Ever wondered what Britain’s best-paid employees earn? We reveal the UK’s top-paying professions according to The Office for National Statistics Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2015, along with advice on how to get them.
Brokers - £128,231
It might come as no surprise to learn that brokers are the best-paid employees in the country. Stockbrokers, along with foreign exchange dealers, insurance brokers, investment administrators, traders and shipping brokers, have an average salary of £128,231. Pay is strongly linked to performance and the best stockbrokers can earn considerably more.
How to become one: Most stockbrokers are educated to at least degree level. Hiring managers will want to see that you have a relevant investment or wealth management qualification approved by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), such as the investment advice diploma from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.
Chief executives - £122,967
Chief executives and senior officials (including vice-presidents, chief medical officers and civil servants at grade 5 and above) are the next top-earners in the country. Those at the helm of Britain’s companies earn £122,967 on average, though this can be much higher for the best performers and those heading-up large multi-nationals.
How to become one: There are no formal qualification requirements as such, but 90% of recent FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 CEOs were educated to at least degree level, and 15% attended either Oxford or Cambridge, according to research by business intelligence company QlikTech. After economics and business, law was the most popular subject studied, with engineering and science close behind. Nearly a fifth of CEOs hold an MBA.
Marketing directors - £89,933.
Marketing and sales directors are the next best-paid employees in the UK, with an average salary of £89,933 before tax. Unlike marketing managers who are responsible for running a department, marketing and sales directors perform a more strategic role in an organisation.
How to become one: Most marketing directors are educated to at least degree level. Marketing and business are the obvious route, but those from other subject backgrounds are likely to be considered too. The Chartered Institute of Marketing offers a wide range of training courses, including an advanced certificate and postgraduate diploma in Marketing.
Aircraft pilots – £87,474
If you fancy taking your salary to the skies, become a pilot. Aircraft pilots, flight engineers, first officers, flying instructors and helicopter pilots earn an average salary of £87,474. Just be prepared to make a big investment – both in terms of time and money. Training costs for aspiring pilots can spiral to as much as £130,000 according to some estimates.
How to become one: If you don’t want to put yourself through flight school, you could apply to a sponsored scheme like the British Airways Future Pilot programme, which trains inexperienced pilots from scratch. However, because this is a sponsored scheme, you’ll need to stump up a security bond of £84,000. This will be repaid to you, tax-free, if you successfully complete all training and join British Airways as a first officer. The security bond is repaid in monthly instalments, in addition to your remuneration package.
Financial managers and directors - £82,565.
Financial managers and directors round-out the top five of this year’s best earners. Financial directors play a vital role in helping an organisation manage risk and therefore ensure the success and survival of the business.
How to become one: In order to work as a financial manager or director, you will first need to qualify as a professional accountant from a recognised accountancy body, such as ACCA or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Medical practitioners - £80,628.
Medical practitioners, including GPs, anaesthetists, hospital consultants, paediatricians, psychiatrists, radiologists and surgeons, are another group to break the £80,000 barrier.
How to become one: Medical practitioners must complete a five- to six-year medical degree. In order to reach consultant level, you will need at least 10 years of postgraduate medical training and experience on top of that.
In-house lawyers and legal professionals (excluding judges, barristers and solicitors)
In-house company lawyers and other legal professionals, such as patent attorneys, magistrates’ clerks and advisers at law centres, earn £80,578 on average. Pay of senior lawyers working in-house is commensurate with the level of global risk management and compliance responsibilities.
How to become one: You will need a degree, a postgraduate-legal qualification and several years of experience as a solicitor. Many lawyers train in private practice first, but training contracts are also available in-house. For a list of authorised providers contact the Law Society’s in-house division. Doing secondments with corporate clients – to get a grounding in commercial law and develop your business acumen – before going in-house can also help.
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