What Is a Good Salary in Scotland?

Moving to Scotland might be the biggest dream of every expat and student who wants to work in Europe. Part of the many reasons many want to move here is the beautiful sceneries, landscapes, and policies for residents. 

According to the residents in Scotland, having a £35,000 monthly annual salary or £2,259 monthly after-tax is more than enough to live comfortably in the country. With a £35,000 monthly income, you could pay for rent in a spacious apartment, groceries every month, and daily transportation costs.

Since the country offers free quality healthcare, you can allot your extra money as savings. Excited to move to Scotland? Read this article to learn more about good wages in the country and the different expenses you will shoulder while living here.

What is considered a good salary in Scotland in 2022?

For a single adult with no children, a good salary would be anything more than £33,000 to £40,000. If you have a family and two working adults, a combined salary of at least £60,000 is a good salary to start.

Overall, a recommended salary of £35,000 is slightly above the median wage of £31,605, as reported by the Scottish Parliament.

This amount would let you live a comfortable life where you can afford one or two-bedroom flats, monthly groceries with enough to eat out at restaurants, spare money for savings, and even monthly payment for a car. 

Scotland residents have many things to be proud of about their country. For instance, about 25% of Europe’s wind and water energies are from Scotland, and the country offers healthcare and income assistance.

The country seems to be living in the future, so if you plan to move to Scotland, you should first check how much salary you need to live there comfortably. 

In the 2020 Mercer Cost of Living survey, Aberdeen and Glasgow were among the least expensive cities out of 209 globally. Job opportunities are abundant even in populated Scottish towns such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, and Inverness.

Many of the expense plans are already shouldered by the government, such as healthcare, public transportation, and education – this means that there are lower costs of living in Scotland, and getting a good salary in the country could be an easy task for you. 

Example of a good salary in Scotland

While many people think that living in Scotland would require you to work multiple jobs and have many years of work experience in your bag, data shows otherwise. By earning a few thousand pounds more than the median pay in the country, you could already afford to live comfortably. 

Earning up to £40,000 as a single adult with no children could help you live comfortably. If you have a family and there are two working adults, a combined salary of £60,000 to £70,000 is good.

These amounts could already cover the average monthly rate for rent, grocery bills, and leisure expenses. Here are some of the most significant expenses you would shoulder in Scotland: 

ItemCost
HousingMany residents prefer renting out flats instead of buying houses. The average monthly cost for a two-bedroom apartment with about 400 square meters of space is £670. This size is spacious enough to have your separate bedroom, home office, living area, kitchen, and even a guest room if you are living alone.
FoodAccording to Nimblefins, the average monthly spend on food for a household with about three people is £276. If you are living alone, this could go as low as £150 per month. 
TransportationAlthough many residents of Scotland prefer to walk, ride a bike, or buy cheap annual tickets to public buses and trains to get around the cities, you can also allot £200 for taxi fares and fees for other ride-hailing services.  
Utility billsGas, electricity, and water bills are cheaper in Scotland than in other constituent countries in the UK. On average, you would need £120 for utility bills, and the Scottish government will bill you directly. 

With that said, if you are living in Edinburgh, the largest city in Scotland, you should budget at least £1,990 as a single and £3,583 as a family of four.

Healthcare costs in the UK

If you noticed that healthcare isn’t part of this list, it’s because healthcare, including prescriptions, is free in Scotland.

Well, not entirely free; you contribute to the national healthcare fund by paying taxes every month. This allows you to get all necessary health services at no additional cost.

UK residents can also get a tuition-free education based on where they are from. You can take advantage of this benefit if you are planning to broaden your qualifications and strengthen your earning power or have children entering school. 

Suppose you have decided to move into Scotland and are unsure what jobs you may enter. In that case, here are some of the common jobs in the region’s leading sectors – utilities, services, and production; plus some other high potential jobs that you may want to try:

Job titleAverage annual salary
Software Engineer £52,051 – £63,175
Project Coordinator£28,831 – £35,194
Project Manager £50,000
CAD Designer£45,000
Business Analyst£40,000
Railway Signaller£36,354
Process Operator£37,440
Test Technician £30,000
Food Production Shift Manager £31,500 
Procurement Officer£38,550 
Operations Manager £45,000 
Lineperson £37,463
Festival Bars and Stock Manager £31,200
Source: Indeed.com

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see your expertise on this list! There are many job opportunities in Scotland for you to choose from.

You can also switch careers by attending training and seminars sponsored by the government and many private organizations. There are many ways to find employment and get a decent salary in Scotland. 

After-tax income in Scotland

With a salary of £35,000, your after-tax income will be £2,259 a month.

The Scottish Government has set up different tax rates for Scottish people, and it’s dependent on how much of their income exceeds the Personal Allowance for their bracket. The Personal Allowance is the amount of non-taxable income. Scottish people get taxed after earning more than £12,570. 

Here are the tax rates in Scotland that you should be aware of: 

Taxable income BandTax rate
Over £12,571 to £14,732Starter Rate19%
Over £14,733 to £25,688Scottish Basic Rate20%
Over £25,689 to £43,662Intermediate Rate 21%
Over £43,663 to £150,000Higher Rate41%
Above £150,000Top Rate 46%

How much does an average Scottish person make?

Are you curious if you are making enough money? Or are you scared that your job will not be enough once you move to Scotland? Here are some of the numbers given by the Scottish Government to help you decide. 

In Edinburgh, employees between 30 to 39 of age have an average weekly wage of £613 for men and £557 for women. At the same time, the average annual salary for people in their thirties (the largest part of the workforce) is around £30,000.

In the forties, people tend to climb a career ladder and earn more, on average, about £45,000 before taxes.

According to the Scottish Parliament, the average annual salary of full-time employees is £31,605, the fourth highest in the constituent countries in the UK. Many Scottish are satisfied with their wages in the country. 

If you are thinking of getting a job in Scotland, you have better chances in the Utilities, Service, or Accommodation sector. In these sectors, you can find wages to help you pay the monthly living costs and have enough to save. Scotland has also incorporated different minimum wages based on your age. 

Minimum wage in Scotland

Here are the minimum per hour wage rates depending on the age bracket of the citizen: 

Age bracket Wage rate
Under 18 £4.81
18 to 20 £6.83
21 to 22 £9.18 
23 and over £9.50

These rates increase every year in Scotland along with the government support that residents receive for their healthcare, education, and even personal care. So even if you earn the minimum wage rate or the average wage rate, you have plenty of financial options.

Also, most employers in Scotland offer clear guidelines on promotions and salary increases based on performance and work experience, not on your gender or ancestral history. 

If you want to live a lavish lifestyle and be recognized as “rich” in Scotland, you need to have about thrice the country’s average salary. Earning about £125,000 will help you live lavishly and be different from the rest of the Scottish. You will land in the top 5% of earners with that income.

This amount allows you to eat out at restaurants every month, buy several cars, and purchase a mansion. Of course, you can easily do this by being part of a wealthy family, but if not, you need to work multiple jobs. 

Landing a job that pays £32,000 or more is already a good start for you in this part of the Kingdom. If you are worried that being average will not give you a sense of security for a long time, you can acquire work experience and rack up your qualifications to get a higher-paying job.

Getting paid like the average Scottish isn’t a thing to be dreaded, but if you feel that you need more, then there are plenty of job opportunities in the country.  

Average salary in Scotland in 2022

The average annual salary in Scotland based on 2022 data is £31,605. Many Scottish residents have a salary range of £30,000 to £45,000.

They are usually employed in the Utility sector with Electricity or Gas companies. These rates are exclusive of overtime pay and are based only on the hourly wage for full-time employment. 

Since Scotland is part of the UK, they must also report gender pay gaps. In a 2020 report by the Scottish Government, the gender pay gap in the country is 3.0% only for all full-time employees, which means that women and men are earning almost the same wages based on their work experience and performance.

On average, men employed full-time earn £15.76 hourly while women make £15.29. More women also occupy lead roles such as managerial, director, and senior positions in different companies.  

Among the highest-paid industries in Scotland is the Utility industry. Companies specializing in Electricities, Gas, or Air Conditioning services and technologies pay full-time employees up to £21.99 per hour. Technicians and Engineers are among the typical jobs in these companies. 

If you have a college degree and are above 21 years old, you can earn at least £9 per hour on your job. If you have several years of work experience, this rate increases up to £15 per hour.

Getting additional work experience could lead you to senior or managerial roles. Most managers and team leaders in Scotland have at least five years of relevant work experience and earn £45,000 every year. 

You can build your resume by acquiring years of work experience or continuing your education to increase your earning potential in Scotland. Since education is free in Scotland, you can try exploring that option, or you can take some years in at your current job and look for a high-paying job after some time. 

Is 65k pounds a year a good salary in Scotland?

Earning £65,000 a year on your own is considered a higher than average salary in Scotland, even without mortgage payments. This amount is almost twice the annual average salary in the country and more than what is needed to shoulder the expenses of an average Scottish. 

With an annual gross salary of £65,000, you will enjoy an after-tax income of £3,669 per month. With that, you could afford to have an extraordinary lifestyle that you might split into:

ItemExpense
HousingYou can afford to pay the monthly rents of flats that cost up to £2,000 and have multiple bedrooms. You could also pay the mortgage of a house or a mansion.
FoodGroceries every month will be the least of your problems, and you can afford to go to restaurants frequently. Expect to spend about £500 every month on high-quality products.
LeisureYou will have more money for your leisure, whether to fund your car collection, passion for film, or your business ideas. Funding your hobbies and side projects is easier with a £65,000 annual salary. 
SavingsWith that salary, you can easily save at least £500 every month.

Aside from being able to afford a lavish lifestyle in Scotland with an annual salary of £65,000, you have also to consider the tax rate you would be falling into.

Higher salaries also mean higher tax rates of up to 41%. Make sure to manage your finances well so that you still have enough to spend after paying your taxes. With that said, someone getting £65,000 gross ends up paying £15,129 in income tax and £5,563 in national Insurance per year.

What is a good salary to live in Edinburgh?

Since the start of the 15th century, Edinburgh has been the capital of Scotland. While many people think that living in the capital and city centers costs too much, it’s not the case with Edinburgh. Many Edinburgh residents say that a salary of at least £32,000 annually is a good start. 

With an annual salary of £32,000, here are the different ways you can allocate it to your essential expenses. 

Rent

Monthly rent on flats in Edinburgh costs about £800 – £1,200 with an average rent of £950. Homes of that price are spacious enough for a family of 4 to live in when choosing a suburb.

In the city, you need to budget around £1,500 as a family and £900 as a single. If you plan to customize the room arrangements and add a renovation project to your monthly rent. Overall, allotting £800 for rent is a good start.

Food

Since food items are cheaper in Scotland than in other constituent countries in the UK, people spend less on food items and groceries. On average, households in Scotland spend about £275 on groceries. This amount could go as low as $200 if you live alone.

Eating out

Occasionally, going to a restaurant to celebrate or hanging out with your friends and relatives should also be part of your budget. On a monthly average, Scottish spend £150 when they are eating out.

Transportation

Even though Scottish people prefer to walk around cities, the government has invested in good quality public transportation systems. Residents can purchase public transportation tickets to buses and trains for a cheap fee of about £10 – £15.

Many Scottish also rent electric bikes for £30 a day. But if you want to have your own bike, you can allot £800 to buy an excellent entry-level bike that could handle any terrain. 

Health insurance

For expats in Scotland, we recommend private health insurance from international provider Cigna Global. Their coverage is comprehensive and inexpensive compared to many public insurances.

Anna

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

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