Would you switch jobs for a pay hike?

We asked 1,950 professionals if they would switch jobs for a 20% pay hike. Results show those with the lowest salaries are more prone to switching jobs when offered a pay raise, while many high-paid bankers say they would not quit their current job for a bigger paycheck.

By Industry

Would you switch jobs for a pay hike?

Industry Yes No
Media & Communication 93% 7%
Public sector 92% 8%
Law Practice 92% 8%
Retail 91% 9%
Transportation & Logistics 91% 9%
Healthcare 91% 9%
Manufacturing 90% 10%
Consumer Goods 90% 10%
Insurance 89% 11%
Construction & Real Estate 89% 11%
Energy, Mining, Chemicals 89% 11%
Apps & Web 88% 12%
Pharmaceuticals & Biotech 84% 16%
Technology & Telecoms 84% 16%
Banking & Financial Services 80% 20%
Consulting & Audit 78% 22%

Are we all mercenaries? Across all industries, more than 8 out of 10 workers would leave if offered a 20% raise, with as many as 93% of those working in media saying they would quit their current job for a bigger pay packet.

Bankers, where's the greed? It is surprising to see bankers and consultants at the bottom of these rankings, since they are often lampooned as ambitious individuals willing to sacrifice their personal life for a high-paying job.

By salary range*

Would you switch jobs for a pay hike?

Salary range Yes No
Below 20k 99% 1%
20k-40k 88% 12%
40k-60k 86% 14%
60k-80k 90% 10%
80k-100k 85% 15%
100k+ 79% 21%
*This table is based on UK respondents only.

If you underpay your employees, they will leave: An overwhelming 99% of those earning less than 20,000 would leave their current position for one paying 20% more. Many of them are working odd-jobs, and switching companies appears to be a no-brainer if it increases their purchasing power.

A 20,000 raise? No thanks. The professionals least likely to accept a new job for a 20% pay hike are the ones earning more than 100,000. These employees are highly valued and trusted by their current company, and a 20% raise is not always worth risking their career plan and reputation.

By company size

Would you switch jobs for a 20% pay hike?

Company size Yes No
Large - 250+ 84% 16%
Medium - 50 to 250 82% 18%
Small - 10 to 50 84% 16%
Micro - 1 to 10 68% 32%

I am not here (only) for the money: Employees working for a very small company are twice more likely to decline a job offer (only two thirds of them would switch jobs for a 20% rise). Start-up and small companies' employees often accepted their current jobs for many reasons other than pay, such as a belief in the founders' vision or a more flexible work environment, and knew they could earn more by working for a bigger corporation when they accepted the job.

A drop in the ocean ? People working at companies with 10+ employees are more prone to leave for a pay hike (84% of them would leave at companies with 250+ employees). It is easier to quit your job when your departure is unlikely to dramatically affect the company's performance and the burden of tasks previously assigned to you will be shared among dozens of other employees.

Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & COO at Emolument.com said: 'While it appears most of us would be ready to switch jobs for a significant pay rise without much afterthoughts, other important factors come into play when making this kind of decision. Start-up employees have strong attachments and commitments to their company and their founders, with whom they work shoulder to shoulder. Management consultants treasure their reputation and work relationships, which could one day be worth much more than 20% of their salary if one of their colleague becomes a prominent executive or investor.'


Emolument provides bonus and salary statistics based on data submitted directly by professionals like you. It is free, anonymous, and already a trusted tool for thousands of professionals worldwide. Are you paid enough? Click here to find out now.

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