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Edition: Global
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Heidi Bannister

Cosmetics & personal care industry salary survey: 2018/19

While demand for skilled, experienced staff continued, we saw reluctance from European candidates to commit to roles requiring relocation to the UK. Ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and employees’ rights to remain in the UK has clearly reduced the appeal of UK-based roles, especially for candidates relocating with family. We also see a lower rate of job creation within companies, who are struggling to make sense of what Brexit will mean for them. The industry is always evolving. Many new brands launch each year while smaller, independent companies and start-ups continue to be absorbed into large multinationals, with headcounts reduced due to economies of scale.

As to be expected, across the industry salaries vary widely with experience. Most salaries fall within the £30,000 to £75,000 range, with the average across all sectors at £61,300. This compares favourably with the average UK salary at £28,677. The greatest % of high salaries are within Operations, which includes MDs, FDs and company owners. But everyone has to start somewhere, and it is possible to reach high salaries within all sectors.

Sectors and salaries within the cosmetics industry

Sectors and salaries within the cosmetics industry

There is a real passion for the industry with 89% of respondents working in it for 3 years or more. 43% have been in the industry for more than 10 years. People tend to change employer and/or roles after 5 years.

For 41% of Respondents the main reason for a move is to progress their career or attain a promotion. Although this would potentially lead to a bigger financial reward, only 15% of individuals put this as their main reason to move. The third largest driver at 12% is to obtain a better work life balance.

Marketing & Creative

The Cosmetics Industry is dynamic with consumer led innovation and demand fuelling constant growth. Huge opportunities exist within Brand Management and Product Development, with Digital and Social Media content becoming more and more vital to brands of all sizes and their communities.

Marketing salaries, including creative roles, ranged from £20,000-£180,000. Salaries by job title are below. The average shown is not a mathematical equation, but an estimate based on Survey feedback and our Industry knowledge and experience.


Multiple sales roles exist within the industry, from sales direct to consumers, business to business sales of raw materials, packaging and services to manufacturers and brands, and product sales to retail. Of our respondents within Sales, 17% were at Director level with 57% at Account Manager level and 16% in Business Development.

Sales salaries range from £18,000 to £250,000 at Director level.


Operations is our largest and broadest sector, incorporating general operations, HR, packaging and supply chain.

Operations salaries range from £20,000 to £160,000 excluding the highest levels, Managing Director and General Manager. At MD/GM level salaries are up to £350,000.


There are many specialisms within the Scientific and Technical sector with a variety of different career paths from research and formulation through to testing, quality and regulatory roles.

Scientific salaries range from £16,000 to £300,000.


Perfume salaries range from £18,000 at a junior technician level to £400,000 for a Creative Perfumer or Fragrance Director.

To download the full survey go to the Arthur Edward website here.

© 2019 - Premium Beauty News -
about Heidi Bannister
Heidi Bannister

Heidi Bannister is founder & MD of Arthur Edward, a recruitment and executive search business Specialising in the Cosmetic, Perfumery and Personal Care Industries.

Arthur Edward work along the lifecycle of a product, from Concept to Shelf. Working with Chemical & Packaging companies, Manufacturers, Brands and Retailers. Across all Disciplines from Cosmetic Scientists, R&D, Sales & Marketing, Operations, and General Management

Initially training in hair and beauty, Heidi won the student of the year award at the London College of Fashion in 1984 and then went on to win the 1988 London Livewire entrepreneur competition and secure 3i investment for a small manufacturing operation that she had literally set up at the kitchen sink.

Heidi is a complete product junkie and spent over 15 years in product development, and commercial roles for manufacturers and brand owners within the cosmetic industry before moving into recruitment and headhunting over 20 years ago.

Married for 27 years, Heidi is a mother of 2 boys, grandmother of 1 boy, she is equally happy chilling at the spa, walking the dog in the mud and rain or watching ruby.

Outside of work she runs a property portfolio of 10 properties, works as a Regional Coordinator, volunteering and fundraising for Look Good Feel Better, the beauty industries charity who provide workshops, support and advice for men, women and teenagers affected by cancer.

Contact: Website:


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