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Britain’s Top 10 Salaries

Paul MacKenzie-Cummins for CareerBuilder.co.uk

The results of the 2007 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) have revealed the official figures for the UK’s highest and lowest paid jobs. And, for the umpteenth year on the run, company directors and chief executives continue to dominate the number one spot with an average salary of £212,910 per year – an increase of 30 per cent since 2006. Remarkably, this is 20 times the amount earned by library assistants – the unwilling holders of the worst-paid job award earning on average £10,749.

The survey, which was conducted by the Office of National Statistics, covers the average pay for full-time workers from around 300 trades and professions. And, last years survey also revealed that the average weekly pay for UK employees grew by 2.9 per cent year-on-year to reach £457 per week.

Here are the UK’s top 10 best paid jobs.

1. Directors and Chief Executives

Directors and CEOs are responsible for a company’s overall performance and answerable to its share-holders.

Entry requirements: The likes of Sir Richard Branson and Sir Alan Sugar are in the minority of UK chief executives, with the majority traditionally requiring a degree and possibly an MBA.

Average Salary: £212,910

2. General Practitioners (GPs)

Job description: GPs provide primary and ongoing care in the community for patients. They are skilled in diagnosing a patient’s condition based on physical, psychological and social factors and recommend patients for further treatment or referred to hospital clinic if required.

Entry requirements: A degree in medicine is essential obtained over a five-year period (or four years for a graduate entry programme), followed by a two-year foundation programme whereby junior doctors will earn up to £35,000 per year.

Average Salary: £110,000

3. Brokers

Job description: Gordon Gecko’s “Greed is Good” tirade in the 1980s film “Wall Street”, is arguably the same mantra adopted by many of today’s career-hungry stockbrokers – unless your name happens to be Nick Leason, of course. Their basic salary may only position them as third on the list but, with some city brokers earning bonuses in excess of £2m a year their place in real terms can be much higher. A broker manages the investment portfolio of private clients or companies by buying or selling stocks and shares to generate the maximum return on investment.

Entry requirements: A degree in any discipline although a business, economics or finance degree would be advantageous.

Average Salary: £94,293

4. Financial Managers and Chartered Secretaries

Job description: Financial managers provide advice, financial and strategic support — such as budgetary controls or financial implications of a particular course of action — to organisations to enable them to make effective business decisions. Chartered secretaries work at board level to ensure that an organisation complies with regulations and provide legal, personnel, property and financial advice. With their key business knowledge across a wide range of operational areas, chartered secretaries are highly valued by their organisations.

Entry requirements: Financial Managers require a degree in any discipline coupled with professional accountancy qualifications. The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators recommends that entrants have a degree in law or business.

Average Salary: £77,931

5. Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers

Job description: Exactly what it says on the tin – to fly commercial, business or freight aircraft on short- or long-haul flights.

Entry requirements:  ‘A’ Levels/HND are sufficient and pilots must undertake an intensive training programme to obtain their commercial pilot’s licence (CPL) and Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence from a CAA-approved training school. Oh, and a good pair of sunglasses, too.

Average Salary: £63,664

6. Civil Servants (Senior)

Job description: Think Sir Humphrey Appleby in Yes, Minister and you will understand the role of a senior civil servant. In total, there are around half a million civil servants in the UK employed in more than 170 government departments and agencies charged with the responsibility to devise policy and implement legislation, among other duties.

Entry requirements: A second-class Honours degree or above. Exceptional graduates can apply for the Civil Service’s Fast Stream which flows all the way to the top and the Sir Humphreys who head the departments.

Average Salary: £54,950

7. Police Officers (Inspector and above)

Job description: A detective police inspector is a middle manager who is responsible for supervising the ranks of constable and sergeant and acting as a link between the investigating team and senior officers. And they are usually the public face of the Force – responsible for ensuring good community relations. Tact and diplomacy are essential characteristics, unlike Inspector Clouseau who famously commented, “Madame, that is by far the ugliest nose I have ever seen and I compliment you on it, it suits you!”

Entry requirements: No formal requirements, entry is open to anyone with a clean criminal record.

Average Salary: £54,241

8. Managers (marketing and sales)

Job description: Marketing and sales managers are tasked with developing and launching new products into the marketplace, implementing marketing plans, creating brand awareness and, ultimately, increasing sales.

Entry requirements: Marketers typically enter the profession upon graduation (a degree in Marketing or Business is not necessary but is advantageous) or after completing either a HNC or HND. Professional marketing and sales qualifications can be obtained through the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Average Salary: £54.029

9. Lawyers, Judges and Coroners

Job description: Solicitors fall into two categories: commercial and non-commercial. Broadly speaking, they provide a wide range of legal support and advice to business and private clients on issues such as landlord and tenancy agreements, buying and selling property or matrimony. Judges are the arbitrators appointed to oversee the legal proceedings in court. Coroners direct and conduct the post-mortem investigation to determine the cause and responsibility for an accidental, unexplained or violent death.

Entry requirements: Solicitor – degree (any discipline) or via the legal executive route. Judge – qualification upon completing minimum seven years as a practising solicitor. Coroner – must be a qualified barrister, solicitor or medical doctor.

Average Salary: £52,049

10. Air Traffic Controllers

With more than 200 million passengers travelling to and from UK airports every year, air traffic controllers really do have their work cut out. Their job is to manage the safe take-off and landing of several aircraft at the same time by monitoring and controlling an aircraft’s height, speed and course.

Entry requirements: Contrary to common assumptions, entry is not the preserve of university degree holders, although an increasing number of graduates are entering the profession. The minimum requirement is five GCSEs (grades A-C including English and Maths) in addition to two ‘A’-Levels/GNVQ advanced level. Most people enter the profession via the National Air Traffic Services (NATS).

Average Salary: £51,911

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