While some high-ranking executives do earn mega-bucks and big bonuses, the vast majority of British managers are paid relatively modestly, with pay increases of little more than 4 per cent last year.
Managers in London earned nearly a third more than their counterparts in the poorer south-west of England, the poll added.
The study from pay and benefits consultancy Croner was based on 14,385 job records provided by 675 companies, and found that the average UK manager was paid £31,289 last year.
Those working in the computer services industry had the highest average pay, £36,210, some 15.7 per cent above the national average.
Andrew Walker, Croner business director, said the survey showed some of the debate about and criticism of executive remuneration was misleading.
The figures are certainly at odds with claims last month by the union body the TUC that boardroom pay in Britain was out of control, although it is clear that the Croner research is mostly focused on managers lower down the scale than this.
The overall increase in management basic pay was 4.4 per cent in the past 12 months and the increase in total pay was 4.9 per cent, he added.
Supervisors and senior technicians received the highest increase (7 per cent), with the average across-the-board settlement for managers coming out at 3.2 per cent.
The lowest paying industries for managers were timber and furniture at £26,000, 16.9 per cent below the national average.