Think Tank Employee Survey 2022

Think tank: Smart Thinking

Author(s): Smart Thinking

November 29, 2022

This short briefing from Smart Thinking is based on the second survey of UK think tank employees conducted in October 2022.

For the third year we surveyed those working in UK think tanks to take a look at average pay, conditions in the sector and any other issues from the past year. We also analysed data from our own jobs site to provide a better idea of pay levels across seniority and functions.

Key findings include:

  • The average salary for someone working in a think tank is £39,000;
  • Research is still the best paid function with an average salary of £42,000 compared to £37,000 for communications, £33,000 for events and £30,000 for fundraising;
  • The average salary for those with ‘Head’ or ‘Director’ in the title was £52,000 (down from £59,000 last year) while those with ‘Senior’ in their job title on average earn £44,000 and ‘Researcher’ or ‘Officer’ receive £32,000;
  • There has been a significant drop in the number of think tankers on permanent contracts only 76% are on permanent contracts this year compared to 87% last year;
  • Only 74% this year felt that they had good job security in their role, compared to 91% last year;
  • There has been a big drop in those who had experienced or witnessed bullying, from 32% to 17%;
  • 95% have been offered flexible working by their think tanks with the majority working 2 or 3 days in the office;
  • 86% would recommend their workplace to a friend