If you are thinking about switching roles for a bigger salary or are wondering where to start your career, here’s a list of the highest-paying jobs in the UK.
Over half of UK workers say that they intend to look for a new position in 2023, according to recruiter Hays. With just under 1.2 million job vacancies in Britain, there are plenty of opportunities around.
In this article, we cover:
What are the highest-paying jobs in the UK?
Chief executive and senior-level roles are perhaps unsurprisingly the highest-paid jobs in the UK, according to analysis of official ONS data by SavetheStudent.
Marketing, sales and advertising directors, doctors, headteachers and airline pilots also come in the top 10.
It is very difficult however to definitively determine what the highest-paid jobs are as there can be a lot of variation between roles depending on your experience, individual companies, and location.
For example, a teacher in London can expect to be paid up to £42,624 a year, according to the Department of Education. The same teacher in the rest of England and Wales would receive up to £36,961.
The average solicitor salary in the UK is £55,200 a year, not including bonuses or profit sharing schemes, according to Jobted. A newly qualified solicitor can expect an average salary of £35,000 per year.
These are the best-paid jobs in the UK:
- Chief Executives and Senior Officials – £79,835
- Marketing, Sales and Advertising Directors – £77,695
- Information Technology Directors – £73,571
- Specialist Medical Practitioners – £68,614
- Headteachers and Principals – £66,686
- Public Relations and Communications Directors – £66,510
- Financial Managers and Directors – £64,193
- Aircraft Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers – £62,778
- Functional Managers and Directors – £61,139
- Senior Police Officers – £59,141
- Train and Tram Drivers – £58,868
- Barristers and Judges – £53,110
- Health Services and Public Health Managers and Directors – £50,789
- Rail Transport Operatives – £50,561
- Electrical Engineers – £50,487
- IT Business Analysts, Architects and Systems Designers – £50,396
- Business and Financial Project Management Professionals – £50,287
- Research and Development (R&D) Managers – £50,027
- Taxation Experts – £49,916
- Paramedics – £49,909
What are the highest-paying companies in the UK?
Technology and finance firms make up the majority of the highest-paying companies in the UK, according to Glassdoor.
The top 10 companies hand out an average base salary of over £93,000 to staff. This places their average employee in the top 4% of UK taxpayers:
- Citadel – financial services company (£121,759)
- Contino – business management consultant (£108,128)
- White & Case – international law firm (£107.115)
- G-Research- quantitative finance research firm (£101,066)
- Google Cloud – cloud computing services (£99,677)
- Palantir Technologies – software company (£98,095)
- Squarepoint Capital – investment services (£96,933)
- Bank of America Merill Lynch (£94,393)
- MongoDB – developer data platform (£93,993)
- Pegasystems – software company (£93,844)
What are the best companies to work for in the UK?
The highest-paying roles aren’t necessarily the roles with the highest satisfaction scores.
The best companies to work take into account work-life balance, a good team and culture, great pay and perks, strong leadership and good career growth.
Jobsite Glassdoor ranks tech companies in its top 50 list with Apple, Microsoft and Google all making the cut. Management consultancy firms do even better with Bain and Company coming top and Boston Consulting Group in third.
Based on the five criteria above, Glassdoor ranked the following as the best companies to work for in the UK:
- Bain & Company
- Boston Consulting Group
- Ocado Technology
- Version 1
- Imagination Technologies
- Johnson & Johnson
- Capgemini Invent
What are the best university degrees for job prospects?
University is not the only route to a good job but many positions do require one. Competition is fierce once you get out into the real world of work so it is important to do your research when choosing a degree.
There are over 65,000 university courses on offer. The subject area which offers the highest employment rates for graduates is medicine and dentistry, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Over 99% of people can expect to be employed in this sector within six months of graduating, commanding a salary for medicine is £50,373 and dentistry of £30,000 per year.
Veterinary science comes second with almost 96% of graduates finding employment within six months of graduation, commanding a £30,500 wage.
Over 90% of graduates in allied medicine subjects (such as pharmacy and physiotherapy), education and architecture also found work within six months of leaving university.
What are the best-paid graduate jobs?
University degrees don’t come cheap but many companies offer lucrative graduate training schemes and graduate positions with a view to developing their next generation of leaders.
So if you are looking for an immediate return on your university investment, these are the best-paid graduate jobs according to graduate career resource website, Milkround:
- Management Consultant £47,500
- Investment Banker £40,000
- Trainee Solicitor £26,500 – £50,000
- Graduate Sales Manager Retail £37-44,000
- Graduate Area Manager £38,000
- Petroleum Engineer £35,000
- Actuary £35,000
- Vet £32,000
- Clinical Scientist £32,000
- Software Developer £32,000
Note that salaries will vary between organisations and location. Graduate roles are likely to be better paid in London than the rest of the UK.
What high-paying jobs don’t need degrees?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a degree to get a high paying job. A third of graduates earn less than those who go straight into the job market, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
In fact many of the most famous and richest CEOs in the world, such as Richard Branson, Alan Sugar, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, never graduated from university.
You also don’t need a degree to be a train or tram driver, positions that also feature in the top highest-paying jobs in the UK.
While a degree may help, in many industries, experience and knowledge is equally valuable. Although you may need to carry out continuing career development courses.
Personal trainers (salary of up to £60,000), estate agents (£49,000), nutrition consultants (£44,000) and recruitment consultants (£30,000) are the top paying jobs that you don’t need a degree for, according to data from FutureFit:
- Personal trainer: average salary – £28,000, highest salary – £60,000
- Estate agents: average salary – £21,500, highest salary – £49,000
- Nutrition coach: average salary – £26,797, highest salary – £44,000
- Recruitment consultant: average salary – £23,000 highest salary – £30,000
- Pilates instructors: average salary – £25,000 highest salary – £52,000
- FireFighter: average salary – £30,027 highest salary – £36,000
- Health & wellbeing coach: average salary – £20,300, highest salary – £25,000
- Police officer: average salary – £29,310, highest salary – £41,000
- Marketing executive: average salary – £24,141, highest salary – £30,000
- Computer games tester: average salary – £31,090, highest salary – £40,000
Which jobs will receive the biggest pay rises in 2023?
The jobs that are likely to receive the biggest boosts to workers’ pay packets this year, according to recruiter Hays, are those where there is a significant skills shortage.
Increased demand for cyber security experts, electrical engineers, construction workers and sustainability managers, is likely to push up wages for these roles.
IT and cyber security managers can expect to receive some of the biggest wages (£81,500 a year) in 2023 as the world becomes increasingly digitised.
The most sought-after employees however are expected to be electrical (£48,875) and automation engineers (£48,000) which have the biggest number of shortages according to the government.
Quantity surveyor (£55,250), qualified social worker ( £31,583 – two years experience) and part-qualified/newly qualified accountant (£31,396) also feature in the most in-demand jobs list of 2023.
What are the highest-paying tech jobs in the UK?
The technology industry in the UK is thriving and competition for the best talent is fierce. Valued at over £800,000, the industry is worth five times that of France and Sweden, and double that of Germany, according to gov.uk.
There are thousands of roles to choose from but the tech job with the highest average salary in the UK is senior software engineer at £63,824, according to data from Indeed.
Operations engineers and data engineers can also expect to earn over £60,000 on average, while developers can expect an average salary of between £53,000-58,000 a year.
What is London weighting?
You are likely to be paid more working in London than in other areas of the UK due to the higher cost of living in the capital.
This supplement to your wage is often referred to as the London Weighting or the London Allowance. The concept first appeared in a 1974 report of the Pay Board.
There is no set amount or agreed universal method for calculating how much you will receive. Instead it will vary depending on your employer and industry.
Research from the Trust for London recommends a minimum London weighting of £9,600 in Inner London and £6,549 in Outer London is needed to cover a basic standard of living in the capital.