Salary Survey Shows How Much Your IT Support Desk is Paid.

Are you paying too much for your outsourced IT support desk?
Are you getting a bargain?
How have overall prices been affected by the last recession?

A recent UK salary survey published by the Service Desk Institute ( reveals some interesting figures.

Demographic Breakdowns Of Customer Service Desk Personnel :

Male Dominated, Although Slowly Shifting...

34% employees are female (up from 33% in 2010) and 66% are male.

Service Desks ... A Young Person's Game?

Service Desk Support Operatives Age Groups :

4% are less than 25 years old.
36% from 25 to 35 years old.
28% from 36 to 45 years old.
25% from 46 to 55 years old.
5% from 56 to 65 years old.
0% from 66 to 75 years old.
1% older than 75 years old.

Highest Education Received on Average :

14% Gcse/O Level
10% A Level
41% Batchelor's Degree (up from 36% in 2010)
16% Masters Degree
12% Other

Public/Private Sector

37% Public Sector
63% Private Sector

Staffing Size of Service Desks

41% Under 25 staff
20% From 25 to 50 staff
6% from 51 to 75 staff
6% from 76 to 100 staff
14% from 101 to 250 staff
6% from 251 to 500 staff
6% from 501 to 1000 staff
1% over 1000 staff

Implied Trend : Comparing the figures with 2010, the Service Desk Institute notes that service desks with less than 25 personnel have increased by 2% yet overall, the medium sized service desks (26 to 100 staff) have decreased by a considerable 11%, with the remaining balance going towards the larger service desks, concluding that there is a shift towards large service desks.

Service Desk Salaries.

Average Salaries 2005

Service Desk Manager £33,875
Service Desk Team Leader £24,863
Service Desk Analyst £19,971

Average (actual) Salaries 2015

Service Desk Manager £41,714 (+23.1 %) ... But an earnings gap of £3465
Service Desk Team Leader £31,504 (+26.7%) ... But an earnings Gap of £1655
Service Desk Analyst £23,587 (+18.1 %) ... But an earnings Gap of £3048

Conclusion? They're (relatively) Worse Off

Whilst the pay increases look positive (especially considering a major recession in that period) with the annual rate of inflation of 3.2%, it appears that there are in fact salary gaps in real terms, as outlined above. (Not great news for service desk staff)

Salaries by Sector :

Private Sector :

Service Desk Manager £44,083
Service Desk Team Leader £31,706
Service Desk Analyst £24,150

Public Sector

Service Desk Manager £38,434
Service Desk Team Leader £31,240
Service Desk Analyst £22,782

Note : Whilst it superficially appears like working for the private sector is more appealing (especially for managers), one must also remember factors such as :

  • Stability.
  • Pensions.
  • Holidays & Sickness Benefits.

Twice as Happy With Their Salaries?

Just over two thirds of those surveyed said that their salary increases are due to their performance. Whilst this sounds very encouraging, it appears skewed as many of those in the public sector have been hit the hardest, where pay increases have been limited to 1% or even frozen completely.

Asked the Question "How Satisfied Are you With Your Salary" , respondents gave the result :

11% Very Dissatisfied
15% Most Dissatisfied
23% Neutral
42% Mostly Satisfied
9% Very Satisfied

Note : Ignoring "Neutral" a total 51% can be considered "happy" as opposed to 26% "unhappy" i.e. approx twice as many.

This also continues with bonuses where "How satisfied are you with your bonus?" yielded :

7% Very Dissatisfied
10% Mostly Dissatisfied
17% Neutral
40% Mostly Satisfied
26% Very Satisfied

(59% of respondents received a financial bonus within the last year whilst 41% didn't)

"How good do you consider your total incentive package to be?"

22% Poor.
28% Fair.
21% Good.
18% Very Good.
11% Excellent.

Note : Overall, it seems satisfaction levels of service desk operatives appear mostly buoyant about their pay, despite the earnings gap outlined earlier.

The Bigger Picture : Recruitment Overall :

"Has your recruitment budget changed over the last 12 months?"

17% "Don't Know"
31% Neutral (Kept the Same)
27% Increased
25% Reduced

"In the next 12 months do you think there will be a requirement to reduce staffing levels?"

15% "Don't Know"
58% "No"
28% "Yes"

"What is the key reason for a reduction in your recruitment budget?"

62% Not Applicable.
24% Economic Climate or budget Constraints.
14 % Efficiencies Driven by Technologies, Processes and Training.

Simple Conclusions Drawn About Service Desk People, Recruitment and Salaries.

The disparity for sex and age employment is still clearly prevalent within this industry with a significant bias towards the young, male employees.

Uncertainty reigns, with over half the respondents looking to experience either an increase or reduction in their recruitment budgets, which is echoed by their expectations about raw numbers of personnel being employed.

The greatest worry for them appears to be uncertainties about the economic climate which they believe will mean further reductions in staff numbers.

Clearly, the sentiment of most of the staff themselves is that they are (generally) happy with their remuneration, despite a net salary reduction in real terms.

Service desk analysts (the lowest paid of the three tiers outlined earlier) have had the most impact in terms of real-term salary reduction.

In short - you're probably getting a good deal.