The 10 Highest Paying Jobs in the UK

- by Erin Redfern

We all dream about earning a huge salary. But what are the highest paying jobs and what do they entail? In this article Cashfloat, a direct payday lender, explores these jobs and the salaries.

Highest paying jobs - Cashfloat

High Earners – Are They Worth It?

Every year the Office of National Statistics releases a list of the highest and lowest paying jobs in the UK. Although there are some high earners who are reluctant to speak about how much they are paid and whether they feel they are worth such a large salary, many of the best paid people in the UK are quite happy to discuss salaries, bonuses and benefits.

Chief Executive Officers, high fliers like marketing directors and many other high earners are fixed in their assertion that they are worth every penny that they earn and whilst the great British public may disagree, it is hard to argue when some of the most talented people work longer and harder than most people could possibly imagine. So, who earns the most and are they worth it?

1. Stockbrokers and Traders

Average salary – £100,000 – £150,000/yr

At the top of the list for high salaries in the UK come stockbrokers, FX dealers and some other participants in the investments and money markets. Most stockbrokers have a university degree and it is worth mentioning that only the good ones survive. i.e. those who make money for their clients.

Stockbrokers, hedge fund managers and financial traders are convinced that they are worth every penny of their salaries as they help investors to make money and prevent them making bad mistakes that could see a loss of personal wealth.

The average salary of a stockbroker or trader is around £128,000 per annum and the most talented ones who make the largest sums of money for their clients receive the highest salaries. All stockbrokers need to have a qualification that is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority and the latest figures show that a good stockbroker or trader may see a rise of around 15% in their pay each year.

2. Chief Executives

Average salary – £133,448/yr

Second in line for the top paying jobs in the UK come chief executives. This class of high earners includes grade 5 civil servants and vice presidents of large corporations.

Chief executive dyk - Cashfloat

As a chief executive of a business is held responsible for the profits that are paid out to shareholders, this is not always the most secure job in the world and many CEO’s have been sacked when results are not as good as predicted or expected.

CEO’S are ofter working around the clock, this means that they can never really switch off. Additionally, they need to be experts in all areas of the business and be able to work their magic to help improve company performance and thus return higher profits. Although there are no qualifications needed, it obviously helps if a CEO has some experience in financial matters.

3. Sales and Marketing Directors

Average salary – £98,700/yr

These are the people who make money for the companies and although the average annual salary is around £98,000, the pay can range from £63,000 up to and exceed £170,000. Most marketing directors do have a degree or a minimum qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the real value of this job is in communicating the benefit of the product that is being sold.

4. Finance Directors

Average salary – £105,000/yr

Finance directors are responsible for a business adhering to financial regulations and also assist in pushing the business forward in a direction that will help growth and profits.

Many finance directors start out as accountants and a pre-requisite of the job is a qualification from an organisation like the Institute of Chartered Accountants or the ACCA.

5. Doctors, Consultants and Medical Practitioners

Average salary – £84,559 to £114,003/yr

There is a widening gap between medical staff supply and increasing patient needs in the UK. With the high demand of well trained doctors and medical practitioners, a Doctor is a very well paid job and could be an excellent career move. As a trained Doctor or consultant, you can work as part of the NHS or in the private sector.

Training to become a fully trained Doctor can take about four to seven years, but it is surely great to know that you have a guaranteed job at the end of it all waiting for you!

6. Orthodontists

Average salary – £97,830/yr

Orthodontists work in dental medicine and are specially trained to deal with tooth and jaw alignment. This means doing things like assessing whether patients need braces, as well as performing teeth straightening surgery!

As an Orthodontist will have completed basically the same training as a Dentist and then complete further education to ensure they have the specialist knowledge required of an Orthodontist.

7. Pilots, Flight Crew and First Officers

Average salary – £78,862/yr

Another very high paying job in the UK is that of an aircraft pilot. This includes those who train pilots for planes and helicopters. Those employed by major operators can earn £97,000 to more than £140,000. The amount of training that pilots undergo makes them worth their salary as lives can depend upon their skills. Costs of training to be a pilot are extensive and pilots also undergo constant assessments to ensure that they are up to the job.

Training to become a pilot takes 16 - 18 months - Cashfloat

Many pilots start out by achieving a microlight flying certificate and some pay for their own training with no guarantee of a job. However, some airlines do still take on trainees who are recruited and given extensive and costly training. When this has finished they are required to stay with the airline for a period of time and the company deducts the cost of training from their annual salary until the debt has been paid off.

This often leaves pilots with a relatively low wage each month until they are out of debt. However, most pilots would say that high earnings are not the main reason why they take up flying as a career and that it is the love of flying that attracts them to their job.

8. IT directors

Average salary – £99,251/yr

IT directors are the people who are in at the vanguard of new technology and an excellent IT director can transform a business from simply adequate to one that is constantly moving forward and increasing profits. In addition to technological qualifications, IT directors need excellent people skills as they have to sell their ideas and lead a qualified team to get the best out of a company’s technology.

9. Chartered Accountants

Average salary – £84,500/yr

From financial accounting to payroll and tax advice, Chartered Accountants have it all covered. Usually, the salary of a Chartered Accountant can range from £33,900 to £117,000. To become an accountant you’ll need to have either a degree in accounting or AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting.

10. Lawyers

Average salary – £68,700/yr

Lawyers earn some of the highest graduate starting salaries. Senior lawyers can expect to earn up to £122,000 per year in the London area. Some people think this is not commensurate with the skills they have but this category of salary is on a level with some business CEO’s


The list of the highest paying jobs in the UK does not hold many surprises. However, some people would question whether CEO’s in businesses are actually worth more than the medical consultant who saves lives or the airline pilot who is responsible for the lives of all the people on board a plane.

A top salary will always depend upon the value that society puts on a particular job. Whilst many people argue that a CEO is valuable because he or she creates jobs for others, there is a counter argument that those who are responsible for saving lives like doctors, or pilots should be paid more than those who purely make the big bucks.

To find out more about other jobs in the UK and their salaries click here for our complete guide.

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About The Author
Erin Redfern
Erin, a native Londoner, combines her love for the city with her passion for writing. With a first-class degree in Mathematics, Elizabeth chose to pursue a career aligned with her real passion—writing.
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