Blog Image

Highest Paying Jobs in the UK

by Charles Nwabueze
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Given that the costs of getting a degree at a UK university are a bit on the high side, you might be wondering if getting a degree is worth the cost. For example, if you choose to study at Cambridge University, you’d need to put up to £9,250 each year just for tuition. You might think well it’s Cambridge, what do you expect? But it appears that this is close to the norm across UK universities. According to National Student Money Survey, the cost of getting a 3-year degree for a UK citizen costs around 57,000 (including living costs). 

If you are an international student the amount that you will pay will be a lot more; tuition fees start from around 11,400 and can rise to as much as 32,081. Now include your living expenses which can hit almost 10,000 a year and you see why people may get jittery towards the tail-end of their degree. The fear is that it might be useless getting a degree, that there might be no careers or jobs out there that will offer them the possibility of recouping their costs and setting them up to support themselves and their families. We answer that a degree is absolutely useful and there are great jobs out there that pay first-rate salaries.

Below is a list of the highest-paying jobs in the UK.

Chief Executive and Senior Officials

Average Salary: £90,000

In the UK, Chief Executives may also be known as Managing Directors or CEOs, and are the highest-ranking individuals within a company. The actions and omissions of these guys determine whether the organization stays afloat or goes under. This is because they are responsible for expanding the operations of the company, driving profitability, and improving share prices (where the case applies). 

If this is a career that you decide to follow it’ll come as good news to you that if you put in the required time and effort you stand to be part of the best-paid group in the land. Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical company that makes the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, was the highest paid CEO, receiving £15.5m.

While you can become a CEO in the UK without a degree, unless you are starting up your business then you’ll need a degree. In some cases, an advanced degree like an MBA may even be required in your pursuit of becoming a CEO in some companies. A bachelor’s degree in any field will suffice, though quite a few CEOs have a business and finance-related degrees. 


Any highest-paying jobs list that does not have space for these professionals is incomplete!

In case you are not aware, in the UK, different legal professionals make up the legal sector with the most sought-after being solicitors and barristers. Both earn competitive sums but solicitors earn a bit more than their counterparts. The highest-paying jobs in this sector are usually in commercial and corporate law. 

There are several solicitor firms which will offer you above £100,000 when you qualify as a solicitor, some of these firms go as far as offering up to £164,000 when you qualify. The salary increases the more you climb up your career ladder. If you become a partner at a top law firm (the pinnacle) you may earn between £500,000 and £2m. Baker McKenzie’s top earning partner in the UK took home £4.3 million in the most recent financial year.

In the UK, there are several ways of becoming a legal professional, some routes will require you to get a degree while some require more work experience. We have written extensively on the paths to the legal system. Have a look at the articles.

Marketing and Sales Director Median salary: £75,631

In any organization, whether public or private, sales and marketing play a pivotal role in the success of the business. The unique and important role of sales and marketing is proving to bridge the gap between potential customer needs and the products and services that the organization has to offer. They can unlock new opportunities and get new clients for organizations.

As a marketing director, you could be involved in anything from promoting a new product to raising awareness of an NGO. The current average base salary for a Marketing director is £66,519 a year, and the total annual pay can be well over £170,000 starting with £63,000. As a sales director, you’ll manage and oversee the sales operations of an organization. The highest salaries of a sales director can exceed £145,000.

You need a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in one of the following industries: business admin, marketing, communications or another related field. Many organisations prefer candidates who have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) for the role of marketing and sales director.


A broker is an independent person (they can be a company too) that organises and executes financial transactions on behalf of another party. A broker can do this across several different asset classes, including stocks, forex, real estate and insurance. 

If you’re after one of the best-paying jobs in the UK, you could consider becoming a broker. In return, for managing their clients’ investment portfolios, they’ll charge a fee or commission. This is one of the ways a broker makes his/her money; the other ways are made through other charges such as spreads and holding costs. Clients can vary from large corporations to individuals. 

Some employers may prefer you to have a degree to start as a broker, however, an industry-specific qualification and experience in a similar financial capacity could be enough to get started.


As an actuary, you’re a trained professional who analyzes the financial cost of risks and uncertainty and makes predictions on how much of a risk a venture or client may be and how to best compensate for that risk by applying mathematical, statistical, and economic and financial analyses. Actuaries usually have an accounting, actuary or finance degree and need to pass the actuarial exams to be a qualified actuary, which may take a few years. Actuaries work in many industries such as banking, corporate finance, insurance, investment management, healthcare and more.

The average salary for an actuary is £72,334 per year in the United Kingdom. Usually, actuaries get the most salary in London, Leeds and Edinburgh. A newly qualified actuarial analyst may get a salary of £40,000 and £55,000 per year. However, with a few years of experience, this can rise to as high as £110,000. Senior directors’ salaries can exceed £200,000.

Medical Practitioners

The definition of a medical practitioner is any person that is skilled in the science of medicine, as such this term is quite broad and includes careers such as anaesthetist, doctor, general practitioner, paediatrician, radiologist, orthodontist and so on. 

It has been said that the average number of doctors per 1,000 people in OECD EU nations is 3.7, but England has just 2.9; this means that there is a wide gap between medical staff supply and patient needs. Hence the increase in demand for medical practitioners, a job as a medical practitioner is one of the best paying jobs in the UK.  

If you work as a consultant doctor for the NHS your pay will be £84,559 to £114,003; if you’re a general practitioner the average salary will be £62,268 to £93,965

You’ll need to have a medical degree among other requirements before you can become a doctor in the UK.


If are considering a career as a medical practitioner but you are not sure which field you want to commence your career you can consider becoming an orthodontist. An orthodontist is a dental specialist trained to diagnose, prevent, and treat teeth and jaw irregularities. They correct existing conditions and are trained to identify problems that may develop in the future

As an Orthodontist, you will have to complete the same training as a Dentist and more. This means that a degree in dentistry – Dental Surgery or BDS degree – is required. You’ll participate in an orthodontic training scheme which can take a further 3 years of study. If you are successful in the examination you will become a specialist orthodontist. In the UK, orthodontists earn about  £97,830 per year on average. But it can exceed £225,000 depending on the company or location.

Advertising and Public Relations Directors

If you build your career to the point of becoming an advertising and public relations director you’ll be responsible for planning, organizing, directing and coordinating the advertising, public relations and public information activities of the organisation you are employed at.

Salaries for entry positions start around £21,799. The normal pay is £58,963 per year. The more your experience the greater your pay, you can earn up to £129,278 or more.

To become an Advertising and Public Relations Director, it’s best to get a degree in Public Relations, Communications or Marketing. Other relevant degrees may also suffice, but you’ll always have to gain several years’ experience at the senior management level to directly apply for a director’s job.

Financial Managers and Directors

Financial Managers and Directors are responsible for looking after the company’s finance. Though responsibility will vary depending on the company, part of their job will involve them making regular financial analyses and providing professional guidance to senior managers for improving the company’s profits. Thus if a good financial manager or director is not employed a company will fall financially sick.

According to official estimations, the average salary of a financial manager and director is around £105,000 per year. Their salary can rise to £150,000 depending on your experience.

There are no set requirements to qualify for this type of job but employers usually prefer candidates who hold a finance-related degree or a degree in management-related subjects and relevant experience.

Our list is not extensive as other careers offer you the chance to earn big bucks. These include becoming an aircraft pilot or flight engineer, a police inspector (believe it or not), train driver, information technology & telecommunication director, ship & hovercraft officer, health services & public health manager & directors and so on. All in all, if you dedicate the necessary resources there’s no limit to how much you can earn in the abovementioned degrees.

In the meantime, you can read our article on the best-paying graduate jobs in the UK. 

Charles is a writer, practising lawyer and personal trainer who loves learning and developing himself. He graduated from Middlesex University, London with eight first-class grades in the second and third years of his law degree, and received a postgraduate offer from Cambridge University. He loves strength training, boxing and encouraging people to succeed in their pursuits (legal ones)
Congrapps is the №1 Platform for Verified Successful Career Resources! We collected the actual Cover Letters & Interview Experiences of those who made it to the most competitive graduate and entry-level jobs in Banking, Finance, Consulting and Law in London.
We help graduates achieve their dreams by levelling the playing field and giving access to the same information to everyone!