will be able establish how their tax payments get used and how their salaries compare to celebrities. Those who find the results are not to their liking can search the best-paid jobs in their area and browse new opportunities elsewhere in the UK.

The microsite will also include job comparison tools centred on the importance of salary and the impact it has on job fulfilment.

Victoria Short added: “It can be hard to work out what one’s true employment value is, especially as Britons are famously guarded on money matters and colleagues are usually loath to discuss their pay cheques with each other. This means that social care workers can be left using inaccurate national averages to try and ascertain what is a fair wage for their role. This new tool should give them a far clearer picture of their worth, as well as preparing them for the next move should they feel like the time is right to move on.

“This is why comparing to salaries to both national professional peers and regional neighbours is so important, because it gets to the heart of the matter which is relative salary rather than total salary. While previous research we have conducted shows that health and social care workers are considered to be among the most fulfilled professionals by workers in other sectors due to the rewarding nature of the work and the difference they can make to peoples’ lives, they still don’t want to feel demotivated by the prospect of unfair wages.”

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