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IT Salary Advice

#1 IT Salary Advice
26/01/2016 19:15


Hi all,

I am currently planning on moving to the UK from Montreal, Canada to live and work there in the next couple of months. I have a bachelors degree in economics and a graduate diploma in management and taxation. I also have PMP certification and will have ISTQB certification in the next month with 6 years of experience in the Information Technology field (mostly insurance, banking and financial institutions). Most of my experience is in software testing/QA (manual testing and 1 year selenium automation testing experience).

I wanted to ask you guys for advice...what would be a good salary for me to accept if I get a job offer in London? I am married with no kids. My wife will be moving there too but maybe a couple of months after me.

What should be a good salary to live in london, or how much do you think I should be asking for when I speak with recruiters?

Thank you in advance!

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#2 RE: IT Salary Advice
26/01/2016 23:07

Richthekeeper to RaMMuT (#1)

I don't know much about your specific scenario but a "good" salary in London depends on your desired lifestyle. I personally wouldn't even consider moving to London for less than £60k, if you want to own a property with more than 2 rooms you might need closer to £100k. It's an expensive place to be!

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#3 RE: IT Salary Advice
27/01/2016 00:08

RaMMuT to Richthekeeper (#2)

I have done some research, and I think I would be better off living in a place like Ashford since it's close to the train station and it would take me about 38 minutes to get to London.

What I meant by good salary is to rent maybe a 2 room apartment for the first couple of years, have a cheap economical 1800cc car, live comfortably, and be able to save some money on the side to buy a house later on.

I don't necessarily HAVE to live in London since life is way too expensive there, Ashford would be more ideal I think.

But in regards to my professional profile, I should be asking for 60K minimum you say? or somewhere close to that?

Thank you for responding!

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#4 RE: IT Salary Advice
27/01/2016 09:23

ManicRower to RaMMuT (#3)

Hi RaMMuT,

Personally I'm not equipped to tell you whether £60k per annum is realistic for someone with your skills, but what I can help with is whether it is possible to live off it in London. In a word, yes.

You'll get roughly £3500 a month after tax. Taking Ashford as your example you'll spend somewhere between £440-£515 a month travelling into London by train. Assuming maybe £800-£1200 a month for accommodation in Ashford depending on number of rooms, proximity to station, if it includes bills, etc.

Leaves you with somewhere between £1800 - £2250 a month to live off, run a car, save for a house, p*ss up the wall as you please. On that amount, you won't be living like a footballer or a Russian oligarch, but similarly I'd be surprised if you were living on beans on toast and keeping the heating off to save money. All depends on your definition of 'comfortable' life I suppose.

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#5 RE: IT Salary Advice
27/01/2016 11:22

Rollercoaster to ManicRower (#4)

Don't forget company pension too, so your take home after pension on £60k is likely closer to £3,250 per month.

Outgoings are:

Travel card: - Check south east trains website but someone else mentioned £500 p/mth

Rent: Check on or rightmove

Then council tax (£1500 per year ish - check council website)

Utilities: Water, gas, electric - about £120 per month ish

Home Phone: 16:99 per month

Broadband: £5 to £25 depending on speed. £5 is fine

TV licence: £11 per month

Insurance: ?

Mobile phone: £20 p/month

Car costs:

Loan repayments: ?

Road fund licence: £200 per year for a family wagon, smaller more efficient cars are cheaper

insurance: maybe £800 per year with no no-claims?

Will you have to pay the local council for a parking permit? £120 per year if so.

Annual MOT test is £50

Servicing / petrol / breakdown cover too: A dealer annual service is £200 to £400ish, plus parts that break and wear out.

So you can live on £60k single income as a couple. If you have kids it gets harder, nursery fees are high in the UK, but is still doable (FYI full time nurseries are £1500-£2200 in zone 2). You may not be able to save towards buying a house so unless you bring a deposit over with you you will be caught in the UK's rental trap.

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#6 RE: IT Salary Advice
27/01/2016 16:23

RaMMuT to ManicRower (#4)

Hi ManicRower,

Wow I didn't know monthly train ticket from Ashford to London is about £500 per month...

What would be a better alternative to working in London and living in the near suburbs? Similar to Ashford how it takes 38 minutes by train?

I think £60k per year is ideal, but I might accept something a bit less for like let's say £50k-£55k when I first get there, and once my wife comes to join me, she will be looking for a job too in the banking industry so I think we can pull it off if she works aswell.

Thanks for the input! I highly appreciate it mate!


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#7 RE: IT Salary Advice
27/01/2016 16:28

RaMMuT to Rollercoaster (#5)

Hey Rollercoaster,

I appreciate your breakdown! It's funny how some things are so much cheaper in England...

Like for example, a cellphone bill here...I pay about $90 CAD which is abouot £45 per month for 6GB data and unlimited daytime/night minutes with unlimited texts...

Internet and TV bill is about $130 CAD (again 130/2 = £65 per month)

Thank you for the input mate!

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#8 RE: IT Salary Advice
27/01/2016 16:44

Rollercoaster to RaMMuT (#7)

These are starting prices.... You can get an iphone and that will be £35 per month. Sky or cable TV costs but we have a lot of channels on freeview and catch up services are so is a bit of a waste of cash.

Good luck with the move.

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#9 RE: IT Salary Advice
27/01/2016 17:36

Konsultant12 to Rollercoaster (#5)

This is a very good breakup. Makes the math easy.


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#10 RE: IT Salary Advice
27/01/2016 17:39

RaMMuT to Rollercoaster (#8)


I can't wait to make the move and escape the bloody cold winters here in Montreal lol...


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#11 RE: IT Salary Advice
28/01/2016 01:05

Richthekeeper to RaMMuT (#7)

My Sky subscription (TV, broadband) is £80/mo

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#12 RE: IT Salary Advice
28/01/2016 17:21

RaMMuT to Richthekeeper (#11)

Hi Richthekeeper,

Do you get premium sports channels with this price? What speed do you have for your internet by the way?

I love to watch some soccer we usually have a BEIN sports channel we have to pay around $30 CAD just to have some good quality HD football...other than that, I like to watch UFC and some hockey. I heard you guys get UFC for free in England, even the Pay Per View events, am I right?


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#13 RE: IT Salary Advice
28/01/2016 19:53

Richthekeeper to RaMMuT (#12)

That includes sports channels yes. I don't think UFC is free to air. Boxing certainly isn't.

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#14 RE: IT Salary Advice
29/01/2016 20:23

RaMMuT to Richthekeeper (#13)

Cool Richthekeeper,

Thank you all for the input, it really helped!

One last thing...what other areas should I look at if I want to work in london and live in surrounding suburbs? Kind of like Ashford where I can take the fast train in a short time? :)

Thank you

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#15 RE: IT Salary Advice
01/02/2016 11:31

Rollercoaster to RaMMuT (#14)

Read the evening standard (website). Every day it seems to have an article about the next up and coming area.

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#16 RE: IT Salary Advice
01/02/2016 11:58

Frio to Rollercoaster (#15)

Also consider where you might want to escape to for the weekend - is your life going to be spent as a tourist in London at the weekends? Or do you want to escape to the countryside for the weekend?

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#17 RE: IT Salary Advice
02/02/2016 21:20

RaMMuT to Rollercoaster (#15)

Thank you Rollercoaster.

That's actually a very nice website!

I have alot of researching to do

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#18 RE: IT Salary Advice
16/02/2016 11:36

JenniferMackey to RaMMuT (#1)

There’s an old saying “The first person to bring up money, loses.” Starting a discussion about salary prematurely sends a signal that you don’t place a high priority on being a good fit for a company’s culture – you just care about the almighty dollar. In the same way, if a recruiter brings up money right off the bat, it’s a good idea to smoothly change the subject so you can fully demonstrate your qualifications before talking about your salary requirements

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#19 RE: IT Salary Advice
16/02/2016 13:27

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to JenniferMackey (#18)

Great advice, Jennifer!

As Jennifer says, try never to be the first to mention a figure

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#20 RE: IT Salary Advice
16/02/2016 15:50

Richthekeeper to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#19)

This makes sense, but how does it work when a recruiter contacts you directly about a specific role? I don't like to waste their time or my own discussing a role that isn't at least in the right postcode, salary-wise.


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#21 RE: IT Salary Advice
16/02/2016 19:22

Frio to Richthekeeper (#20)

I'd turn it around and ask what salary range the opportunity is in.

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#22 RE: IT Salary Advice
17/02/2016 12:13

Mr Cool to Frio (#21)

Also, you should have a range that you can share with the recruiter. E.g when I was a manager level on 60k I would tell recruiters that m next move would be for a package of between 70 and 90k depending on....

The risk profile of the employer

The growth potential in the role/employer

The expected cycle till next promotion

The degree to which they valuedy niche expertise


It allowed me to qualify opportunities early without making bit all sboutthr cash only

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#23 RE: IT Salary Advice
17/02/2016 13:00

Taston to RaMMuT (#6)

I think it's actually higher than that. Closer to 7k a year I believe...

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#24 RE: IT Salary Advice
24/02/2016 07:49

JenniferMackey to RaMMuT (#1)

I don't like to waste recuiter's time or my own discussing a role that isn't at least in the right postcode, salary-wise.

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