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RICS Quals Earn The Big Bucks & Gender Pay Gap Closing

Rewards & Attitudes Survey
28 March 2019

A 39% higher salary – that's the effect a RICS qualification has on average pay in the real estate and built environment sector says our survey.

This is just one of the findings of the latest RICS and Macdonald & Co. Rewards and Attitudes Survey - supported by ThisWeekinFM - when compared to non-professionally qualified counterparts.

The 2019 RICS and Macdonald & Co. Rewards and Attitudes Survey found the impact of RICS qualification to be a very significant uplift in base salary. It found that an RICS qualified professional earns a median salary of £48,600, compared to the median salary of a non-qualified professional of £35,000. In addition, those with further qualifications reported the median salaries as follows:

  • AssocRICS – £40,000.

  • MRICS – £51,000.

  • FRICS – £66,975

RICS (part-qualified) benefit from a median salary of £36,425.



The survey also pours light on the role that experience plays in salary levels and finds that the gender pay gap is closing, with no disparity at starting grades.

It was also found that experience is a sizeable determinant of remuneration, though its effect on salary tapers off in the latter parts of a career. Instead, firms tend to provide rewards for elongated experience by way of larger bonuses.

The median salary of a professional with fewer than two years’ experience is £29,666. This rises to £38,299 for those with two to four years’ experience, and £56,562 for those with 11 to 15 years’ experience. After this, the rate of salary growth eases, with median salaries as follows:

  • 16 to 20 years’ experience – £64,572.

  • 21 to 30 years’ experience – £71,830.

  • 30 years’ experience – £71,513

Median bonuses paid as experience is gained range from £9,451 for those with under two years’ experience, to £14,938 for those with 16 to 20 years’ experience. It then jumps to a median of £23,087 for bonuses paid to those with 21 to 30 years’ experience, before rising again to a median of £27,638 for those with more than 30 years’ experience.



The survey also garnered salary data according to seniority and gender and found that good headway is being made in closing the gender pay gap. A quarter of respondents to the survey were female. It is noticeable that the proportion of graduates and graduate/assistant respondents who are female is 50% – a clear indication that more women are being attracted to the sector.

At the graduate level, the median salary of females and males is the same: £26,250. At the graduate/assistant level, the median salary of women is slightly higher than that of men: £26,669 versus £26,500.

The discrepancy in median salaries tends to follow a growth path the higher we look up the rank of seniority. For example, at manager level, the gap is 8.89% in favour of men, who earn a median salary of £49,000. Male directors earn a median salary of £75,000: 15.38% higher than the female equivalent median salary of £65,000.

The most marked contrasts in salary when compared by gender is at the most senior levels. For example, only 10% of the respondents who identified as C-suite or executive directors are women, and, at £74,000, their median salary is 45.95% less than their male equivalent’s median salary of £108,000.

Peter Moore, CEO of Macdonald & Co., said: “It is clear that the factors of experience and qualifications lead to higher remuneration. The huge gap between the median base salary of non-qualified and qualified professionals should be pause for thought for all in the industry or entering the industry.

“The RICS qualifications are evidence of a professional’s attitude and ability. The fact that there is such a large difference between median salaries of RICS qualified and non-qualified professionals shows just how much faith the industry places in these qualifications as a measure of professional capability and value to individual companies.

“When turning to the gender pay gap, these survey results are both disappointing and encouraging. It is disappointing that there is still a large pay gap at the more senior levels. On the other hand, it is encouraging that those at the beginning of their careers now benefit from the same salaries.

“It is my belief that the gender pay gap at senior levels can be explained by fewer females currently in the most senior positions and of the gap in experience between females and males in these positions. I both hope and believe that this gap will close as women currently at more junior levels move into senior management and enter the C-suite. This may take a few years, but I look forward to evidence of further progress in this important area in next year’s survey.”

The 2019 RICS and Macdonald & Co. Rewards and Attitudes Survey was completed by 3,461 respondents.

Picture: A higher salary is the effect a RICS qualification a survey has found along with a closing of the gender pay gap in the real estate and built environment sector at the younger ages for women.


Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 28 March 2019


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