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The highest paying careers in Britain

Every year the Office for National Statistics (ONS) looks closely at who earns what in which industries, occupations and regions.

According to the results of the 2010 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), company directors and chief executives continue to dominate the number one spot of the highest paid jobs with an average salary of £151,046 per year — approximately 13 per cent lower than in 2009.

The survey covers the average pay for full-time workers from around 300 trades and professions. The most current numbers also revealed that the average weekly pay for UK employees grew by 2.1 per cent in the year to April 2010 to reach £499 per week.

These are currently 10 of the highest paying jobs in the UK.

Directors and Chief Executives
What they do*:
Directors and CEOs are responsible for a company’s overall performance and answerable to its share-holders.
How to get there: 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.
What they earn: £151,046

Brokers
What they do: Their basic salary may only position them as second 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.
How to get there: A degree in any discipline although a business, economics or finance degree would be advantageous.
What they earn: £115,612

Corporate Managers and Senior Officials
What they do:
Corporate Managers (or Business Managers) play various positions depending on the large or small business. Managers fulfill their roles through organizing, planning, motivating and controlling.
How to get there: Engineering degree in business management related field from an accredited college or Bachelor’s degree in business management related field.
What they earn: £107,951

Financial Managers (and Chartered Secretaries)
What they do:
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.
How to get there: 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.
What they earn: £83,396

Medical Practitioners
What they do: Medical Practitioners 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.
How to get there: 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.
What they earn: £76,000

Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers
What they do:
Exactly what it says on the tin — to fly commercial, business or freight aircraft on short- or long-haul flights. Flight engineers work on the development of aircraft and related technology.
How to get there: 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 you’ll need a good pair of sunglasses, too. To become a flight engineer, you need a degree in aeronautical or aerospace engineering, avionics or air transport engineering.
What they earn: £68,582

Air traffic Controllers
What they do:
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.
How to get there: 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).
What they earn: £59,228

Marketing and Sales Managers
What they do: 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.
How to get there: 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.
What they earn: £57,276

Police Officers (Inspectors and above)
What they do: 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!”
How to get there: No formal requirements, entry is open to anyone with a clean criminal record.
What they earn: £56,931

Solicitors, Lawyers, Judges and Coroners
What they do:
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.
How to get there: 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.
What they earn: £55,723

*Job descriptions: files from CareerBuilder.co.uk, nextstep.direct.gov.uk, samplejobdescriptions.org

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