The Highest Paying Jobs in the UK & What’s Involved in Each Role

We all work hard during our educational years to improve our future prospects.

We’re taking a look at the highest paying jobs in the UK, what’s involved in each role, and the qualifications you need to get there. Careers are different around the globe and it’s fascinating to read about how each job differs from in the United States. If you're searching for the highest paying jobs, there are a variety of options. Let’s take a look at our top findings.

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A List of The Highest-Paying Jobs in the U.K.

The UK offers excellent working opportunities, plus a variety of careers, including options that don’t require a working permit. In recent years, the labour market produced a huge employment market, in comparison to other EU countries. Amongst these positions are some of the highest paying jobs.

The Labour Force Survey recorded that 32.39 million people in the UK are actively working. This is nearly half a million more than the previous year. Plus, from November 2017 to January 2018, there were 38,000 fewer unemployed individuals, which is a significant improvement from the year earlier. Interestingly though, there are 8.65 million people aged between 16 and 64 who aren’t working. This includes people not available to work or not actively seeking opportunities. Although this figure might sound huge, it’s significantly lower than previous years.

Let’s take a look at the highest paying jobs in the UK and what it takes to land a role in these jobs.

1. GP (General Practitioner)

Salary = £107,000

A GP is one of the highest paying jobs in the UK. These are trained doctors who treat and diagnose a variety of health conditions. They're the first call for sick and injured individuals. Many GPs have a special area of treatment, such as childhood illnesses, mental health problems, and more. This is quite typical of doctors in the UK now as it enables patients to receive the best level of care possible.

To become a GP, you’ll need a medical degree. Although entry requirements may vary, you’ll need at least five GCSEs at A* or A. Also, you'll require three A levels at AAA or AAB in chemistry and biology, physics, or mathematics. A medical degree lasts five years. You’ll then need to complete two years of foundation training, followed by three years of specialist GP training.

In addition to formal qualifications, you’ll also need to present a variety of personal traits and related skills. This includes attention to detail, as you’ll be listening to patients’ problems on a daily basis. As you’ll be managing your own work load, it’s important that you can display excellent problem-solving skills.

Furthermore, you'll need to demonstrate leadership and organization traits. From the moment you enter your office to the moment you leave, you’ll be speaking to people from all walks of life. Therefore, it’s crucial that you can solve problems without any assistance from others. Being left to your own devices, you’ll also need to prove that you can handle excellent customer service too.  

You can choose a self-employed career or work for a practice. If you choose the latter, you’ll typically be based in a GP clinic. However, you may need to attend house calls. Either way, this is one of the highest paying jobs should you choose to pursue this path.

2. Consultant Psychiatrist

Salary = £104,000

A Consultant Psychiatrist is a medically-qualified practitioner who helps people with psychological problems. Such issues typically include: dementia, depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and more. Their role is to prescribe the best-suited treatment for each individual, which may include medication or psychotherapeutic methods. During their training period, they’ll learn how to emphasize the importance of a person’s family, culture, work, surroundings and past experiences. This is all related to their mental illness. A Consultant Psychiatrist will diagnose a mental illness and help the person recover.

It’s part of their role to ask patients about their problems and about anything which has happened in their life. They also aim to get to the root cause of the mental illness by listening to their thoughts and feelings. To get a better understanding of the patient’s situation, they’ll need to have excellent emotional resilience. Plus, they'll need to demonstrate empathy and understanding to everyone they speak with.

To become a Psychiatrist, you need to undertake a medical degree. But to secure a place into medical school, you’ll require at least 3 A Levels related to science subjects. It’s also recommended that you obtain work experience to help secure your place into medical school. There are many hospitals throughout the UK which offer placements for young students to help begin their career. Medical degrees usually take around five years to complete. However, you can also extend your degree by one year to six years.

Whilst undergoing your two-year foundation programme, you’ll also be working, which means you get paid to study too. You’ll complete a variety of training posts, with each lasting a few months. During the programme, you’ll receive expert experience from a number of medical specialities. Once finished with your training, you can expect to have one of the highest paying jobs in the UK.

3. Financial Officer

Salary = £50,000

A Financial Officer supports finance and accounting teams, and has a range of responsibilities in this sector. Generally, they’ll assist in preparing budgets to help a company profit. They’re also responsible for managing records and receipts so everything is legally up to scratch.

By providing daily, monthly and even yearly transactions, they’ll prepare balance sheets on a director’s demand. As well as in-house tasks, they also provide customer service to clients. Often, you'll deal with them first-hand. Being a key point of contact for other departments for financial and accounting matters, there’s a huge responsibility to continue the flow of money within the business.  

To become a Financial Officer, you may need a degree in a field including: economics, business management, finance, accountancy or mathematics. To get ahead of the competition in this field, it’s recommend that you earn a post graduate degree in a specific niche area. There are plenty of accounting qualifications offered by different schools.

After this, you may work yourself up to a management position whilst working. Once you’ve landed a job as a Financial Officer, you’ll usually receive accountancy training on-the-job. Many companies also encourage candidates to work towards various industry qualifications and professional examinations.

In addition to qualifications, there are personal skills you’ll need to demonstrate to be successful in this role. These skills include impeccable communication skills, excellent problem-solving skills, as well as great analytical skills. Also, employees will need to be aware of business and commerce changes. Moreover, employees should be able to pay attention to detail and pick up on any flaws without assistance. Working to tight deadlines is a regular occurrence of this role, so you’ll also need to demonstrate this skill.

4. Aircraft Pilots

Salary = £84,500

Another of the highest paying jobs in the UK is an Aircraft Pilot. They are responsible for operating an aircraft and ensuring all passengers and crew members are safe. Their main concern is the plane, crew and passengers’ safety. Whilst in work mode, they must maintain a professional manner, including appearance, attitude and communication on the flight. They make all final decisions during the flight, and may even carry firearms to protect the cockpit. 

Aircraft Pilots begin work one hour before departure in order to review airport and weather conditions. The captain will complete a safety checklist in the cockpit with a co-pilot. Every piece of equipment is checked twice before departure. When it’s time for take-off, they’ll communicate with the air traffic controller and ground crew.

Whilst in the air, they’ll continue communicating with air traffic controllers. The hardest part of the flight is the take-off and landing to ensure that the aircraft and every on the flight is safe. As expected, part of their role is to stay away from home for a long period of time. Their schedule often changes and it’s incredibly irregular. The FAA require that they have at least eight hours’ rest within a 24-hour period and undergo actions to limit mental stress and jet lag.

Pilots aren’t required to have a degree, though it’s usually expected. Many have degrees in completely unrelated fields. When entering the field, they must get licensed on small planes before moving up to larger aircrafts. Schools enable them to pass simulator rests and instrument-rating tests. As an aircraft Pilot must have decisions quickly, they’re also required to pass attitude and psychological tests too. Most airlines require pilots to be at least 23 years old and have at least 1,500 hours of flight time before starting their career.

5. Sales Director

Salary = £79,000

A Sales Director is in charge with managing a group of Sales Managers and encouraging them to be as effective as possible. A Sales Director is a high-level role a company working for international and local sales. Thus, it works out to be one of the highest paying jobs. A board of directors or CEO will oversee their leading and mentoring skills to ensure they’re achieving the best results possible. Typically, a Sales Director will work at a large organization which receives a high-profit turnover.

Becoming a Sales Director isn’t easy, and candidates must demonstrate an understanding of result tracking, market monitoring and trend analysis. They must be focused on numbers and so a strong skill is mathematics and business sense is usually required.

A successful candidate will need to present strong management and leadership skills in order to motivate others and drive results. It’s a highly demanding job working with large teams and identifying the best talent possible for companies to utilize. As a Sales Director will work closely with branches, employees, and a board of directors, it’s critical that they’re reliable and trustworthy.

Experience is the main prerequisite for this role. However, many Directors have earned a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. On the other hand, experience in excelling in a sales role is a huge requirement for this position. As profits are the measure of success in sales, it’s important that a candidate can demonstrate this skill from a previous role. Earning a certification in Strategic Sales, Account Management and Sales Management is a huge bonus to help you stand out from competition.

This role often comes with additional benefits to salary, such as expense accounts and a company vehicle. However, you’ll need to prove yourself to the team before receiving these benefits. Once you do, you can expect to earn along the top tier as this is one of the highest paying jobs.

6. Marketing Manager

Salary = £58,000

A Marketing Manager manages the day-to-day marketing activities and plans for an organization. They typically manage all marketing with their department as well as develop marketing strategies for the company with regards to its objectives. All campaigns are created with sales activities in mind, and the Marketing Manager will oversee the company’s marketing budget.

In addition to developing these marketing campaigns, the manager will plan, implement, manage and measure strategies. This also includes managing a wide range of different marketing materials. They’re also responsible for maintaining effective internal communications to ensure that all relevant staff and directors are informed of new marketing objectives.  

If you’re looking to become a Marketing Manager, it is possible to break into the industry without a degree. However, a large portion of Marketing Managers are graduates, which makes the competition more difficult. There are many specific marketing qualifications to help you get started with your career as well as develop your skills and knowledge.

The role itself isn’t just about creativity, but excellent planning and organizational skills. It’s the Marketing Manager’s role to achieve success throughout all activities, and prepare work and meetings. This is so everyone stays on track. Without organizational skills, nobody can achieve their goals. You’ll need to be at the top of your game to know what works and what doesn’t. This includes industry experience and research, as well as analytical skills.

As for personal qualities, the Marketing Manager should be confident in their decision-making, and have a willingness to take risks. With excellent presentation skills, they should be able to express their ideas and goals clearly across a team of employees. If you're able to exhibit these characteristics, you can expect to earn quite a bit in this role within the highest paying jobs.

7. Police Officer

Salary = £57,000

A Police Officer’s role in the UK is another of the highest paid jobs, and the responsibilities are similar to that of an American officer. They work in partnership with communities to maintain law and order and protect members of public against crime. Using technology to protect individuals, they can identify criminals. They also ensure the correct prosecutions are taken against anyone who breaks the law. However, this isn’t a simple job and certainly doesn’t offer a 9-5 lifestyle.

Police Offers work with health trusts, housing authorities, community groups, social workers and members of the public to help reduce crime. There are plenty of responsibilities a Police Officer must do. They’ll provide a presence to deter crime and protect a community. This involves patrolling via foot, car and bicycle. Community Officers should have an excellent understanding of their community. This includes identifications and news which can help prevent the risk of crime.

Generally, a Police Officer should keep the peace at social events, trade disputes and public meetings to maintain a calm and safe community. By diffusing potential dangerous situations, they act accordingly to anything which might be perceived as a threat or danger. Interviewing suspects, victims and witnesses is another huge segment of a Police Officer’s duty. Evaluating evidence and preparing crime reports, they can get to the bottom of a crime.

There aren’t any formal educational requirements to enter into the police service; it’s open to graduates and non-graduates. You will require sufficient GCSE’s and have a clean criminal record. The recruitment process also includes reference and security checks, plus assessments and interviews to secure your place in the force. Most of the training is on the job. However, there are pre-police courses to gain additional experience before diving into the deep end.

8. Solicitor

Salary = £56,000

Being a Solicitor is one of the highest paying jobs in the UK. Their role is to provide legal advice and support to their clients. These clients might be individuals, groups, public sector organizations or possibly private companies. There’s a variety of expertise. As a result, not every Solicitor performs the same tasks. However, generally, they’ll help with buying and selling properties, including agreements between a landlord and tenant.

They’re also responsible for creating wills, family matters and divorce agreements, plus personal injury claims. A Solicitor also helps new enterprises to establish themselves. In addition, they help solve any business-related issues. Another huge portion of their role is to ensure that individuals receive the correct compensation if they were unfairly treated by public or private persons.

Solicitors have a huge responsibility in advising a client in the law and legal issues which relate to their case. Part of their duty involves corresponding with clients and opposing parties, plus acting on behalf of clients in court, when necessary. There’s also a large amount of secretary work involved. This includes drafting documents, letters and contracts to their client’s needs.

A career as a Solicitor is exciting, because each day is different. You’ll need to complete a law degree, followed by the Legal Practice Course. Alternatively, you can complete a non-law degree, then take the Common Professional Examination, followed by the Legal Practice Course. You’ll also need to present excellent attention to detail. Plus business management skills and communication and interpersonal skills. You should have good problem-solving skills, plus be organized as you’ll be handling your clients on your own.  

Would You Like to Try These Highest Paying Jobs?

Money isn’t the answer to all of your problems, but it is excellent motivation for many when choosing a career. With salaries being the driving force of the 9-5 life, we all want it to be the highest figure possible. Working to our own initiatives, passions and talents, there’s a career out there for everyone.

Would you like to give any of these highest paying jobs a try? If so, share your thoughts and opinions in the comments.

Related Article: How to Choose a College That Will Prepare You For the Future

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