Birmingham is a large metropolis within the West Midlands region known for its diverse culture and excellent public art. As a thriving industrial city, Birmingham is a great place for expats to live. Still, how much does living in Birmingham cost, and what’s considered a reasonable salary here?
A good annual salary for Birmingham is between £35,000 – £45,000. With this income, you can meet all your expenses, plus some extras, while paying rent, groceries, and transportation costs for a comfortable life. The salary range is between £32,395 and £95,657. In this case, the average wage is £59,588 per year, and the hourly wage is £29.
Birmingham is relatively affordable compared to other UK cities, including London, Cambridge, Oxford, etc. This article analyzes Birmingham salaries so you can understand what income you need for living in this city. Thus, you’ll get a clearer picture of how life and work in Birmingham are.
Also read what is a good salary in Scotland?
What is a good salary to live on in Birmingham, UK, in 2023?
Birmingham’s cost of living is 50% lower than in other main cities in the UK. Moreover, living in Birmingham is 36% less expensive than in London.
This makes it one of the top cities in the UK for its high-income level. However, salaries vary greatly depending on where you work or what kind of job you have in Birmingham.
The average salary for a Birmingham city resident working full time in 2023 is £39,600 per year. Incentive payments are also included in this income.
A salary of this level allows you to afford a decent lifestyle, including a two-bedroom apartment, dining out, and weekend trips.
A monthly salary of £2,900 or higher is required in Birmingham to reach these numbers.
According to various sources, Birmingham residents should aim to earn an annual gross salary of over £30,000. Before taxes, this amounts to about £2,500 per month.
The bottom line is that anyone working in Birmingham with a monthly income between £2,750 and £4,000 earns a good wage.
An income of £20k per year would probably suffice if you lived alone. However, if you wanted to live comfortably in Birmingham, with a nice car and a spare room, you would need to earn more than £35k per year.
It will cost you an additional £15k if you want to live in a more upmarket neighborhood like Harborne, Solihull, or Edgbaston.
A salary of this level would be good enough to provide a decent standard of living if you’re single. However, to maintain a good standard of living, a family will likely need two incomes.
A couple needs about £49,700 of after-tax income to live comfortably, according to the Pensions & Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).
On the other hand, a family with two parents and two children requires an average income of £67,554 to live comfortably in Birmingham.
The average starting salary for university graduates in Birmingham is as follows:
- Legal sector: between £23,000 and £50,000 per year
- Economic sector: an annual salary of £20,000 to £25,000 plus benefits
- Technology sector: annual salary of £32,000 to £38,000
Here are some facts about Birmingham’s work perspectives:
- Birmingham is home to more than 1.1 million people.
- Among the cities that are outside London, Birmingham has the highest number of businesses (38,552).
- There were 4,739 new jobs created in 2014-15.
Career zones in Birmingham:
- Manufacturing and engineering still dominate the city, but there are also plenty of retail, government, and finance jobs.
- Birmingham has a manufacturing and engineering sector employing more than 100,000 people.
- Birmingham is also a hub for jobs in the financial and professional sectors. Banks, human resources, accountancy, financial firms, the legal sector, and insurance agencies employ a whopping 200,000 workers. Legal services are one of the biggest economic drivers in Birmingham.
The starting salary for entry-level positions is £28,000, and those with more experience can expect to make around £60,000 annually. Yet, a family with two parents and two children can get by on approximately £57,500 per year.
A salary of over £35,000 per year, or approximately £3,000 per month, would allow you to afford the following:
Housing: For £650 to £800 plus per month, you can rent a one bedroom apartment outside the city center.
If you want to live in the city center, a one bedroom apartment can cost between £850 and £1,000. That said, sharing a flat or house can save you money on housing.
In Birmingham, some areas like Sutton Coldfield and Solihull are considered more luxurious and thus may be more expensive. However, you can still find more affordable areas like Perry Barr or Erdington.
Health insurance: According to International Citizen Insurance, a legal resident of the United Kingdom has access to free healthcare through the NHS.
However, on average, a private health insurance policy costs up to £1,500 per year. Approximately £125 a month works out, but many pay much less.
Groceries: If you’re not frivolous, £300-£650 should see you through the month.
Monthly disposable income: In general, you can afford to eat out, go to the movies, and take weekend trips with £1,200 to £1,500 a month remaining after taxes and housing costs.
Savings: You can save £500 or more per month after expenses.
Example of a good salary in Birmingham
If you earn more than £30,000 in Birmingham, it’s a good salary. Considering Birmingham’s median income is approximately £30,000, that makes sense. In other words, if your salary exceeds £3,000, it’s higher than half that of people living in Birmingham.
The going rate for a good hourly wage in Birmingham is £16.83. This equals £673 in weekly wages and £2,916 in monthly wages.
Housing: You can get a one-bedroom apartment in the city center for £1,000 per month.
Utilities: Utilities in the UK cost an average of £85.00 per month.
Internet costs: Internet costs between £18.99 and £32.25.
Groceries and food: The average amount for groceries and food is £300 – £600.
- A single adult ticket to Midland Metro (Stage 1) costs £2.60
- An all-day ticket for buses, trams, and trains costs £8.50. On the other hand, a monthly season ticket for buses, trams, and trains costs £85.
- The price of a first-class season ticket is £125.50 per month. However, an annual season ticket for the tram, bus, and train costs between £1,020 and £1,510.
Monthly disposable income: You can afford to eat out, go to the movies, and take weekend trips with £600. It’s possible to go on vacation 1-2 times per year.
Saving: You can save a good amount every month from what is left over.
In Birmingham, the following jobs and salaries are common:
|Job||Monthly gross salary|
Listed below are some of Birmingham’s average annual salaries for highly paid jobs:
- Heart Transplant Surgeon: £379,000
- Internist: £263,000
- Pediatric surgeon: £279,000
- General Counsel: £202,000
- Finance Director: £176,000
- Real Estate Portfolio Manager: £164,000
- Director of Engineering: £152,000
- Hospitality Director: £158,000
- General Manager: £147,000
- Administrative law judge: £227,000
- Chief Executive Officer: £189,000
- Orthodontist: £171,000
- Chief Financial Officer: £174,000
- Investment Advisor: £159,000
- Supreme Court Judge: £253,000
2. Average salary in Birmingham in 2022
|Title of the job||Average salary|
|General/Unspecified Project Manager||£40,298|
|Teaching Assistant (TA)||£15,796|
The average salary in Birmingham is £39,600 per year. This amount is based on a review of all salaries within the city and includes jobs in both the public and private sectors.
This amounts to approximately £3,300 per month. Typically, Birmingham employees earn between £17,000 and £40,600 per year.
Is 40k pounds per year a good salary in Birmingham, UK?
If you earn at least £40,000 per year in Birmingham, this is considered a comfortable salary. In comparison to the median income of £33,900, this is over 25% higher than average.
With this salary, you can comfortably cover your living expenses and have some money left over for saving or investing.
This is a good salary for one person in Birmingham. However, if you are supporting a family with two or more children, you may want to aim for a higher salary.
Your savings for a deposit would allow you to afford the top end of the average rent, and you can even afford a mortgage if you have savings.
This salary could also cover day-to-day expenses such as transport, food and utilities, with money left over to enjoy leisure activities.
Birmingham is an affordable place to live with £40,000. Rent will take approximately a third of a salary in Birmingham, depending on the location and size of the property.
Ensure you consider the cost of rent vs. travel, schools, etc. It’s doable since that will leave you with £1,700 per month and about £400 a week for living expenses.
In Birmingham, larger apartments typically cost less than you’re paying for daily accommodations. So, for £800, you can get a flat.
However, you will likely be able to save even more money by renting a room in a house. That said, if you want an apartment and are willing to find out the rent is within your budget, there should be no problem.
How much salary do you need to live comfortably in Birmingham, UK?
A comfortable lifestyle would require an annual salary of around £45,000 per year in order to live comfortably in Birmingham.
This salary would allow you to have a comfortable lifestyle and still save for the future. With this amount of money, you should be able to rent a decent-sized apartment as well as pay for necessities such as groceries and transportation.
You may even be able to afford extras such as eating out or going on the occasional holiday.
The cost of living in Birmingham is on the rise. With that comes higher housing costs and the need for people to live within their means.
It’s not uncommon for people to move to this city because they want to take advantage of its opportunities.
The cost of living in Birmingham varies depending on where you live and the housing you’re looking for. With that said, you still need to be prepared for Birmingham’s high cost of living. You’ll want to budget for gas, electric, and water bills, groceries, and transportation costs.
If you plan on working while in Birmingham, make sure to factor in your commute time and parking issues, as both can add up quickly.
You can pay an average of £754 for a one-bedroom and up to £106 for utilities. On the other hand, a two bedroom would go for £1,106 and up to £168 for its utilities.
If you decide against renting an apartment or home in Birmingham, you’ll need more than £150,000 saved up before looking for a place to buy.
This way, you can afford monthly payments and other expenses associated with owning property here.
During the past year, Birmingham properties averaged £254,024 . Birmingham sold more semi-detached properties than any other city last year, with an average sale price of £253,554.
In addition, terraced houses sold for an average of £206,984, while flats averaged £140,742.
On the other hand, the average home value in New York was $783,175 over the past year. According to recent research, the value of a New York home has increased by 6.6%.
As a result, Birmingham is considered the best place to live compared to New York (if we were comparing). New York City’s cost of living is 54% higher than Birmingham’s.
Several housing options are available in the city, resulting in higher rents than average. Among these are student housing complexes with shared bedrooms, family homes with three or more bedrooms, and townhouses with two or more.
Additionally, as an international hub with a knowledge-based economy, the city offers employment opportunities beyond traditional office jobs.
Groceries and food
Birmingham is a city with an incredible food scene. However, if you are on a budget, it can be challenging to get the most out of it without compromising on taste. Here is the average amount you would pay for food in this city:
|Groceries and food||Average price|
|1 kg beef round or equivalent back leg red meat||£7.71|
|1 kg local cheese||£6.16|
|1 kg chicken fillets||£5.40|
|Dozen regular eggs||£1.90|
|1 kg orange||£1.87|
|1 kg tomatoes||£1.82|
|1 kg apples||£1.76|
|1 kg white rice||£1.30|
|1 kg potato||£1.10|
|1 kg onion||£1.08|
|500g white bread||£0.98|
|1 kg banana||£0.98|
|1 liter of regular milk||£0.97|
|1 head lettuce||£0.56|
Transport in Birmingham
Birmingham has several options for public transportation. Buses, trains, and trams provide excellent public transportation throughout Birmingham and the surrounding region.
Even though Birmingham has excellent connections, walking and cycling around the city is quite popular since there is a lot to see and enjoy.
|Mode of transport||Average cost|
|New Toyota Corolla (basic version)||£19,155.51|
|Public transport ticket for one month||£67.28|
|A single ride on public transportation||£2.58|
|1 km taxi or similar transport app||£2.05|
|1 liter or 1/4 gallon of gasoline||£1.56|
Expat health insurance
Being prepared for medical emergencies is essential for expats in Birmingham. You can get stress-free healthcare in Birmingham with health insurance plans tailored to your expat needs and budget.
You can choose health insurance from companies such as Cigna, April International, Regency, etc.
If you’re injured, or you get ill, you will need health insurance that provides emergency services.
The best way for expats to protect themselves from financial losses due to injury or illness is by choosing a good provider with a wide network of hospitals and clinics worldwide so that they can receive treatment quickly and easily when needed most.
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