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What are the Highest Paid Jobs of 2018 in the UK?

13 November 2018
Besma Whayeb
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The ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings has revealed this year’s highest earning jobs – and they aren’t as easy to guess as you may think!

Find out which careers currently earn the most, as well as the entry requirements you will need with our guide.

If you’re serious about getting into of the UK’s highest salaried careers, you may also find our industry-specific guides useful – we’ve linked to these within each listing.

10. Train and Tram Drivers

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Jobs titles: Train Driver, Tram Driver

Average pay (before tax): £53,403

Key skills: Professional drivers will require practical driving skills, achieved from formal training and testing. They should also have good time management, and the ability to navigate using customer navigation systems as well as signs and signals.

Entry requirements: There are no set qualifications to be a train or tram driver, however you will need basic English and maths qualifications, the correct driving licenses for the train or tram that you will operate. In certain cases, you will also need to be over 21 to start work. Find out more in our guide to Driving and Transport jobs.

9. Managers and Directors

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Jobs titles: Analyst, Consultant, Director, Manager

Average pay (before tax): £57,098

Key skills: Middle- and senior-management positions require good leadership skills, implementing structures to suit your team and the business activity you are accountable for.

Entry requirements: Managers, directors, consultants, and analysts all require a good understanding of the department, business, and industry that they are in. Up-to-date training and professional experience will also be needed, meaning you may need to start in a lower position and work your way up. Find out more in our guide to Management jobs.

8. Senior Police Officers

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Jobs titles: Assistant Commissioner, Chief Inspector, Chief Superintendent, Commander, Commissioner, Superintendent

Average pay (before tax): £59,634

Key skills: In any police role, you will need to be authoritative, quick-thinking, and empathetic with the many people you come into contact with. In a senior role, you will also take charge of cases, teams, and operations. You will need to employ a high level of communication, critical thinking, and conflict-resolution.

Entry requirements: To start your career in the police force, you may need to pass the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) qualification prior to joining. You will also need to check your eligibility if you have a criminal conviction.

7. Advertising and PR Directors

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Jobs titles: Advertising Director, Public Relations (PR) Director

Average pay (before tax): £65,074

Key skills: Advertising is one of the principal promotional strategies when marketing a product, while PR (or Public Relations) is the practice of managing messages from a business. Both of these careers involve brilliant communication skills, proactive and reactive strategy-making, and the ability to change the behaviour or thinking of customers.

Entry requirements: With so many jobs roles available, the desired qualifications and training can vary. Find out more in our guide to Marketing, Advertising and PR jobs.

6. Financial Managers and Directors

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Jobs titles: Financial Manager, Investment Banker, Private Banker, Treasury Manager

Average pay (before tax): £67,593

Key skills: A career in banking and finance requires strong maths and analytical skills, as well as a head for business and the ability to understand the financial world. It is important to have confidence, a willingness to learn, and the motivation to seize opportunities to progress your career.

Entry requirements: To get into a banking or financial sector role, higher education is valuable. A degree in business, economics, or finance can provide useful, however many graduates from other disciplines are hired into the sector. Find out more in our guide to Banking and Financial Services jobs.

5. Legal Professionals

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Jobs titles: Attorney, Barrister, Lawyer, Legal Consultant, Solicitor

Average pay (before tax): £69,992

Key skills: To work as a legal professional, you will need a broad knowledge of your chosen field of law, and keep up-to-date with the latest cases and legislation. You will also need to have good interpersonal skills and critical thinking skills.

Entry requirements: Most people who enter the legal field start with a Bachelor’s degree in law, and may then specialise in a particular form of law. Graduates looking to become a solicitor will also need to follow a three-year course, or non-graduates can start on a six-year course. Find out more in our guide to Legal jobs.

4. IT Directors

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Jobs titles: Chief Information Officer (CIO), IT Director, Telecommunications Director, Technical Director

Average pay (before tax): £72,109

Key skills: For anyone working in IT, the ability to work quickly, independently, and accurately is a necessity. In these senior positions, leadership and delegation skills are also key.

Entry requirements: The field of IT is open to professionals with relevant industry experience, and typically a degree in information technology, computer sciences, information sciences, or software engineering. Find out more in our guide to IT jobs.

3. Marketing and Sales Directors

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Jobs titles: Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Marketing Director, Sales Director

Average pay (before tax): £75,126

Key skills: To work in Sales or Marketing, you will need to be confident, persuasive, and highly motivated. Understanding data around your clients, business, and industry will support day-to-day decisions, and performance will be a key driver for you.

Entry requirements: In many entry-level jobs, only a formal qualification in English and Maths will be required, with training provided in the workplace. For management positions, a business or analytical degree may be seen as an advantage, as well as a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Find out more in our guides to Marketing jobs and Sales jobs.

2. Medical Practitioners

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Jobs titles: Anaesthetist, Dentist, Hospital Consultant, General Practitioner (GP), Optometrist, Paediatrician, Psychiatrist, Radiologist, Surgeon

Average pay (before tax): £75,855

Key skills: Alongside the relevant qualifications and experience for your chosen medical field, you will also need to have strong interpersonal skills, empathy, and clear communication skills.

Entry requirements: The typical route to becoming a doctor involves a five-year degree in medicine, along with a set of A-levels with AAA or AAB grades. Certain professions may require less time studying, such as an optometrist (three years at university, and a pre-registration year in practice). Find out more in our guide to Healthcare and Medical jobs.

1. Chief Executives and Senior Officials

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Jobs titles: Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Director, Government Official, Senior Civil Servant, Vice President (VP)

Average pay (before tax): £97,083

Key skills: Management positions, especially those that govern an entire business or department, will require great leadership skills, as well as the ability to plan for the future. This is rooted in understanding analytical data, including country-wide economics and business performance.

Entry requirements: To start on a career path towards becoming a CEO or Senior Official, a degree is usually required. Business, economics, and similar analytical degrees are often favoured. Find out more in our guide to Management and Consultancy jobs.

Discover the Average Salaries for All UK Occupations here: