Tyler Griffen

A Comprehensive Guide to PA Salaries in the UK

Posted on Oct 18, 2023.

Personal assistant at an office desk working on her laptop

For individuals aspiring to embark on this career or hire a PA, there's an unmistakable curiosity about the earnings of PAs. In this article, we’ll delve into the numbers around PA salaries, how they differ regionally and with experience, plus what steps you can take to command a higher salary as a personal assistant.

What Exactly Does a Personal Assistant (PA) Do?

PAs, the silent heroes behind seamless business administration, provide administrative support to high-ranking executives and professionals. They juggle many tasks, from meticulous diary management to ensuring that organisational systems run without a hitch. Their job often goes beyond the standard 9-5 and is pivotal to the efficient functioning of businesses.

Through their role, they help to:

  • Enable executives the time and space to strategise
  • Uphold a company’s image through positive client and stakeholder interactions
  • Streamline operations
  • Provide valuable business insights
  • Undertake crisis management

Excellent attention to detail, adaptability and interpersonal skills are key to succeed in a PA role.

What Does An Average PA Earn in the UK?

Now we know what a PA does, let’s dive into the numbers.

Average PA Salary in the UK

As of October 2023, the average salary for a Personal Assistant in the UK is £34,700 per annum, according to Glassdoor data. When taking into account the range, PAs are generally paid between £23,000 and £54,000 depending on experience. This takes into account different employers and regions. Generally speaking, the more experienced a PA is, the higher their salary will be.

Average PA Salary in London

Given that London is a financial hub and the cost of living is significantly higher, PAs generally earn more here. London PAs can generally command a salary between £27,500 and £59,000 per annum depending on experience, again varying based on factors like the employer's stature, the PA's experience, and the nature of responsibilities. The average personal assistant salary in London comes in at £39,394, according to Glassdoor data.

Average Rate for a PA & Hourly Roles

If we're looking at hourly rates, the average rate for a personal assistant in the UK is approximately £11 to £26 per hour, with an average of £16 per hour. Roles that are typically paid by the hour include temporary PA positions, event-specific roles (like assisting at a major corporate event or conference), or positions in industries that operate outside the typical 9-5 (like the entertainment industry, where an artist might hire a PA for a tour).

Highest Earning PAs

PAs earning the highest salaries, especially those who work for top-tier executives, celebrities, or major financial corporations in London, can earn up to £50,000 to £70,000 annually. This can be even higher for PAs with decades of experience, specialised training, or those who work for global business magnates and celebrities.

PA Salaries in Other Major Cities in the UK

Venturing outside the bustling streets of London, how do PA salaries fare in other UK hubs like Birmingham, Manchester, or Edinburgh?

Here are the average PA salaries for UK hubs:

Birmingham: £30,471
Manchester: £29,114
Edinburgh: £28,344
Bristol: £27,724
Leeds: £29,251
Glasgow: £25,304

This data has been taken from self-reporting salary figures within Glassdoor as of October 2023.

A UK personal assistant speaking to an executive to negotiate a higher salary.

What Factors Influence a PA's Salary?

The Role of Experience

While everyone starts somewhere, the journey from entry-level to a seasoned PA can be reflected in the salary package. Someone with a rich background of experience working in high-profile personal assistant roles or with notable professionals might command an annual salary that's considerably higher than a newcomer.

Geographic Differences

Location, location, location! It’s no secret that a PA based in the heart of London might earn more than their counterpart elsewhere. The PA salary in London, due to the bustling business environment and high living costs, often outstrips the broader UK average.

Full-time Vs. Part-time

The allure of flexible working hours might come with a revised pay scale. Part-time roles, while offering more flexibility, could have a different pay structure compared to full-time positions. Often, the highest-paying PA roles demand flexibility and working outside of the usual 9-5 work schedule.


The broader PA title often encapsulates a range of roles. An executive assistant, for instance, might cater to top-tier executives and thus earn a higher salary. Variables such as a background in business administration, nuanced job titles, and packages crafted depending on experience can also play influential roles in determining pay. A PA with fluency in a second language or a specialisation in a particular industry may be able to command higher compensation or negotiate a better benefits package.

Steps to Elevate Your PA Salary

To command the highest PA salaries in the UK, you’ll want to consider taking one or more of the following steps to enhance your professional trajectory and, consequently, your salary:

1. Continuous Professional Development

  • Engaging in courses or certifications which are targeted towards enhancing specific PA skills can be a game-changer. This could range from advanced IT training, management courses, or sector-specific qualifications, such as those in the finance or legal fields.

2. Build a Specialised Niche

  • PAs with expertise in particular sectors (e.g., tech, finance, healthcare, or media) often command higher salaries. If you have an interest or background in a specific industry, consider leveraging that.
  • Being multilingual can also be a significant asset, especially for companies that operate internationally. If you can communicate in more than one language, you’re likely to be more valuable, especially to multinational corporations or executives who travel frequently.

3. Grow your Network

  • Building a relationship with recruitment agencies that specialise in PA and administrative roles can expose you to higher-paying opportunities. They often have insights into what employers value most and can guide you in honing the right skills.
  • You may also want to attend PA and administrative conferences, workshops, and seminars. These can be platforms not just for learning but also for making valuable contacts in the industry.

4. Build an Impressive Portfolio

  • Gather positive feedback and testimonials from past and present employers. This can be a potent tool during negotiations.
  • Document instances where you've gone above and beyond in your role or made a tangible difference. Demonstrating your value can help in commanding a better salary.

5. Seek Mentorship

  • Finding a mentor, especially someone who has successfully navigated the PA landscape, can offer invaluable guidance. They can provide insights into salary negotiations, building expertise, and opening doors to opportunities you might not have considered.

7. Negotiate

  • Don't shy away from negotiating your salary. Ensure you're well-versed with industry standards and don’t undervalue your expertise and contribution.
  • If you've added skills, certifications or have commendable achievements, leverage them during salary discussions.

8. Regularly Review Salary Benchmarks

Regularly check resources like Glassdoor, and specialised recruitment agencies' reports to stay updated on salary trends. This ensures you're always aware of your market value.

Reach Out To Tyler Griffen Today

Looking for your next PA role or looking to hire an exceptional PA? We’re here to help. With over 15 years of experience in PA recruitment, we’re confident we can find you the right fit. Get in touch with our friendly team today, or check out our current PA vacancies here.