By Ian McConnell

SALARIES commanded in the senior ranks of the medical diagnostics sector have risen sharply amid the coronavirus pandemic and some are now double what they were five years ago, a Scottish specialist recruitment consultant has declared.

Ivor Campbell, chief executive of Stirlingshire-based Snedden Campbell, said board-level executives with technical, scientific, or engineering qualifications now routinely command annual salaries of around £150,000.

Experienced engineers involved in research and development and transfers to production are regularly employed on salaries of £120,000, he declared.

Mr Campbell noted “far fewer quibbles” over salaries. And he flagged “consistent, six-figure salaries with senior people in medical diagnostics businesses of all scales”.

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The "sudden expansion" of the UK medical technology industry, particularly in the field of infectious disease diagnostics, in the past 12 months has led to companies “offering significantly higher wages to attract the best people”, according to Mr Campbell.

Government investment in Covid-related research and the higher public profile enjoyed by the diagnostics industry had seen the launch of several new specialist firms as well as an expansion by established companies of their activities and product ranges, Mr Campbell noted.

He said: “The Government has thrown hundreds of millions of pounds at diagnostics in the UK and that has had various knock-on effects.

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“What we are seeing is a confident sector, whether it has anything to do with Covid or not, hiring more people, looking at hiring people and increasing their product ranges. It has also made for a scarcity in the number of qualified and experienced people who really know what they are doing in designing, developing and manufacturing these things and, as a result, we are seeing demand for their services grow with far fewer quibbles about salaries.”


Mr Campbell added: “We are now at a stage where we are getting consistent, six-figure salaries with senior people in medical diagnostics businesses of all scales. They are catching up with those in equivalent positions in the pharmaceutical, finance and information technology industries in the south-east of England.

“We are working on an engineering production management project for which, five or six years ago, salaries would have been around £60,000 to £70,000 – now they are £100,000 to £120,000.

“Clients who would have put the phone down 12 months ago are now nodding through inflated salaries because they accept that rates have gone up. Engineers earning £120,000 a year ago would have been unlikely – now it’s the cost of doing business.”

Snedden Campbell is owned and managed by Mr Campbell and his wife Jennifer Snedden.

Giving further details of salaries being commanded in the medtech sector, Mr Campbell said: “For a board-level appointment, we are now in £150,000-a-year territory for someone with a technical scientific or engineering qualification. Engineers and scientists skilled in research and development with some product launches to their names and transfers to production can expect to earn over £100,000.

“It’s difficult to identify anyone for a leadership role with higher-level, technical requirements at less than £100,000.”