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Nov 2003 Contents

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Salary survey reveals truth about UK usability market

Giles Colborne

UKUPA Chapter President

Most people looking for the first time at the results of the UK Chapter's recent salary survey will rush to find out where they come on the overall pay scale. But the survey asked far more than just 'how much do you make' and because it was widely publicised and open to all, the results have some interesting things to say about the state of our industry.

For a start, it calls into question the common belief that our industry is under threat from untutored snake-oil salesmen. In fact, about half of respondents had a PhD or Masters in HCI or psychology. Another 20% had a bachelor's degree in HCI, psychology or computer science. Three quarters were members of UPA, SIG-CHI or the British HCI Group.

The largest age group in our survey was the 25-35 year-old group. These people have been drawn to the explosion in usability services over the past decade. Again, half had an HCI degree, and another 25% were members of a professional society.

The results also show that qualified professionals earn more. The average salary for respondents with 'A' levels (high school qualifications) was about 33,000; those with bachelor's degrees earned 36,000 on average; masters degrees pulled in an average of 39,000 and doctorates about 41,000. It's clear that the market pays more for qualified usability professionals.

In short, the survey paints a picture of a knowledgeable industry where better qualifications are linked to higher pay.

You can download a PDF copy of the UK UPA salary survey results from the UK chapter website ( - see the link on the right hand side of the home page.

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