How to find a job in Glasgow above £20,000

My husband and I are from Australia. We've been living in Glasgow for going on 9 months. We grabbed the first job we could find when we arrived, in call centres.

We are grateful to both have full-time employment however to save up for a car and other things we both really need to earn more than £20,000; and ideally more than £25,000.

We have been told that you have to work your way up the ladder, spending at least a year in a role before moving sideways on the same pay doing a different role, assisting someone in the higher role, and maybe you will be promoted in 1-3 years. At this rate we might be on £20,000 in 10 years time.

We have significant work experience and training yet we are getting paid the same as an 18 year old school leaver with little to no work experience. Many people we work with have been in the same role in call centres earning less than £20,000 for 10-20 years.

What roles, job titles, organisations, industries have jobs that pay more than £20,000 in Glasgow?

How do you find these jobs and successfully apply for them?

Is there work within commuting distance of Glasgow that pays more than £20,000 for people willing to work unusual hours or do unusual work? For example, in Australia you can do fly-in/fly-out mining work for excellent money but you work hard for it.

Any advice is much appreciated.


Unfortunately, north of England and Scotland in particular have much lower wages than Australia.  The trade off is much cheaper living costs, so swings and roundabouts.   We moved the other way and have saved so much in 5 years its incredible.  If the exchange rate holds up will move back with a substantial deposit on a house.    But our problem is just having hit the big 50, job opportunities may be limited with younger cheaper labour more appealing to  employers .     If we stayed in Australia buying a house in Melbourne would be impossible even though we earn more than double.  Always a compromise, but enjoy that Beautiful country.   You can always hire a car when needed, much less hassle than owning anyway.

Thanks unclehenry. I appreciate your thoughts. Car hire is definitely an option although not on our current pays. Glad to hear you're doing well in Melbourne. Property is so much more affordable in Scotland than in Melbourne or most other places in Australia for that matter.

An update. I've been applying for £20,000+ jobs that are ideally suited to my CV however still I'm not able to get to the interview stage.

I suspect that the Brit's value on loyalty and tenure and climbing up the ranks means that most promotions are internal and you need to start out at entry level and then either hope you are successful within an organisation or wait to get invited to apply from networks in other organisations in same or similar industries.

I also suspect that having a visa with an end date - in my case a UK Ancestry Visa - implies they may invest money and time for maybe only a few year's in return.  So they just don't bother with you unless it's a high turnover business and they've got nothing to lose.

After all, the UK gov may not grant me ILR at the end of the day or I may return to my home country sooner than later. Who knows? My intentions are to stay for many many years but until I get dual-citizenship anything could happen.

My husband just got a promotion to £21,000 after 9 months at base £18,000 in a growing global business. Perhaps my selection of a UK only business was not so good in hindsight. Anyhoo. I keep applying and keep working my tail off where I am hoping for the best.

£16,240 salary does not give you much more than cost of living. A new pair of sneakers every 6 months and that's about it. As much as I enjoy my job, there is very little chance of a pay rise to £21,000 or above in the next 3 years so leave sooner than later from my current job I must do.

Another update. One day before our one year anniversary in Scotland, I will be starting a new job and will break the £20,000 mark. £19,000 base plus £2,700 shift allowance - taking it to £21,700.

While I made my minimum income goal in the first 6-12 months, I will have to work 37.5hrs a week across 7 days including bank holidays, even Christmas Day. A bit like an emergency worker.

So not the greatest family-work balance but I do have weekdays off to get things done. Being a former emergency worker I don't mind shift work.

Working in a call centre demonstrates and strengthens several skills including: ICT, customer service, policy and process, decision making, analytical and creative thinking, team dynamics and time management.

So while working in a call-centre may not be everybody's cup of tea it certainly spotlights you as a valuable, productive and personable prospective employeee. Your primary skill is people pleasing - a skill always in demand. 

Next step now is working my way back up the management ladder - in my squeaky new growing global organisation. My goal is general manager, operations manager or a specialist management role in areas such as capability development, training, continuous improvement, innovation, risk or intelligence.

Next financial target is £25,000 to £35,000 in the next 12-18 months.

Hi Daretodone, did you manage to achieve your next target?

Hope its ok for me to ask you this, but for a family of 5, what would you suggest as a household annual income?

Still £21,700 but roster is 4 days on and 3 days off so more time to explore with an overnight away.  Difficult to move to a new organisation with a visa with an end date. Existing employer more likely to risk a promotion. We’re still looking.  Fam of five can survive on these incomes.  Fortunately our two sons have part time work to earn their own pocket money.  Would be tougher without them doing that.  I’d recommend being careful with your rental property. Don’t over burden yourself with rent and council tax.  Every £ counts.

Thanks for the reply, sorry to hear you still stuck on the same income. Hope the visa gets renewed quickly and a promotion happens soon.

would you say 40K combined income for a family of 5 is sufficient or would it need to be 50K or even higher?

£40k is a good salary for the UK; the current National Average is £26.5k and people live on that.  Whether a family of 5 can live on £40k will, of course, depend on your lifestyle, but I think it's doable.

Expat Team

£40K combined is what we started with basically. We're surviving okay but limited left over to cover the cost of purchasing and maintaining a car.  We've learnt to live without a car. One of the tricks to extending your £ is to watch out for transport costs. For example, if you travel by train your partner and yourself will save 33% with a 2 together pass for when you travel together. If you go away to say Inverness on the weekend by train, you will save ££. Buses are cheaper than trains. Certain taxi companies are cheaper than others. Groceries are cheaper at ASDA compared to M&S. Shoes and clothing are cheaper online than in stores - often but not always.

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