What is the Average NHS Salary


Average pay NHS

The NHS is one of the largest employers outside of the civil service within the UK, and if you’re considering applying for a job it’s important to understand the NHS average salary. Around 100,000 people work for the National Health Service, with each one of those employees getting paid  a salary.  Now the average NHS salary can vary depending on where you live within the UK. For example in London the average salary would be a lot higher than in Lincolnshire, approximately £5000 difference for the same role. However also the type of job that you do whether you are a clinician (as doctor, nurse, therapist), in administration, operations or projects. The average salary can vary. 

How much do NHS workers get paid

Below is a list of salary ranges for every band within the NHS.

Band Job Roles Salary Range
Band 1 Apprentice £4.62 – £8.91 per hour
Band 2 Receptionist, Junior Admin £4.62 – £8.91 per hour
Band 3 Senior Admin, Assistant Practitioner £5.68 – £9.21 per hour
Band 4 Specialist Admin, Team Leader, Healthcare Assistant £9.21 – £10.97 per hour
Band 5 Staff Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist £27,055 – £36,134 per annum
Band 6 Senior Staff Nurse, Specialist Nurse, Pharmacist £31,365 – £44,503 per annum
Band 7 Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Physiotherapist, Advanced Occupational Therapist £38,890 – £44,503 per annum
Band 8a Consultant Nurse, Consultant Occupational Therapist, Consultant Physiotherapist, Commissioning Manager £45,753 – £51,668 per annum
Band 8b Consultant Nurse, Consultant Occupational Therapist, Consultant Physiotherapist £53,168 – £62,001 per annum
Band 8c Consultant Nurse, Consultant Occupational Therapist, Consultant Physiotherapist £63,751 – £73,664 per annum
Band 8d Consultant Nurse, Consultant Occupational Therapist, Consultant Physiotherapist £76,751 – £103,491 per annum
Band 9 Director of Nursing, Director of Finance £91,004 – £104,927 per annum
Executive Director Chief Executive Officer, Medical Director £108,638 – £162,938 per annum

As you can see  NHS salaries depending on your banding highlight the immense difference between a band  1 and   band 9, which can be close to £100,000.  However, what you will find is that the majority of NHS staff are a Band 5  therefore the NHS average salary is typically between £27,000 to £36,000.

What is the average salary of an NHS Nurse

Nurses makeup the largest clinical workforce within the NHS The majority of nurse jobs are in a band 5 position. The average NHS nurse salary  is between £27,000 to £36,000. New nurses  enter the workforce as a Band 5  but then spend a large part of their career there between 5-7 years. If you are a nurse or an NHS worker who is struggling to move up to a higher band I would highly recommend you undertake some NHS interview coaching . We offer a free consultation. This is partly because many people struggle with the NHS interview scoring system  which requires you to  integrate NHS values as well as  key buzzwords into your responses and examples.

Clinical NHS Salary Vs Non Clinical NHS Salary

Generally within the NHS what you’ll find is that clinical staff earn more as a percentage of the overall workforce compared to non clinical staff this is mainly because a post qualified fully trained nurse enter the NHS as a Band 5.  A Pharmacist will come in at band 6 and a psychologist will come in at band 7. This is because the NHS does take into account the training that clinical staff have to go through. Which can take many years depending on your area of specialism,  therefore once they qualify they come in at a higher level.

However, if you do enter the workforce as a band 1 or a band 2 as a non-clinical worker you will be able to work your way up the salary gradings. I’ve coached professionals who started off as Band 3s eventually work themselves up to band 8a position. This of course will require you to do additional training as part of your job and undertake various qualifications to support your move up.  For example doing a project management course, doing a degree or a Masters.  It’s Important to note that the NHS can fund many of these programmes as part of your CDP and PDP (Professional Development Programme). 

Doctors NHS Salary Bands

Doctors  within the NHS are on a slightly different pay banding. Earnings are usually linked to the amount of training they have received and the amount of experience that they possess. However, once qualified a junior doctor will start earning approximately £26,000.  With experience the average NHS doctor salary will be around £50,000 to £70,000.  Below is a table breaking down the NHS doctor salary.

Grade Job Roles Minimum Salary Maximum Salary
Foundation Year 1 (FY1) Junior Doctor £28,243 £32,691
Foundation Year 2 (FY2) Junior Doctor £32,691 £41,787
Specialty Registrar (StR) Doctor in training for a specialty £38,694 £49,036
Junior Clinical Fellow (JCF) Junior doctor in a specialty training program £38,694 £49,036
Staff Grade (SG) Doctor with at least 2 years’ experience in a specialty £38,694 £49,036
Specialty Doctor (SD) Doctor with at least 4 years’ postgraduate training £41,964 £76,751
Specialty Doctor (Trust Grade) (SDTG) Doctor in a specialty without a national training number £41,964 £76,751
Associate Specialist (AS) Doctor with at least 4 years’ experience in a specialty £41,964 £76,751
Consultant (C) Senior doctor responsible for leading a team £82,096 £110,683


As you can see the range is quite broad between minimum and maximum salary for each banding.  For example, for a Foundation Year 2 Junior doctor the salary can range from £32,000 to just over £41,000 which could be dependent on location. 

How much do NHS jobs pay in different locations

NHS average salaries vary from location to location. This is down to a number of factors, cost of living in the area being one of them, but also so the ability to attract the right Talent can also be a factor.  For example if you’re in London, As it’s more expensive to live, you’ll be paid around £4,000- £5,000 more compared to another part of the country.

Also if you’re located in a remote part of the country say in Cornwall or Devon then there’s a possibility that the average NHS salary will be higher for skilled staff because it’s harder  to recruit for those areas therefore they are willing to pay slightly more. It’s important when you are in a position of receiving a job offer that you negotiate yourself the best possible salary.  The way to do this is to learn how to negotiate a salary offer.

What are the Differences in Salaries between NHS England, NHS Improvement, CCGs and NHS Trusts?

In theory there should be no differences in salary bandings between all of the various NHS departments as they are expected to follow The NHS Agenda for Change pay scales. However since NHS England and NHS improvement are more strategically focused job roles the majority of positions are non-clinical. However, some clinical experience might be important for certain job roles. The biggest  reason for variation in salary earnings per  banding is due to location. 

Farhan Raja

I'm Farhan, the Founder and Coach at JobInterviewology.com, one of the world’s leading Career and interview Coaching specialists. Bringing over a decade of industry experience and a passion for guiding individuals in their career journeys. As an Interview and Career Coach, I've authored the eBook '10 Simple Steps to CV & Resume Success,' directed a leading UK CV writing specialist, and pioneered the iPREP interview coaching methodology.

My career and interview coaching has spanned over 10 years across diverse industries, from IT giants like Google and Microsoft to vital sectors like Civil Service & NHS, Pharma, Finance, Engineering, Automotive, Construction, Logistics, Banking, and Management Consulting. I've had the privilege of assisting professionals in presenting their best selves, and targeting roles at renowned companies like Amazon, GSK, EY, Shell, Rolls Royce and more.

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