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Mar 19, 2020

Salaries for IR professionals hold steady in 2019

But numbers earning above median pay range globally increase since 2017

The median pay for IR professionals around the world – both at the head of IR and IRO level – has remained unchanged since 2017, according to new research from IR Magazine.

The IR Magazine Global IR Salary & Careers Report 2020, based on responses from more than 650 IR professionals, reveals median salaries for IR heads ranged between $150,000 and $199,000 and IROs earned between $75,000 and $99,000 in 2019.

But the number of IR professionals worldwide earning above the median salary range increased last year. In 2019, around half (48 percent) of IR heads and IROs earned above the median salary range, representing a 7 percentage-point increase since 2017.

European IR professionals’ median pay back to 2016’s levels 
Survey respondents are asked to select the pay bracket their salary falls into. Both IR heads and IROs in Europe saw their median pay rise in 2019, to $150,000-$199,999 and $100,000-$149,999, respectively, reaching the same level of median pay as in 2016, and up one pay bracket from 2017.
European IR professionals’ median pay back to 2016’s levels

Source: IR Magazine Global IR Salary & Careers Report 2020

Asian IR salaries remain the lowest
IR professionals in Asia still have the lowest salaries in the IR community. The pay for both IR heads and IROs in Asia remains the same in 2019 as in 2017: $100,000-$149,999 and below $50,000, respectively. 

A surprising finding in the latest research is that salaries for high-earning IR heads and IROs dropped in Asia in 2019. The number of IR heads earning above the median range has fallen from 32 percent to 23 percent since 2017, representing a 9 percentage-point decrease, while the number of IROs earning above $75,000 has fallen from 25 percent to 21 percent.

Top earners
North American IR professionals continue to enjoy the highest salaries worldwide, despite the median salary for IR heads in the region remaining in the same pay bracket as two years ago.

North American IR chiefs’ median pay sits in the $200,000-$249,999 range, one pay bracket above the global median range.

North American IROs polled report a pay bracket jump in 2019, however. Their median salary now ranges between $150,000 and $199,999, compared with $100,000-$149,999 in 2017.

Speaking to IR Magazine earlier this month, Ted Allen, vice president of communications and member engagement at NIRI, explained that an increase in IR’s range of responsibilities – including ESG/sustainability, Mifid II and shareholder activism – could contribute to IR salaries rising in the US.