You may be aware which careers pay the most in Britain — but have you ever wondered what the best-paying cities are? According to the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings report from the Office of National Statistics, the cities with the biggest salaries are London, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Derby and Stirling — closely followed by Oxford and Cambridge.
So how much does the average worker earn in each city and what kind of job opportunities are on offer?
London Jobs: £43,189
Unsurprisingly, the capital offers the highest-paid jobs in Britain, with workers earning an average of £43,189. In the City of London — home to the financial district — the average salary is £90,930, dropping to £53,100 in inner London areas and £28,439 for outer London.
London has the largest financial and legal sector in the UK. The City employs around 330,000 people and is home to more than 500 banks. Major employers include HSBC (8,000 staff), Barclays, Deutsche Bank, UBS and JP Morgan. The legal sector is also prominent — major employers include Allen & Overy (2,500 staff), Clifford Chance and Linklaters.
Across London, thousands more jobs are available — major employers include the public sector, hospitality services, IT, retail, telecommunications and media. London’s career prospects have also been given a boost by the Olympics, which have generated 30,000 construction jobs and will provide many more temporary and legacy roles.
The petroleum industry is by far the biggest employer with an estimated 3,000 firms employing around 30,000 people — the largest is BP with 1,500 staff. Aberdeen became the oil capital of Europe after oil deposits were discovered in the North Sea in the 1970s. Since then the industry has generated an estimated 500,000 jobs and ensured one of the lowest unemployment rates in Britain. With supplies running low, Aberdeen is now committed to becoming a leader within the renewable energy sector.
Other big employers are the public sector, tourism, banking and finance, retail and the agricultural, food and fishing industries.
Edinburgh is the second biggest financial centre in the UK — and the fourth biggest in Europe — so it is not surprising that the Edinburgh banking and finance industries are major employers. The Royal Bank of Scotland employs around 9,200 people and the city is also home to headquarters of Standard Life, Scottish Widows, Tesco Bank and Virgin Money.
As the centre of Scotland’s government, the public sector is a major employer in the city. NHS Lothian and City of Edinburgh Council together employ around 40,000 people, while the University of Edinburgh keeps another 8,000 people in employment.
Edinburgh’s thriving tourism provides around 30,000 jobs, in part thanks to the hugely successful Edinburgh Festival which generates more than £100m for the economy.
Other major industries include science and technology, breweries and the retail industry, which employs 56,000 people across the city regions.
Derby in the East Midlands enjoys a successful manufacturing and high technology industry, the latter of which employs around 12 per cent of the workforce. The city is home to the UK headquarters of Rolls Royce, Toyota, Bombardier, Westfield (retail property) and Hero TSC (call centres), who moved into the offices of the recently closed Citibank/Egg.
Derby is one of the UK’s economic hotspots, growing at a faster rate in wealth creation than any other city in England and ranked second in the UK for employment growth.
Aside from the public sector, major employers are Rolls Royce Plc (around 13,500), Bombardier, Transportation (railway industry) and S&A Foods Ltd (food manufacturing).
The public sector accounts for many of the jobs in Scotland’s newest city, with almost a third of Stirling’s workforce employed in the areas of public administration and health and education. The City Council is one of the biggest employers with more than 4,000 staff.
Other big employment sectors are tourism, retail, financial services and agriculture and food. The finance industry employs around 13 per cent of the city’s workforce, with Prudential and HSBC being two of the biggest employers. (looking for finance jobs in Stirling)
As one of the fastest-growing regions in Scotland, Stirling is now focusing on knowledge-based industries, stimulated in part by Stirling University.