Fancy earning £40,000 plus a year? We reveal six well-paid roles that pay £40,000-£45,000 on average (according to the latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings), what it takes to get them – and what kind of starting salary to expect.
1. Solicitors: £44,552
Solicitors advise their clients – who might be individuals, organisations, companies or government departments – about the law, act on their behalf in legal matters and represent them in a variety of court settings.
How to become one: You will need to meet certain academic standards and complete vocational training. In England and Wales, you can gain a qualifying law degree, or if you have a non-law degree, take a law conversion course. Alternatively, you can qualify as a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives (ILEX). Once you have passed the Legal Practice Course, which takes a year full-time, you must then complete a two-year on-the-job training contract with a firm of solicitors and pass the Professional Skills Course.
Starting salary: The minimum salary for trainee solicitors is £18,590 for those working in London and £16,650 for the rest of England and Wales. Once qualified, you can expect to earn around £25,000.
2. Marketing managers: £44,163
Marketing managers plan, organise and direct marketing campaigns – which may include media advertising, direct mail, websites and promotional events. They also manage budgets and other team members, including marketing executives and assistants.
How to become one: You will need solid experience as a marketing executive before progressing into management. While a degree is not a pre-requisite (skills, track record and industry knowledge are just as relevant as formal qualifications), a business-related degree or marketing qualification, such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Professional Diploma in Marketing, may be an advantage.
Starting salary: Management salaries usually start around £25,000, more depending on the location and size of the company.
3. Hospital and health service manager: £43,523
Also known as clinical managers, health service managers plan, organise and direct resources and activities of healthcare providers and purchasers to ensure a hospital, or other health organisation, runs efficiently and effectively. That includes supervising staff, setting and maintaining budgets, and making sure government guidelines are followed.
How to become one: There are a number of routes in the role. One of the most direct is the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme, which is open to applicants with a degree (minimum 2:2) or an equivalent qualification in a health or management-related subject. Others work their way up from an administrative post by taking in-service training courses. To become an administrator you need five GCSEs (grade A-C) and may require A-levels.
Starting salary: On completion of a graduate scheme, health service managers can expect to earn £27,000 to £37,000, rising to around £43,000 with experience.
4. Train drivers: £42,527
Train drivers transport passengers and goods on over-ground and underground local and national rail networks, driving diesel, diesel-electric, electric and steam engines.
How to become one: Although specific qualifications are not required (GCSEs in maths and English are generally sufficient), the application procedure is rigorous. If your initial application is successful, you will be tested on your basic mechanical knowledge, reaction times and concentration skills at a training centre. If you pass, you will then progress to the interview stage and be required to take a medical/fitness check.
Starting salary: Trainee drivers earn around £17,500, newly qualified drivers £30,000.
5. Higher education teaching professionals: £42,263
Higher education teachers work in universities and colleges, delivering lectures and teaching students over the age of 18 to undergraduate and postgraduate level. They may also undertake research and write articles and books in their specialist field.
How to become one: Most employers require you to have a degree (first or 2:1), a PhD (or be working towards it) and prefer you to have had work published, or see that you have the ability to carry out original research. You also need experience of teaching, which it may be possible to gain by working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant while you carry out research. For vocational subjects, you need a relevant degree and solid work experience.
Starting salary: Full-time university lecturers earn around £33,000, rising with experience.
6. Construction manager: £40,484
Construction managers, also known as contracts managers, site managers or site agents, supervise and direct operations on construction and structural engineering projects (such as houses, factories, roads, bridges, tunnels, railway works, harbours, and drainage and sewage works), to make sure work is completed safely, on time and within budget.
How to become one: You would usually be expected to have a relevant foundation degree, BTEC HNC/HND or degree – or solid experience in the building industry. Working as an estimator, building technician or a site supervisor may be another way into the role.
Starting salary: Construction managers earn £27,000 rising to £40,000 plus with experience.