Some 3,125 of the 6,000 Unite union members voted 60:40 in favour of moving on to an official ballot in a workplace poll this week.
The decision came after a period of negotiations with management.
The professionals rejected a three percent pay offer made in April, but manual workers at the Warton and Samlesbury sites have accepted that figure.
Union representative John Cameron said the professional and office staff at BAE felt that they had put in a huge amount of effort in recent years to help BAE Systems through a period of restructuring and had accepted below inflation pay rises to ease the process.
But now he said they had been offered yet another below RPI pay offer and felt that enough was enough.
He said: “We were asked to hold a consultative ballot to see if there was an appetite for any industrial action and that’s what we did in the workplace.
“There is no legal basis for that ballot and we will now be consulting union head office to proceed further with an official ballot.
“The three per cent is well below the RPI inflation figure. The members have had a lot of change and upheaval recently and feel, rightly or wrongly, under much more pressure.
“Some have had their jobs moved some have had to be more flexible through the restructuring. I think this ballot reflects broader concerns that they have.”
Management at BAE Systems confirmed that the ballot had taken place but declined to comment today.