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Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry

UK Sign Industry Salary Survey

Our salary survey, for the UK sign industry, has been compiled from data obtained from our own recruitment briefs from UK Sign companies, the expected salaries of the numerous industry experienced individuals we’re in touch with and research from various online adverts. From this data we’ve compiled a guide on the salary ranges for a variety of key roles within the sign industry.

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Intro

The sign industry is what I describe as an umbrella industry, i.e. it is made up of a number of different sub-industries. From large roll out sign manufacturers, bespoke architectural and wayfinding companies, through to large format graphics / digital printers and vehicle livery speciliasts. The companies within the sign industry can also vary massively, from one man bands, small sign shops up to multi-million pound turnover organisations.

Our salary survey has been compiled from the salary ranges of the briefs we receive, the salaries of the industry experienced individuals we’re in touch with as well as research of online adverts. This may mean our salary survey results has a bias towards the range of UK sign companies that we work with. These include companies that we class as:

  • Small c£1-2M turnover,
  • Medium c£2-5M turnover,
  • Medium to large c£5-10M turnover,
  • Large c£10M + turnover.

Whilst we have worked with slightly smaller companies, they tend to hire more generalist “sign makers” that perform a range of duties and therefore don’t fit into the specific disciplines outlined in our salary survey.

Our salary survey is intended as a guide only. Due to the diversity of the industry we can only base the salaries on our experiences. It’s also worth noting that the sign industry has a number of functions that by title can be ambiguous. Equally, there is no set salary across the board. In short, the reality is that companies looking to recruit may need to pay what it takes to secure the individual they want. Particularly in disciplines where there is a shortage of people within the talent pool.

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Estimators

The role of an estimator includes the following responsibilities:

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Estimating
  • Compiling costs, quotations and estimates to help win sales.
  • Pricing new sales opportunities and repeat business.
  • Maintaining a database of material and sub-contract suppliers & their costs.
  • Negotiating with suppliers and sub-contractors.
  • Completing RFI’s & Tenders.

Junior Estimator: c£20,000 – 25,000

Estimator: c£25,000 – 35,000

Senior Estimator: c£35,000 – 45,000

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Production

Covering various roles and responsibilities within Signage Production.

Sign Maker: c£16,000 – 22,000 + overtime

Production Planning: c£20,000 – 30,000

Production Supervisor: c£20,000 – 30,000

Production Manager: c£30,000 – 50,000

Production Director: c£50,000 – 65,000

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Production

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Projects

Project Manager, sometimes called Contract Manager, is one of the most ambiguous titles within the sign industry. Different companies combine various responsibilities and ways of working under the Project / Contract Management job function. The core function is to deliver projects, from post sale to invoicing, and responsibilities can include:

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Projects
  • Ensuring projects run on time & budget.
  • Client Management.
  • Account Management & Development.
  • Site meetings.
  • Scoping of works.
  • Surveying.
  • Risk assessments & Health & Safety.
  • Planning permission.
  • Sub-contractor management.
  • Estimating & Costings.
  • Report writing.
  • Site Management.

Project Administrator: c£18,000 – 22,000

Junior Project Manager: £20,000 – 25,000

Project Manager: £25,000 – 35,000

Senior Project Manager: c£35,000 – 45,000

Head of Projects: c£40,000 – 55,000

Projects Director: c£50,000 – 65,000

N.B. Company cars / car allowances are often provided for Project Managers who are required to attend client and site meetings. Some companies also pay bonuses and / or commission to their project managers, particularly the ones that fulfill an account management function within their role. 

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Design

Sign industry Designers can cover a variety of functions, from graphic design through to producing technical production / manufacturing drawings. In smaller sign companies the role of designer / artworker can sometimes be combined with print production, vinyl cutting and application etc. A broad overview of tasks can include:

  • Graphic design for marketing materials and client presentations.
  • Converting files.
  • 2D & 3D design.
  • Visualisation.
  • Concept drawings.
  • Creating sign families.
  • Brand guidelines / Brand bibles.
  • Production / Manufacturing drawings.
Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry \ Design

Junior Designer: c£18,000 – 22,000

Designer: c£20,000 – 30,000

Senior Designer: c£30,000 – 40,000

Head of Design / Design Manager: c£40,000 – 45,000 +

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Installation

Responsible for installing signage and graphics, sometimes called Sign Fitters, Sign Engineers, Sign Erectors or Sign Installers.

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Installation

Fitters Mate: c£16,000 – 20,000*

Sign Installer / Fitter: c£20,000 – 35,000*

Installations Manager: c£30,000 – 45,000

* Can also increase earnings with overtime.

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Sales

Sales people within the sign industry can be called a variety of different job titles. Most are responsible for researching and developing new business and nurturing their own portfolio of clients. Sales / Business Development is one of the hardest positions to find people for. In the last ten years we’ve seen a reduction in the number of sales people within the UK sign industry.

With a number of large sign companies closing, people leaving the industry, retirement and a lack of new sales people being brought through, has resulted in a shortage of industry experienced sales people. With a limited candidate pool, sales is a position that has a wide salary range, and where you may be forced to pay whatever it takes to attract the sales person you want.

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Sales

Sales / Business Development Exec: c£30,000 – 35,000

Sales / Business Development Manager: c£35,000 – 45,000

Senior Sales / Business Development Manager: c£44,000 – 55,000

Head of Sales / Sales Director: c£55,000 – 80,000

Usually sales people receive a company car or car allowance as part of their package. Most will also receive a commission structure or bonus. Commissions vary from company to company. Some pay 1-2% on all sales and sometimes more, others pay commissions above a set monthly target and others pay a percentage of profit. It’s also been known to offer a new sales person a guarantee on commission for their first year. The range of different commission structures is so varied, I can’t cover them all. If you’d like to know more, please feel free to get in touch.

Salary survey continues below

Salary Survey | UK Sign Industry | Miscellaneous positions

Surveyor: c£30,000 – 40,000

Operations Manager: c£35,000 – 45,000

Operations Director: c£45,000 – 70,000

General Manager: c£35,000 – 70,000

Commercial Manager: c£35,000 – 45,000

Commercial Director: c£45,000 – 70,000

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