2012 UK Salary Survey

Men Earn 28.6% More Than Women In Bid And Proposal Management

Men in bid and proposal management earn, on average 28.6% more than women.  That’s according to a new survey carried out by Bid Solutions, a leading provider of bid, proposal and tender professionals.  The full analysis was announced and presented at the recent conference of the Association of Bid and Proposal Management Professionals (APMP UK).

Other key findings in the survey revealed:

  • Salaries have declined in real terms since 2008
  • The balance of sexes is fairly equal until age 40, after which it becomes male dominated (by 2:1)
  • Those with professional qualifications earn up to 50% more than those without
  • Career opportunities are greatest in the southern half of England

801 bid and proposal executives took part in the 2012 survey, up from 427 in 2008.  This year’s survey reveals that an average salary for a woman is £41,333 (a 3.7% increase on 2008, when the last survey was undertaken) while for a man it is £53,142 (a 1.5% increase).  It also shows that salary is directly linked to age and experience.  With more than twice as many men as women in the 40-65 age bracket – and one third of the total participants in the survey – the most logical explanation is that women are leaving the industry early to start a family.

Alarmingly, the survey also shows that in real terms salaries have declined significantly, probably reflecting the more competitive business environment.  If salaries had tracked inflation, the average female salary would now be £44,718 and the average male salary £58,757.  In real terms men are down 9.5% and women 7.6%.

icon-coins-130x1301Based on average basic pay, heads of bid management are the best paid, earning an average £74,615.  Junior proposal writers are the least well paid earning £22,955.  Senior bid managers earn £54,698 whilst senior proposal managers earn £49,671.  Junior bid managers earn £35,833 while junior proposal managers earn £25,000.

Professional qualifications boost salaries

There is strong evidence to suggest that achieving any level of professional accreditation through the Association of Bid and Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) will lead to increased salary.  Professionally accredited individuals earn up to 50% more than those without accreditation.   Many organisations now stipulate professional accreditation as a basic requirement when selecting and hiring new staff.  Martin Smith, Managing Director of Bid Solutions, feels strongly that those individuals who fail to grasp the opportunity that professional qualification provides, will quickly get left behind in our fast changing industry.

Regional differences

Greater London attracted the highest average base salary of £55,833.  South Wales was the lowest at £35,417.  The South East / London regions account for 57% of respondents.  London alone had 31% of respondents.  Career opportunities in the Southern half of the country are clearly more abundant and those residing outside this region will be competing for far fewer roles.  Similarly, employers looking to build bid and proposal teams in these less well represented locations may well experience skills shortages.

Variations by industry

IT, construction and telecoms dominated the survey with over 37% of respondents.  Engineering and professional services represented a combined total of 14%.  Looking at the top 10 industries (in terms of respondents), IT has the highest average basic salary for men whilst outsourcing represents the best paid industry for women.  The largest average salary discrepancies appear within the engineering, construction and defence.   Women earn less than men in all categories except financial services.  There does appear to be relative parity across outsourcing, professional services and telecommunications.

Other facts revealed by the survey include:

  • 46% of respondents had been in their current roles for less than two years, pointing to a high turnover of staff in bid and proposal management roles.  Only 29% had been in their current role for more than four years.
  • Only 5% of respondents work their basic contracted hours.  Almost half had to work a minimum of two late nights a week and one in five works late every night.
  • 94% of those surveyed chose work-life balance over pure financial reward (up from 87% in 2008).

The full survey can be viewed at www.bidsolutions.co.uk/content/salary-data.aspx.   Bid Solutions has also has developed a pioneering salary calculator (a global industry first) which enables informed decisions to be made about your career and team. It can be accessed from the same page.

Bid Solutions (www.bidsolutions.co.uk) is the leading global provider of bid and proposal professionals, servicing requirements across all continents and industry sectors.  APMP UK is the UK chapter of an international body of over 4,000 members committed to the pursuit of excellence in the acquisition of business through the bidding process.


  • The APMP UK Board would like to invite you to submit questions to the Chair, for discussion at our Board Workshops which take place throughout the year.  Please see this link for the dates.  Please email your questions to chair@apmpuk.co.uk

    Opportunity to submit questions to the Board

  • The APMP UK Chapter is pleased to welcome Jon Darby as its new Chapter Chair.

    Jon has over 20 years of business winning experience in the ICT, defence, police, rail and logistics markets with a track record of winning multi £m bids in the public and private sectors. Jon is experienced at leading opportunities through all stages of the bid campaign and has led global bid teams from Italy, Germany, Netherlands to the US. Jon is a certified proposal professional and has served on the APMP UK board as Marketing & PR Director and COO since 2012.

    FINAL PRESS RELEASE 18th January 2018 Appointment of new UK Chapter Chair

  • The APMP UK Chapter is pleased to announce the election of Jon Darby as its new Chief Operating Officer for 2017, following which he will succeed Amanda Nuttall as CEO following completion of her term in January 2018. 


    FINAL PRESS RELEASE 5TH OCTOBER 2017: Appointment of new Chief Operating Officer

  • There's just three months to go until our 15th APMP UK Conference in October, and to celebrate, here's our Top 3 reasons why you should attend:


    Three Months to Go until APMP UK Conference 2017

  • The last of 5 articles this week

    Today is the last day of National Apprenticeship Week.  We hope you’ve enjoyed the insights we’ve shared across social media this week from experienced bid and proposal apprentices, and their employer.  If you missed it, you can catch up on what Charlotte, Vicky and Frank had to say. 

    National Apprenticeship Week 2017: Round Up