FPM 2020 Practice Manager Salary Survey Results

FPM is pleased to share the results of the 2020 salary survey. How has COVID-19 impacted pay in Primary Care for Practice Managers?

Average Salary

FPM’s Survey revealed that the average practice manager salary for 2020 was £45,170.28. This is an increase on last year by £2,567.37.

  • England- £49,299.26
  • Northern Ireland- £42,117.82
  • Scotland- £38,381.31
  • Wales- £39,996.79

The average salaries this year show an increase in England and Northern Ireland, with a very slight decrease in Scotland and Wales. The highest salary in the UK was £140,625, found in the South of England with the lowest salary being £21,000 in the North/ Midlands of England. This highlights the disparity in the role across the country and how different the role and salary can be.

The good news is that the lowest salary for Northern Ireland and Wales has significantly increased, but the very lowest overall salary seems to be stuck around the £20k mark, with little change since 2017. Our survey suggests that 16.4% of Practice Managers are not happy with their pay, but the vast majority are happy/ extremely happy.


(Click to enlarge)

List Size

Of course, it makes sense for practice managers running the biggest businesses to be paid the most money. However, looking at the list size figures, it would be fair to say that there is a considerable jump from practice manager salaries under 6,000, to those managing GP practices with patient lists higher than this.

This would suggest that practice list size is not the main driver with regards to salary, and is perhaps instead down to the complexities and challenges of that specific practice, as well as factors such as location, staff numbers, managers’ experience, etc.

Partner Status

Our survey shows that, while only 6% of those surveyed were Partners, more and more Practice Managers are being given the opportunity to become Partners, with more PMs taking the leap this year than ever before. 


Average Salary

Highest Salary

Lowest Salary

Practice Manager




Managing Partner




Bonus Payments 

23.44% of Practice Managers received a bonus in 2020, compared to 28.2% in 2019.

Covid-19 has made 2020/21 one of the most difficult years, if not the most difficult year for Primary Care in history. We had many Practice Managers contact the HR Helpline about giving bonuses to staff members, however, how many Practice Managers received bonuses themselves? (This survey was carried out in late 2020, so we hope more recognition has been carried out since then).

Pay Rises

61.5% of Practice Managers Received a Payrise.

The average Pay rise this year across the UK for Practice Managers was £1,129.13 or 2.5%. The ONS (2021) reports that the UK average payrise was 2.9% throughout 2020. However of course this figure is likely to be highly affected by the number of employees on furlough and those whose businesses have flourished, such as Amazon.

Extra Hours

Practice Managers worked an average of 9.7 hours extra per week.

A minority claiming to work 50hrs extra per week on top of their full-time hours. This means working nearly 13hrs per day for 7 days a week. An extra 7 hours a week was the most common number of extra hours PMs said they would work.

However, this wasn’t exclusive to PMs – the Partners in our survey were working an average of 15hrs extra per week, with a minority claiming to work an extra 44hrs, which would mean almost 12.5hrs per day over 7 days. An extra 10hrs per week was the most common amount of extra hours a PM Partner would work on top of their regular hours.

Length of Service

We know from previous surveys that Practice Managers, in general, are loyal and tend to stick with their profession and practice for a considerable amount of time compared to managers in other sectors. According to Xpert HR (2020), 16.3% of General Managers will leave their roles every year and move on to pastures new. Only 10.23% of Practice Managers were new to their role this year, suggesting that fewer Practice Managers leave compared to Managers in other industries.

Time in Role

% of Practice Managers

Less than 1 year


1-2 years


3-5 years


6-9 years


10 years +


Do Practice Managers Feel Valued?

More than 5% of our verbatim comments specifically used the word “undervalued” when describing how they felt about Practice Management - 35% of PMs commented on feeling stressed, overworked, or struggling to cope. It is only fair to mention that those PMs paid the very highest salaries do also report to be happiest in their roles, but perhaps a review needs to be taken into the role of the Practice Manager.

What Practice Managers had to say
  • "It is on the edge.... more National support required and also more understanding of what we do is required by partners and the NHS"
  • "The role is great for variety but the pressure of managing numerous resources and having the knowledge to manage those resources well is unprecedented"
  • "It's tough. This year has been the most challenging of my whole career."
  • "Like all things practice management, and in light of the current COVID 19 pandemic, things change very quickly. Adaptability is the key factor and it is important to know what you can and cannot take on, but equally important is the ability to say NO."
  • "It's tough - but I do still love it"

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this year's survey - let us know your thoughts on the results in the comments section below. FPM members can access the full breakdown of results here.


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