By Debbie Holden 14 Nov 2019 6 min read

Average salary in the automotive industry


A recent average salary review has shown that a number of salaries in the automotive industry have risen since 201, the bigger changes being seen for those working as vehicle assemblers, mobile machine drivers and operatives and male valets (the female wage has decreased slightly, although women still earn 3.5% more than their male counterparts.

The highest paying role in the automotive industry is that of an automotive engineer. This can net you upwards of £40k per year, with the average UK salary for automotive engineers being £42,847 and putting automotive engineers nearly £6k above the national average salary. Whilst a degree in automotive engineering is necessary for higher-level jobs, qualifications can also be taken in shorter blocks if you want to progress your automotive career into a more technical sphere.

Mobile machine drivers operators saw a wage increase since 2018, with the average salary up from £27,989 to £29,541 (for both men and women, working full time).

Taxi drivers saw a slight decrease, with an average salary of £21,167 – on par with drivers in the US who earn an annual salary of $28,150 (£21,865). However, this was slightly below the 2018 average of £26,488. A factor in this might be that taxi drivers’ ages can be more varied than other roles, with people working into their late 80’s. TFL recorded 20 taxi drivers aged 85-90 working in London and 1 driver over the age of 70 taking the Knowledge of London exam. 


Salary by location in the UK

Scotland has seen the most stable salary increases, and long-term salary growth has been highest in Scotland between 1997 and 2019, with workers taking home a median pay of 91.4% more across the twelve years than counterparts in Wales, who saw their median pay increase across all roles by a slightly lower, but still robust 78%

Of all the places to work in Scotland, Aberdeen City sees the highest median pay, with a worker there taking home a median salary of £647 per week compared to £571 in Aberdeenshire.

Interesting, whilst London continues to be the highest paying location (those in the City of London take home an average of £1,052 per week) salary growth here has been lower. This, the ONS says, is due to increases in the minimum wage that may have more impact in countries like Northern Ireland and Wales. 

The gender pay gap is closing in some roles, and growing in others

The ONS estimated that across all roles surveyed, there was an average of 8.6% difference between men’s salaries and women’s salaries, with men earning this amount more than women per hour. 

The biggest difference was for women working on the assembly line of vehicles, who earned nearly 30% less than their male counterparts (an increase of 10% from 2018) whereas the smallest difference was for work as large goods drivers, the pay gap there being just 2.6%.

Women it appears are better off than their male counterparts in valet roles, earning 3.5% on average for a full-time role and taking home an average annual salary of £19,363.