An analysis of 175,000 job ads found the average day rate for PR manager contractor was 67.7 per cent higher than a permanent role. If this is extrapolated over a working year, PR manager contractors would earn £52,067, which is well above the annual PR manager salary of £31,050.
For internal comms professionals, contractors earned 42 per cent more, which equates to a salary of £45,978 for contractors versus £32,369 for permanent staff.
Social media manager contractors earned 7.5 per cent more than permanent staff (£34,310 vs £31,923), while contractors in digital marketing manager and executive roles earned 31 per cent more than permanent staff.
"It’s no secret that contractors command far higher salaries than the average UK worker and our data shows that marketing professionals could be earning up to 16.4 per cent more than average," CV-Library chief executive and founder Lee Biggins said.
"That being said, contracting isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re looking for stability and key workplace perks from your employer."
The contractor pay gap for PR professionals is among the highest of all industry sectors the research analysed.
There is also a gender pay gap among PR freelancers, according to separate research.