Highest Paying Jobs In The UK (2021)

Highest Paying Jobs In The UK (2021)

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Interested in pursuing a higher paying job or starting a new, fruitful career?

The following are the highest paying jobs in the UK (in 2021)

With a degree

Without a degree

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Marketing Directors / Sales Directors

Stockbrokers

Doctors & Surgeons

Financial Managers & Directors

Air Traffic Controllers

Police Constable

Firefighter

Train & Tram Drivers

Construction Manager

Everyone wants their monthly pay packet to contain a lot of zeros. We work hard, and when it comes time to get paid, we want to see our effort reflected in our wages. But that’s not always the case! Sometimes our paycheques can feel a pittance in comparison to the amount of labour we put in on a daily basis.

Well, now’s your chance to have a look at the highest-paying jobs in the UK. Have a look at this list and find out if your dream career is on the list of lucrative jobs.

As you can see, some of these financially rewarding careers require some specialised training or additional education. Of course, if you don’t want to head to the classroom, you’ll want to head down to the bottom of this list. There you’ll find our top-paying jobs that require no degree.

If you see a position you’re not qualified for, have a peek at our home learning courses. You’ll be able to see if you can gain the required training from the comfort of your sofa. You’ll be raking in the cash in no time at all.

The Highest Paying Jobs in the UK (Degree)

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Financial Officer

We have a new top entry into our list for 2021![i] According to recent research conducted by Indeed, CFOs take the top spot. CEOs manage a company or corporation’s finances, ensuring that everything is reported and balanced correctly.

How Much Do They Get Paid?

  • Minimum wage £0 (for companies just starting out)
  • Maximum wage – £1 million+
  • Average wage – £112,666

What are the Entry Requirements?

As a CFO, you’ll need to have at least a BA level degree in maths, business, or economics. Shareholders in the business will expect you to have at least a decade of highly relevant experience, with a proven track record of profitability and success.

Marketing Directors / Sales Directors

Marketing Director

Sales directors and marketing directors are two different career paths – the marketing team focuses on attracting the clients, while the sales team converts and closes them.[ii] However, their roles share a lot in common, and in some companies, the role is “Director of Sales and Marketing.” If you excel at promoting products and building rapport, these roles might be for you.

How Much Do They Get Paid?

  • Minimum wage £40,000 (lower for small companies and start-ups)
  • Maximum wage – upwards of £1 million. The sky is the limit!
  • Average wage – £63,156

What are the Entry Requirements?

Most sales and marketing directors have degrees in business or communications studies. However, some have earned their role with their gift of the gab. It also pays to be able to think outside the box when it comes to advertising and promotions.

Stockbrokers

Stockbroker graph

As you likely already know from television programmes and films, stockbrokers have the potential to make massive amounts of money! However, you’ve got to be good at what you do – strong with numbers and with schmoozing. You’ll be managing a client’s stock portfolio, earning commissions and helping them choose financial products.

How Much Do They Get Paid?

  • Minimum wage – £28,000
  • Maximum wage – Upwards of £1 million for elite brokers
  • Average wage – £44,169[iii]

What are the Entry Requirements?

It’s common for stockbrokers to have degrees in maths or business from elite universities. This is a competitive field in which to gain a foothold! In rare cases, people work their way into brokerage firms through mentorship and in-house training.

Doctors & Surgeons

nurse or doctor making notes

There’s a special pride in becoming a doctor or surgeon – medical professionals are well-respected and honoured around the world. It takes a lot of education to become a medical practitioner – but thankfully, it’s also one of the highest paid jobs in the UK! GPs earn a great living, but it’s the specialisms that pay the biggest salaries. If you’re really in it for the cash, specialise in anaesthesiology.

How Much Do They Get Paid?

  • Minimum wage £35,000
  • Maximum wage – £500,000+ (even more for private practice surgeons)
  • Average wage – £52,000 for a GP, £72,158 for a Surgeon[iv]

What are the Entry Requirements?

To become a doctor, anaesthetist, consultant, specialist, or surgeon, you’ll need to complete at least seven years of university, as well as a residency in a hospital.

Financial Managers & Directors

Financial Manager

Financial managers and directors provide public and private sector organisations with guidance and support in economic matters. It can be a diverse career – you could work for an NHS Trust, a charity organisation, or a massive corporation, helping them to meet their budget goals, make investment decisions, and improve their bottom lines.

How Much Do They Get Paid?

  • Minimum wage £40,000
  • Maximum wage – Upwards of £1 million+
  • Average wage – £104,500[v]

What are the Entry Requirements?

Financial Managers and Directors need to have a degree in business, finance, or accountancy. To qualify for this position, you’ll need at least a decade of proven success in less senior roles.

The Highest Paying Jobs in the UK (No degree)

Not everyone has the resources, time, or desire to go to Uni and earn a degree. Instead, these well-paid jobs don’t require a degree – you can often gain the experience needed on the job or in vocational training programmes.

Air Traffic Controllers

Aeroplane

If you’ve ever flown in an aeroplane, your life has been in an air traffic controller’s hands. This is one of the world’s most stressful careers, as they keep everyone in the skies and on the ground safe and sound. You’ll monitor the traffic in the skies, and guide and advise pilots on how to land safely and on schedule. It’s a big responsibility, but it pays extremely well.

How Much Do They Get Paid?

  • Minimum wage £17,000[vi]
  • Maximum wage – £120,000+
  • Average wage – £97,866

What Are the Entry Requirements?

Surprisingly, air traffic controllers are not required to have a degree. However, they need to have five GCSEs and a valid air traffic controller’s licence. To earn this license, you must pass the 3-year NATS vocational course. It’s an elite field – only 0.5% of applicants (that’s 15 out of 3,300) pass the course and get hired each year. Do you have what it takes?

Police Constable

Police officers

Most people in law enforcement get their start as police constables. If you enjoy your job and earn the respect of your commanding officers, you can work your way up to higher ranks, such as Detective, Sargent and Inspector.

 

How Much Do They Get Paid?

  • Minimum wage – £20,880[vii]
  • Maximum wage – £40,128
  • Average wage – £29,762

What are the Entry Requirements? To get to the police recruitment stage in the UK, you’ll need a GCSE qualification in the English Language at a grade C or above. You must also study for and pass the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP).

Firefighter

Fire fighters

Children often dream of becoming a firefighter – no other job seems as heroic and exciting! It’s also a well-compensated career – station managers can earn more than £40,000 per year. As you rise through the ranks, so too will your salary.

How Much Do They Get Paid?

  • Minimum wage – £17,500
  • Maximum wage – £40,000+ (station managers)
  • Average wage – £30,000 (managers)

What are the Entry Requirements?

Every fire service sets its own entry requirements. Most will require you to have at least 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English and maths. You’ll then need to undertake a number of written and physical exams. Make sure you’re in good shape!

Train & Tram Drivers

Train

If you enjoy exploring the country, helping people on their journeys, and operating heavy machinery? Driving a train or tram is a well-paid career than will suit your interests. On top of your salary, you’ll also receive discounted and free rail travel both in the UK and abroad.

How Much Do They Get Paid?[viii]

  • Minimum wage – £16,000
  • Maximum wage – £32,000
  • Average wage – £27,000

 

What are the Entry Requirements?

Every rail and tram company has its own requirements. Most expect you to have at least 4 GCSEs (grades 9 to 4, or A*- C). You’ll need a valid driving license, and on-the-job training will be provided.

Construction Manager

Construction manager

Construction is a great career path if you enjoy working with your hands, working on a team, and completing complex projects. To manage a site, you’ll need experience, leadership skills, and attention to detail.

How Much Do They Get Paid?

  • Minimum wage – £20,000
  • Maximum wage – £60,000+
  • Average wage – £45,000

What are the Entry Requirements?

While a trade certificate can help you get your foot in the door, the only way to become a construction manager is by working your way up from the bottom. Start in an entry-level position and put in the hours to gain the experience necessary to manage a site.

Which of these well-paid careers is right for you?

Now that you’ve checked out the highest paid jobs in the UK both with a degree and without a degree, are you ready to get started on your new path?

Reference list

Glassdoor (2020). Broker Salaries in London Area. [online] Glassdoor. Available at: https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salaries/london-broker-salary-SRCH_IL.0,6_IM1035_KO7,13.htm [Accessed 16 Dec. 2020].

McKeever, V. (2020). These are the UK’s best paid jobs in 2020, says Indeed. [online] CNBC. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/08/these-are-the-uks-best-paid-jobs-in-2020-says-indeed.html [Accessed 16 Dec. 2020].

National Career Service (2019). Tram driver | Explore careers | National Careers Service. [online] nationalcareers.service.gov.uk. Available at: https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/tram-driver [Accessed 16 Dec. 2020].

Payscale (2020). General Surgeon Salary in United Kingdom | PayScale. [online] www.payscale.com. Available at: https://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=General_Surgeon/Salary [Accessed 16 Dec. 2020].

Prospects (2018). Air traffic controller job profile | Prospects.ac.uk. [online] Prospects.ac.uk. Available at: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/air-traffic-controller [Accessed 16 Dec. 2020].

Prospects (2020). Police officer job profile | Prospects.ac.uk. [online] www.prospects.ac.uk. Available at: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/police-officer#:~:text=The%20starting%20salary%20for%20police.

Robert Half (2019). Average finance director salaries in the UK. [online] www.roberthalf.co.uk. Available at: https://www.roberthalf.co.uk/salary-guide/accounting-finance/finance-director-salaries#:~:text=A%20finance%20director%20average%20salary [Accessed 16 Dec. 2020].

Thompson, S. (2020). What’s the Difference Between a Marketing Manager and a Marketing Director? [online] Work – Chron.com. Available at: https://work.chron.com/whats-difference-between-marketing-manager-marketing-director-7509.html [Accessed 16 Dec. 2020].

Sources

[i] https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/08/these-are-the-uks-best-paid-jobs-in-2020-says-indeed.html

[ii] https://work.chron.com/whats-difference-between-marketing-manager-marketing-director-7509.html

[iii] https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salaries/london-broker-salary-SRCH_IL.0,6_IM1035_KO7,13.htm

[iv] https://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=General_Surgeon/Salary

[v] https://www.roberthalf.co.uk/salary-guide/accounting-finance/finance-director-salaries#:~:text=A%20finance%20director%20average%20salary,salary%20of%20approximately%20%C2%A381%2C000.

[vi] https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/air-traffic-controller

[vii] https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/police-officer#:~:text=The%20starting%20salary%20for%20police,after%20about%20ten%20years’%20service.

[viii] https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/tram-driver

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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