Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh is situated on the east coast of the country, on the south bank of the Firth of Forth.

Home to Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland, the Scottish Parliament, Palace of Holyroodhouse and one of the most prestigious universities in the world, it's no surprise that Edinburgh is the second most visited city in the UK, behind only London. Over 5 million tourists flock to the city each year, both from the UK and abroad.

Tourism brings a lot of money in to the city each year and is one of the reasons why Edinburgh is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK. This has resulted in economic growth as well, with lots of companies setting up offices in the city and providing well-paid job opportunities.

If you are heading to Edinburgh to study at its historic university, currently live in the city, or are planning to re-locate, then you'll be interested to know what the average salary in Edinburgh is.

The average salary in Edinburgh is £33,692.16. That is somewhat below the average salary in London, which is £42,268.35, but it is much higher than a lot of cities and regions in the UK. In comparison to the nearby neighbouring city of Glasgow, the average salary for Edinburgh is £1,962.53 higher.

The average salary for Edinburgh also looks likely to increase at a much higher rate compared to many other regions in Scotland. In many ways it is in a similar situation to London. With the level of tourism and the number of businesses who are choosing to set up locations and offices in the area, the level of investment is steadily rising. It is also attracting lots of workers to the city, with the number of people employed having increased by nearly 25% since 2010.

The average hourly pay for a worker in Edinburgh in 2020 was £17.49, a figure that is only lower than London when compared to the other major cities in the UK. All of these factors contribute to Edinburgh having such a high average salary.

Suffice to say, that the salary for any job depends on what type of industry it is in, how technical and/or senior the position is and what qualifications and skillsets are required. Some jobs, such as doctors, solicitors and dentists, have a salary that is much higher than the national average due to the number of years that are required to study and obtain qualifications.

As well as a booming tourism industry, the bulk of Edinburgh's economy relies on jobs in scientific research, education services, health, digital technology, public administration and financial services - in fact, it has the second-largest financial services district in the UK.

Based on research conducted in 2020 by Edinburgh Gov, the top 10 industries in Edinburgh are:

IndustryNumber of people% of people working in Edinburgh
Accommodation & food services33,0009.6%
Financial & insurance33,0009.6%
Professional, scientific & technical29,0008.5%
Administrative & support services29,0008.5%
Information & communication22,0006.4%
Public administration & defence19,0005.5%
Arts, entertainment & recreation18,0005.2%

In the health industry, there are a number of pharmaceutical companies based in Edinburgh, including Dexcom, IQVIA and Roche, as well as thousands of jobs across the NHS.

The 33,000 jobs in the accommodation and food services industry are spread across the many pubs, restaurants and bars that provide hospitality, as well as the thousands of people who work in providing accommodation in hotels, B&B's and serviced apartments.

There are also lots of financial service companies who have large offices based in Edinburgh and continually post vacancies. Brewin Dolphin, RBS, Tesco Bank, HSBC and FNZ are just some of the businesses that are based in the city.

When looking at the salaries for specific jobs it's useful to see how it compares to the average for the rest of the UK. In choosing which jobs to look at we've taken research from Glassdoor about which jobs are the most in-demand this year.

Delivery driver

The average salary for this job in the UK is £20,055 but in Edinburgh, it is around £27,000. That's a whopping difference of nearly £7000.

Project Manager

Project Management is a technical role, with employees often needing a degree or qualifications in project management tools and software. The salary for a project manager in Edinburgh is £46,058, compared to an average salary for the UK of £43,000.

Store Manager

The average salary in Edinburgh for this job is £23,950, compared to an average salary for the UK of £29,250. That's a difference of £5,300 for doing the same job.

Customer Assistant

The average salary in the UK for a customer assistant is £16,007. The average salary in Edinburgh is £20,128.

Store Assistant

The average salary in the UK for this job is £17,967. In Edinburgh, the average salary for this job is £791 higher at £18,758.

Software Engineer

Software engineers are very well remunerated, with the average salary in the UK at £55,000. The salary in Edinburgh is very slightly lower at £54,178.

Sales assistant

The salary for this job is very much dependent on the type of company you are employed with. The salary in Edinburgh is £18,758, which is £1,781 higher than the national average.

Customer Service Advisor

Again Edinburgh comes out on top with a salary of £21,159 compared to the average salary in the UK of £18,801.

Operations Manager

The average salary in the UK for this job role is £42,500, but you can expect to receive a higher salary in Edinburgh - the average is £45,728.

Business Analyst

The salary for this job can vary greatly depending on the type of industry and seniority of the position but the average salary in Edinburgh is way higher than the average for the UK. In Edinburgh, it is £51,371 compared to £42,000 for the rest of the UK.

Most of these jobs have a higher salary in Edinburgh than the average for the UK, but not all of them. Certain areas, due to the investment in a particular industry or the demand for specialist roles can lead to regions attracting a higher salary.

However, as we can see in the above table, Edinburgh has a broad spectrum of industries that create lots of well-paid jobs. If you live in the region or are looking to re-locate, Edinburgh has some fantastic job opportunities.