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 job in 2023, according to recruiter Hays. With just under 1.2 million vacancies in Britain, there are plenty of job opportunities around.
In this article, we cover:
- Highest-paying jobs in the UK
- What are the best university degrees for job prospects?
- What are the best-paid graduate jobs?
- High-paying jobs that don’t need degrees
- Which jobs will receive the highest pay rises in 2023?
Read more: How do I ask for a pay rise?
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. 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’s salary in the UK is £55,200 a year. This does not include 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, according to SavetheStudent:
- 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
- Senior 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 (£10,115)
- 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. They also have 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. Bain and Company come top and Boston Consulting Group is 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.
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.What job makes the most money per hour UK? ›
(EMSI), aircraft pilots and flight engineers are Britain's highest earning occupations with average pay per hour at £44.57, while bar staff are at the other end of the scale being paid £6.13 per hour.How to get a high paying job in the UK? ›
- Decide what you want to do. ...
- Gain professional experience. ...
- Develop your skills. ...
- Become an expert. ...
- Develop leadership skills. ...
- Be ambitious with your job search. ...
- Thoroughly research potential employers.
- Risk Manager. ...
- Hazardous-Waste Manager. ...
- Mortgage Advisor. ...
- Personal Assistant. ...
- Journalist. ...
- Freelance IT Contractor. Average Salary – £40,515. ...
- Youth Worker. Average Salary – £22,068. ...
- Environmental Conservation Consultant. Average Salary – £35,352.
- Investment banker.
- Certified public accountant.
- Day trader.
- Real estate agent.
When it comes to annual income, a salary of £80,000 would put someone firmly in the top 5% of UK earners. According to HMRC taxpayer data from 2016-17, the 95th percentile of earnings began at £75,300.What is the easiest best paid job UK? ›
- Household Manager – £32,500.
- Computer Games Tester – £37,000.
- Chicken Sexer – £40,000.
- Air Traffic Controllers – £40,000.
- Computer Security Specialists – £42,500.
- Train and Tram Drivers – £44,500.
- Sales Manager – £46,000.
- Member of Parliament – £82,000+
If you make $100 per hour, your Yearly salary would be $208,000.Which jobs are in demand in UK for foreigners? ›
- Programmers and Software Developers.
- Cyber Security Specialists.
- Health Services and Residential Care.
- Graphic Designers.
- Physical Scientists.
- Sales Assistant.
- Operations Manager.
|Rank||Job Title||% of vacancies that are 'hard to fill'|
- Seasonal Worker visa (Temporary Work)
- Government Authorised Exchange visa (Temporary Work)
- Creative Worker visa (Temporary Work)
- Religious Worker visa (Temporary Work)
- Charity Worker visa (Temporary Work)
- International Agreement visa (Temporary Work)
- Choose the right industry. Firstly, ensure that you are working in the right industry, and if you are not, take steps towards doing so. ...
- Expand your skill set. ...
- Take on more responsibilities. ...
- Air your concerns. ...
- Look for promotions and vacancies.
- Look externally.
- Be flexible.
In comparison, those working in Law, Leisure, and Hospitality were the least happy, with as little as one in ten feeling satisfied with their career. Looking across the UK regionally, Scotland and Wales were two of the unhappiest areas within the nation with less than one in five (16%) currently happy at work.What is the easiest job to find in UK? ›
- Live In Carer/Companion - *Salary £700 - £900 per week* ...
- Energy Specialist - London. ...
- Food & Beverage Team Member. ...
- FARM ASSISTANT (PLUS) new. ...
- Production Operative. FPR Group4.0. ...
- Data Engineer. new. ...
- Community Outreach Worker. Blueberry Hill Care Ltd. ...
- Junior FX Broker. Currency Solutions3.3.
|Occupation code||Job types included on the shortage occupations list|
|2122||Mechanical engineers – all jobs|
|2123||Electrical engineers – all jobs|
|2124||Electronics engineers – all jobs|
|2126||Design and development engineers – all jobs|
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
- Personal Trainer.
- Marketing and Sales Directors.
- Legal Professionals.
- IT and Telecommunication Directors.
- Financial Institution Manager.
- Insurance agent.
- Professional athlete.
- Hedge fund manager.
- Investment banker.
- Real estate developer.
- Police officer. National average salary: $73,582 per year. ...
- Nuclear power reactor operator. National average salary: $73,649 per year. ...
- Boilermaker. ...
- Web developer. ...
- Front desk manager. ...
- Distribution manager. ...
- Massage therapist. ...
- Tanker driver.
In the year ending March 2019, the average (median) annual household income in each quintile before housing costs were paid was: top quintile: £54,000. second highest quintile: £35,700. middle quintile: £26,800.What counts as wealthy in UK? ›
The richest 1% of households were those whose total wealth was more than £3.6 million (Figure 2). The least wealthy 10% of households had wealth of £15,400 or less.
It shows that anyone earning above £75,300 is in the top five per cent of taxpayers. In 2017, polling firm Yougov looked into what kind of salary Britons think makes a person “rich”. The results showed that people in the UK think the top 10 per cent of earners – those bagging on average £60,500 a year – are wealthy.How can I make $1000 dollars a week UK? ›
- Be a Tutor: If you're good at a certain subject, offer your services as a tutor. ...
- Start your own Blog: ...
- Offer Freelance Services: ...
- Affiliate Marketing: ...
- Open a Consultancy Agency: ...
- Become a Copywriter:
- Veterinary medicine.
- Chemical engineering.
- Physics and Astronomy.
- Mechanical engineering.
- Computer science.
- Babysitter or nanny.
- Customer service representative.
- Lawn care specialist.
- Personal assistant.
- Data entry clerk.
- Web designer.
- Social media manager.
- Grocery associate.
No mater how you cut it, though, $1,000 an hour is impressive. Bill the annual average of 2,200 hours and that's a nice $2.2 million in gross pay.How much is paid per hour in USA? ›
As of Apr 26, 2023, the average hourly pay for a Hourly in the United States is $20.66 an hour.Is $50 dollars an hour good? ›
Is 50 an Hour Good? Yes, $50 an hour is actually good pay. To put things into perspective, $50 an hour is almost seven times higher than the federal minimum wage. As of 2022, the Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.Can an American get a job in the UK? ›
U.S. citizens already living in the UK must ensure they have the legal right to work in the UK and must liaise with the Home Office for the relevant visa.Can I work an American job in the UK? ›
If you are a US national and would like to work in the UK, you will need to secure a work visa before you travel here. In most cases, to secure a UK work permit, you will need a suitable job offer from a UK employer with a sponsor licence granted by the UK Home Office.Which skill is in demand in UK? ›
Engineers. The engineering industry always has a high demand for skilled workers in various fields of engineering.
If you are looking for opportunities, you may want to consider the UK, because the opportunities are more plentiful. In America, people are encouraged to work hard and achieve success. In the UK, people are expected to work long hours and be dedicated to their jobs but not attain a high level of personal success.What is the happiest job in the UK? ›
- Landscaper. National average salary: £23,544 per year. ...
- Dog walker. National average salary: £20,177 per year. ...
- Counsellor. National average salary: £31,291 per year. ...
- Wedding photographer. National average salary: £26,936 per year. ...
- Architect. ...
- Tutor. ...
- Tennis coach. ...
- Ski instructor.
Young migrants from Central and Eastern Europe 'the hardest working in the UK' Young migrants from EU countries have higher employment rates and are less likely to seek jobseekers allowance than their UK peers, according to an EU-funded study* by the University of Oxford.How long can a US citizen work in the UK without a visa? ›
Get a UK Visa and Residence Permit
Contrary to popular belief, you need a visa to move to the UK if you are an American citizen. The only exception to this is that if you are visiting with no long-term plans, you can stay in the UK without a visa for six months – but you cannot work during your visa-free stay.
- UK Ancestry Visa. You can apply for a visa if you meet the general eligibility criteria, and you can prove that one of your grandparents was born in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man. ...
- British National Overseas Visa. ...
- Investor Visa. ...
- Global Talent Visa.
- work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship.
- do a second job in certain circumstances.
- do voluntary work.
- study as long as it does not interfere with the job, you're sponsored for.
- travel abroad and return to the UK.
The average wage that was seen as a sum on which people could live comfortably is £16,300 more than the £33,000 median annual pay for full-time employees in the tax year ending in April 2022, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures.Is 100 000 pounds a good salary in London? ›
A 100k salary is above the nation's average for a full-time employee. The average yearly wage for full-time workers in London in 2022, according to Statista, was £41,866, compared with £29,521 for workers in North East England. A 100k salary will likely be a director's or senior management position at a larger company.What jobs pay over 50k a year UK? ›
- Commercial manager.
- Strategy manager.
- Analytics manager.
- Product manager.
- Solutions consultant.
- Real estate lawyer.
- Tax manager.
- Statistician. National Average Salary: £40,999 per year. ...
- Private tutor. National Average Salary: £36,181 per year. ...
- Copywriter. National Average Salary: £30,257 per year. ...
- Therapist. ...
- Librarian. ...
- Dental hygienist. ...
- Environmental scientist or specialist. ...
- Art director.
|Highest competition for jobs||Lowest competition for jobs|
A big contributing factor to the difference in pay in the UK and the US boils down to British subsidised social benefits, specifically the NHS, our free healthcare system. In the US, healthcare is a complicated and expensive system involving providers, payers and patients.What is most common job in UK? ›
human health and social work activities (14.7%, 4.1 million) education (9.8%, 2.7 million) construction (8.7%, 2.4 million) manufacturing (7.3%, 2.0 million)Is it easy to work in UK as a foreigner? ›
While the competition for many jobs remains high, with the right experience, language skills, qualifications and professional attributes, you will find that finding a job in the UK is more than achievable.What's the most popular job in UK? ›
One of the most popular job opportunities in the UK, a project manager earns somewhere around GBP 43,000 annually. Project managers are among the most sought-after professionals in the country and primarily plan, organize, and manage the work associated with a specific assignment.What is the most underpaid job UK? ›
- Cleaners and domestics - £19,792.
- Playworkers - £20,033.
- Collector salespersons and credit agents - £20,038.
- Bar and catering supervisors - £20,245.
- Cooks - £20,253.
- Hospital porters - £20,396.
- School midday and crossing patrol occupations - £20,592.
- Lawyer. ...
- Occupational therapist. ...
- Psychologist. ...
- Dentist. ...
- Chief executive officer. ...
- General practitioner. National average salary: £65,066 per year. ...
- Anaesthetist. National average salary: £95,168 per year. ...
- Surgeon. National average salary: £74,900 per year.
Your chances of getting a job in UK after masters is influenced by various factors such as your level of education, skills, area of search, job field, etc. With a high level of competition among job-seekers in a global economy like the UK, settling in a graduate job is not going to be very easy.Is 300k a good salary UK? ›
Workers in London need to be earning more than £300,000 a year to be considered 'rich', new figures show. This number rises even further if you're a middle-aged man, with this peer group needing £700,000 or more to be counted as wealthy in the capital.Who earns 100k a year UK? ›
A 100k salary will likely be a director's or senior management position at a larger company. In most cases, to get to this level, you will need vast experience and proven results at creating value for the businesses you have worked at.
In February 2023 the top one percent of earners in the United Kingdom received an average pay of 15,196 British pounds per month, compared with the bottom 10 percent of earners who earned 712 pounds.How many people earn 500k a year UK? ›
The top 0.1% of earners in the UK have annual incomes in excess of £500,000, according to a study by a leading thinktank that shows the effect of “unfair” tax rates available to business owners.What is an impressive salary UK? ›
High and low-income earners in the UK in 2022
Therefore, high-income earners make a gross income of £45,504 per annum, while low-income earners make a gross income of £20,160 per annum.
On a £120,000 salary, your take home pay will be £72,950 after tax and National Insurance. This equates to £6,079 per month and £1,403 per week.What is a rich salary in the UK? ›
What do you have to earn to be rich? UK pol gives a number and sparks a controversy. British Labour Party politician John McDonnell ignited a debate on Twitter this week when he defined the rich as those earning above 70,000 British pounds a year. That's equivalent to 89,000 U.S. dollars.What is a middle class income UK? ›
Median income for non-retired households decreased by 0.3% in FYE 2022, from £34,100 to £34,000, following a 1.0% increase in the previous year, with an average annual growth of 1.7% in the 10 years leading up to 2022 (FYE 2013 to FYE 2022).How many US citizens make 100k a year? ›
In the US, 18% of individual Americans and 34.4% of households make $100k per year or more. This number has increased by 2.97% in the past five years and has nearly doubled since 1980. However, that doesn't mean all $100k+ earners are evenly spread.Which is the wealthiest county in England? ›
The richest neighbourhoods in the UK are all located in London, with the areas of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham topping the list. In October, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its latest data based on the total gross disposable household income (GDHI) across the country in 2020.What is upper middle class UK? ›
The upper middle class in Britain traditionally consists of the educated professionals who were born into higher-income backgrounds, such as legal professionals, executives, and surgeons. This stratum, in England, traditionally uses Received Pronunciation natively.What is the top 1% income in London? ›
The highest-earning 1% of adults have incomes above 130,000 pounds ($170,000) The top 0.1% had incomes in excess of 500,000 pounds and accounted for 6% of all incomes.
Yes, a master's degree from the UK is considered valid in US institutions for research positions as well as university appointments. The weightage of the UK master's degree is quite high for research and work.What is the hardest degree to get UK? ›
- Psychology. Kicking off our list of the hardest degrees in the UK is Psychology. ...
- Microbiology. ...
- Economics. ...
- Philosophy. ...
- Computer Science. ...
- Finance. ...
- Fine Art. ...
- Programmers and Software Developers.
- Cyber Security Specialists.
- Health Services and Residential Care.
- Graphic Designers.
- Physical Scientists.
- Sales Assistant.
- Operations Manager.