The UK retail, FMCG and consumer sector is one of the largest in the country. FMCG alone is worth a whopping $145 billion! This exciting industry is fast-paced, and salaries differ depending on who you work for and where you work. Here’s a look at consumer and FMCG salaries for the many areas and job roles available - from graduate and entry-level, all the way up to managerial and senior levels.
Entry-level consumer & FMCG salaries
If you’re a student or graduate thinking about retail, you might start as a Sales Assistant serving customers, answering their queries, handling payments and displaying products. Roles in retail are not for the faint-hearted! You’ll be on your feet for long hours, dealing with customers and potentially showing the high turnover of employees the ropes. If you start as a Sales Assistant full or part-time, you can earn between £12,000 - £15,000 a year, but this depends on who you work for, location and how many hours you work.
If analysing is your thing...
In the FMCG sector, finance roles analyse business performance, from tracking sales, budgeting expenses or directing the business based on financial data. For graduates, an entry-level finance salary will range from £19,000 to £21,000 depending on employer and location. It’s always good to remember that roles in London offer higher paid salaries than ones outside of the city.
If you love a good plan and enjoy strategising new ways to transport goods, logistics and supply chain management is one for you. As a graduate, you might start out as a Junior Supply Chain Planner or Analyst, which can offer a salary starting from £21,000.
All FMCGs need scientists, engineers and specialists as they're hired to inform companies of how to improve their product. This is where research and development comes in. Entry-level jobs in this area can include a Research and Development Support Assistant which offers a salary of £21,000 to £24,000. Junior roles can offer you the opportunity to gain transferable skills and help you decide what specific area you want to research and for what company. If you're looking for an industrial placement in this field, look at our list of Consumer, FMCG and Retail industrial placement deadlines.
What about creative roles?
Buyer roles are perfect for those who are commercially aware and have an interest in e-commerce, marketing or business operations. The average salary of a Junior Buyer is roughly £26,000 depending on who you work for and where you work. Retail merchandisers are another essential part of consumer & FMCG. They aim to maximise profits while forecasting or predicting sales trends that could occur. Junior merchandising roles are well-paid, ranging from £27,000 to £36,000. Learn more with an overview of Buying & Merchandising.
If you’re the more creative type, a marketing role could be for you. You’ll be driving interest and customers to the business, which means marketing is an essential channel that reaches the ideal target audience or clients. FMCG marketing salaries for entry-level or graduate schemes can earn between £21,000 and £24,000.
At large FMCG firms, their technology department is likely one of their biggest. Dealing with everything from designing apps and ensuring they're effective for customers to building websites or software that can track sales and brainstorming new security strategies. A starting graduate starting salary in this area is around £26,000 - £30,000.
Mid-level/senior consumer & FMCG salaries
Mid-Level and senior finance roles are where the big money lies! A graduate role in the finance department at an FMCG company can set you up to go into managerial roles, including Account Manager and Financial Analyst. Here, you can expect to earn a salary between £24,000 - £35,000 and up to £80,000 for more senior roles at top employers. See our A-Z list of leading graduate employers in consumer and retail.
Without marketing, companies would struggle to make sales! The many roles available in the marketing area of the consumer and FMCG sector include Social Media Managers, Product Developers or Consumer Market Researchers. Paying mid-level and senior employees a salary from £45,000 - £62,000. For mid-level to senior roles in buying, such as Project Buyer, Operational Buyer and Category Buyer will earn a salary from £30,000 to £40,000. Buying is a highly competitive area but, because most retailers need them, there’s a lot of opportunity to go around. Learn more about working in marketing from our Marketing & PR Career Path Guide.
Moving to technology, mid-level and senior roles include Technology Service Manager or Head of IT Security. You’ll oversee everything, from building or implementing new security processes to supporting staff and making important business decisions. These managerial and senior roles increase to the £71,000 salary mark, plus benefits!
Do you need more experience to move up?
Moving up to assistant management positions in retail could see your salary increase from £18,000 to £26,000 and, with more experience, this could guide you into senior roles like Store Manager. Again, depending on where and who you work for, Store Managers can earn around £38,000 - £47,000. Managerial positions manage staff, ensuring all sales targets are met, manage stock and deal with customer complaints. Learn about retail & FMCG skills you need to get into the sector.
For any role in consumer & FMCG - the bigger the company and experience under your belt, the more you’ll get paid. For merchandising, mid-level and senior merchandising salaries will increase to roughly £65,000, however you’ll have more responsibility and business profits will largely depend on your efforts. Learn about what Merchandisers really do.
For logistics and supply chain, a mid-level or senior role includes Logistics Coordinator or Warehouse and Logistics Manager, with salaries ranging from £33,000 to £48,000. FMCG operation roles can also fit into this area with an average salary of £32,000, depending on the scale and responsibilities of your operation. Learn more about Operations and Supply Chain and what to expect from this area of retail and FMCG.
Finally, mid-level to senior roles for research and development include Research and Development Manager or R&D Senior Engineer, with salaries ranging from £45,000 to £71,000 per year. Learn more about R&D from The Research & Development society.
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