Highly-skilled Umbrella Company Employees and other top talent in the UK’s professional contracting community are earning three times the average wage, according to figures from the contractor management group Professional Representation Network

Once seen by permies as a potentially risky career path, those with the most sought-after skills are actually finding that contracting is paying off handsomely: the Professional Representation Network’s research shows that the top 100,000 UK contractors are earning around £80,000 a year, while the country’s national average income is £27,000.

The study sampled the earning power of independent professionals across all 650 UK parliamentary constituencies. The majority of professionals choosing contacting as a career path work in well-remunerated, high-skill areas such as IT, financial services, engineering, construction and oil and gas. The average contractor income was so high in 31 constituencies that these professionals fell within the higher rate income/dividend category, with the highest earners of all based in the City of London and Central London; 20,000 contractors in these areas banked annual incomes of approximately £120,000 – over four times the national average.

Noting that the days of a “job for life” have disappeared, Professional Representation Network director Kristian Gourlay said that contracting in the UK was in a healthy state. He added: “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.”

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