What Is a Good Salary in Manchester, UK

How much could you expect to earn in Manchester, UK? The question about salaries is always hard to answer since people rarely share how much they make. We are here to give you the lowdown based on years of experience living and working abroad.

Considering the average salary in Manchester, which is 37,943 GBP per year, a good salary ranges from 35,000 GBP to 45,000 GBP per year before taxes. Entry-level employees can expect to earn about 28,455 GBP annually, while experienced workers could earn as much as 59,798 GBP per year.

Of course, many factors come into play when determining the feasibility of living in Manchester given a particular salary. This article covers the various aspects that could affect your cost of living along with typical salary and expenses in Manchester. In the end, your paycheck determines your comfort and lifestyle. 

What is considered a good salary in Manchester, UK?

Considering that the average annual salary in the UK is around 27,000 GBP, anything above 30,000 GBP per year can be viewed as a good salary in Manchester. Keep in mind that you will have to deduct taxes from that amount.

A gross salary of 30,000 GBP will leave you 23,849 GBP take-home yearly income. It’s about 1,987 GBP per month. This should be enough to cover accommodations, general living expenses, leisure, and recreation, with a little extra for incidental costs. 

Many UK residents feel that anything above 2,000 GBP per month after tax and national insurance is sufficient to ensure a comfortable living pretty much anywhere in the country.

Earning this much should give you enough to pay for a rental flat or studio, have a decent food budget, and even splurge on the occasional night out and yearly vacation.

Of course, the more you earn over 30,000 GBP, the better off you will be. Generally, 30k is enough for a single, but it won’t be sufficient for a couple and certainly not for a family with kids. In that case, you should find ways to make more than 2,000 GBP a month. 

As with all large cities, rental costs will probably be your biggest expenditure in Manchester. Monthly rates aren’t quite as high as they would be in London, but keep in mind that you will have to devote a significant portion of your salary to rent if you choose to live here.

The average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in Manchester is 800 GBP.

Furthermore, the closer you live to the city center, the higher you can expect accommodations and basic goods and services to be.

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Average salary in Manchester in 2022

The average annual salary in Manchester is around 37,943 GBP, or about 19.46 GBP per hour. At the same time, the median salary was 31,500 GBP in 2021.

Entry-level workers get paid considerably less. Those starting out in entry-level positions can expect to earn only about 28,455 GBP per year.

Yet, this can increase significantly with experience, depending on the profession. In some cases, experienced workers can earn as much as 59,798 GBP per year (before taxes).

Nonetheless, the unemployment rent was 7,3% in 2021 in Manchester, which is among the highest in the UK. This fact could affect your chances of finding a desirable job at the desirable salary level.

Here’s a breakdown of the average salaries in Manchester for people working 40 hours per week: 

PayGBP
Yearly37,942.87
Monthly3,161.91
Biweekly1,580.95
Weekly729.67
Daily145.93
Hourly18.24

Example of a good salary in Manchester

How far will 37,943 GBP get you as a single in Manchester?

Although the UK is one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in, the cost of living in Manchester is pretty reasonable. A salary of around 37,000 GBP a year will be more than enough to live comfortably, most of which will go to accommodations, general living expenses, and leisure and recreation. 

With an average salary of 37,943 GBP in Manchester, you could cover all your basic expenses, go on holidays and even take out a mortgage.

Furthermore, there are plenty of work opportunities available in this part of the country, even for expats. This means that you could have a pretty comfortable life in Manchester even if your salary is merely average. 

Gross vs net

Of course, you have to consider how much you will have to deduct in taxes out of your annual salary. If you earn an average of 37,943 GBP per year, for example, as much as 8,791 GBP of that amount will go to taxes. This brings your net pay to 29,151 GBP annually, which comes to 2,429 GBP per month. 

The average tax rate in the UK is 22.3%. The marginal tax rate is around 32.0%, which means you will be taxed for that much for any immediate additional income you earn.

Here are national income tax rates for 2022:

  • 20% – for an annual salary between £12,570 and £50,270
  • 40% – for an annual salary between £50,271 and £150,000
  • 45% – for an annual salary above £150,001

For example, if you get a salary increase of 100 GBP, expect to deduct 32 GBP out of that for marginal taxes. Consequently, the salary increase of 100 GBP you receive will only come to an additional 68 GBP per month.

Here’s how the taxes work out: 

GBP 
Salary37,943
Income Tax5,072
NIC (National Insurance Contribution)3,718
Total tax8,791
Net pay29,151
Source: Talent.com

Is £60k a year a good salary for a single in Manchester?

£60,000 is more than 1,5 times above the average wage in Manchester. It’s undoubtedly a decent salary for Manchester. You can live comfortably not only as a single but as a couple on that Income.

Making £60,000 in Manchester and the UK overall will put you in the middle class and among the 10% of top earners. Yet, a salary above 50k in the UK means paying more taxes since you are now in the higher tax bracket. The net income for a gross salary of £60,000 is £42,903, which comes to about £3,575 per month.

Therefore, you pay about 17,096 (28,49%) in income tax and national insurance.

To rent a two-bedroom apartment will cost you about £1,000 – £1,200 per month, including utilities, and transport is under £100; the rest can be spent on food, leisure, and personal needs.

If you have a wife or/and kids to support, this salary would still be enough, but you won’t be very flexible with spending. Optimally, your spouse should work part-time to ensure the lifestyle you want.

What salary do you need to live in Manchester?

An annual salary of 27,000 GBP, which is the average in the UK, should be enough for a single adult to live on in Manchester. But this will only cover the basic necessities, leaving very little for incidental expenses and emergencies. 

Furthermore, deducting taxes and national insurance from that amount will make it even more challenging to make ends meet.

Although many people find ways to manage on minimum wage, a salary closer to the national average‒or preferably, higher – will help ensure a more comfortable lifestyle in Manchester.

A gross salary of at least 30,000 GBP is recommended if you want to enjoy life a bit more.

From a cost standpoint, one main differentiating thing about Manchester is that it’s a very student-friendly city. As such, there is no shortage of bargains to be had everywhere, not just for students but for working adults as well. 

Make no mistake: Manchester is one of the UK’s largest cities, and like all major metropolitan centers, goods, services, and utilities can be pretty expensive.

Nevertheless, it has something to offer for everyone regardless of budget. In many ways, Manchester offers many of the perks of living in a big city without the corresponding price tag.

The cost of housing will be your biggest concern when living in Manchester. As with all cities, house prices and rental expenses will be higher the closer you live to the city center.

And while prices are definitely lower than they are in London, expect to devote a large chunk of your income on accommodations. Compare housing costs in London and Manchester to see what we mean.

Housing

  • In London, a single-bedroom apartment located near the city center will set you back around 1,600 GBP a month. Move further out towards the outskirts, and you might find a similar apartment unit for only around 1,000 GBP or less. 

Family homes are another matter. Rental costs for a two-room standalone house near the city center can cost as much as 3,000 GBP a month. Further out in the suburbs, you are looking at closer to 1,900 GBP for a similar house with the same number of rooms.

  • In contrast, a single-bedroom apartment in Manchester would only cost around 700 GBP a month, and that’s for a unit located close to the center of town. Move further out, and a similarly-featured apartment might cost only 500 GBP per month. You can find a three-bedroom apartment starting from 850 GBP a month.

Houses will also be priced correspondingly lower in Manchester than they would in London. While a house near the city center might cost you 3,000 GBP a month and a suburban unit might go for 1,900 GBP a month, expect to pay three times less for a similarly featured house in Manchester. 

As for living expenses, you could live pretty comfortably in Manchester for around 1,200 GBP a month, which works out to about 14,400 GBP per year.

In comparison, you will need about 1,500 GBP monthly or 18,000 GBP a year to enjoy the same lifestyle in London. 

Of course, you can live on much less if you are a single adult with modest needs and expectations. If you can take advantage of the many discounts offered to students and do away with luxuries, you could get by with as little as 600 GBP a month in Manchester.

On the other hand, your costs will increase exponentially if you have a family. For a family of four, you might need about 4,081 GBP a month to cover your living expenses in Manchester in order to have a comfortable lifestyle. That works out to about 48,972 GBP per year. 

Food

What about food? A single adult could manage reasonably well with a grocery budget of more or less 50 GBP per week.

For a family of three or four, you will probably want to bump that up to 100 – 200 GBP per week, depending on your need to purchase high-priced items and eat out or order takeout on occasion. 

Here’s an idea of how much essential commodities, utilities, and amenities cost in Manchester: 

ItemAverage cost
Restaurants
Budget restaurant meal 15.00
3-course, mid-range restaurant meal for two 60.00
Fast-food meal (Mcdonald’s or similar) 6.00
Local beer (pint)4.00
Imported beer (bottle)4.75
Cappuccino (regular)3.07
Soda (bottle)1.76
Water (bottle)1.19
Groceries 
Milk (1 liter)1.02
Bread (500g loaf)1.17
Rice (1kg)1.64
Eggs (one dozen)2.31
Cheese (1kg)5.93
Chicken fillet (1kg)6.20
Beef round (1kg) 8.10
Apples (1kg)2.08
Bananas (1kg)1.38
Oranges (1kg)2.01
Tomato (1kg)1.60
Potatoes (1kg)1.27
Onions (1kg)1.25
Lettuce (1 head)0.73
Transportation
One-way ticket3.00
Monthly pass for bus, tram and train76.09
Taxi start 2.30
Taxi per km 1.22
Gasoline (1 liter)1.54
Utilities (Monthly)
Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage 183.24
Prepaid mobile (Local, per minute)0.10
Internet (Cable/ADSL)26.15
Sports And Leisure
Fitness club (per month)25.87
Tennis court rental (per hour)9.50
Movie theater ticket 8.25
Childcare
Private preschool/kindergarten (per month)993.62
Primary school (per year)11,280.00
Source: Numbeo

Anna

Anna is an experienced expat and writer. She has been living abroad for over 6 years.

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