Highest paying jobs and degrees 2022
At a time when the university is at its most expensive, today’s graduates face one of the toughest job markets ever. Cash in on your investment with this list of the highest-paying jobs in the UK.
Despite rising numbers of graduates, studies still suggest that it’s worth getting a degree to significantly enhance your lifetime earnings potential. We’ve done the research to help you really maximize your salary packet after university with this list of the best-paid jobs and highest-paying degrees in the UK.
The methodology is outlined below, but note that these figures don’t account for bonuses or other benefits. Instead, they refer to each job’s median salary (before tax), according to official government statistics.
We’ve also looked at a handful of the best-paid jobs in more detail, explaining which degrees will help you enter the industry. Of course, you shouldn’t expect to go straight into the upper end of the salary range on day one – but if you want to make it there someday, these career choices might be for you.
How to get one of the best-paid jobs in the UK
If you’re aiming for the very top, here’s some more info on the highest-paying jobs in the UK:
1. Chief Executives and Senior Officials
Median salary: £90,000
In the UK, Chief Executives may also be known as Managing Directors or CEOs, and are the highest-ranking individuals within an organization. As the top dogs, it’s probably not a surprise that they also occupy one of the best-paid jobs around. You’ll be happy to hear that there are no stipulations for Chief Executives to hold any formal qualifications and, notably, some of the world’s most famous CEOs dropped out of uni without attaining a degree (including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Richard Branson).
2. Legal Professionals
Median salary: £76,522
As we explained earlier, this one is technical ‘Legal Professionals (n.e.c.)’, with ‘n.e.c.’ meaning ‘not elsewhere classified’. In other words, this includes all jobs that could be classified as ‘Legal Professional’ that weren’t covered by a more specific listing elsewhere in the data. Anyway, explanations are out of the way – there are clearly a lot of well-paid roles in this field, despite the relatively low starting salary for Law graduates. The highest-paying jobs are in commercial and corporate law but, as you might expect, these are also among the most competitive too. While other areas, such as personal or family law, don’t pay quite as much, you’ll still find your salary is very healthy – particularly as you climb the career ladder.
3. Marketing and Sales Director
Median salary: £75,631
Sales and marketing are crucial to the success of many organizations. It doesn’t matter how good your product is if no one knows about it!
But marketing isn’t solely confined to the private sector – there’s a diverse range of roles within the public sector and not-for-profit organizations, although these may not be quite as well-paid.
As a marketing executive, you could be involved in anything from promoting a new product to raising awareness for a charity.
Median salary: £66,813If you’re after one of the best paying jobs in the UK, you could consider becoming a broker. Brokers essentially manage clients’ investment portfolios. From commodities, stocks, and shares to foreign exchanges and insurance, they advise the best deals to make – and, in return, receive a fee or commission.
Clients can vary widely, from large corporations to individuals, but being able to build relationships with these clients is essential. Having great analytical skills comes in handy when looking at data and market trends, and being able to negotiate deals is of the essence. While you don’t need a specific degree to become a broker, most employers do require you to have at least an undergraduate qualification. Obviously, studying Finance, Accountancy, or Business at university will help you get a step ahead, but training is usually given in-house.
5. Advertising and Public Relations Directors
Median salary: £64,641
Marketing and advertising jobs may seem slightly similar but, while there is some overlap, there are quite a few differences.
Jobs in advertising and public relations are incredibly varied. Planning and delivering communication and advertising campaigns are at the heart of this job, but it could also include organizing conferences, seminars, and exhibitions to help promote the organization you work for.
To become an Advertising and Public Relations Director, it’s best to get a degree in Public Relations, Communications, or Marketing. Other relevant degrees are also a possibility, but you’ll always have to gain several years’ experience at the senior management level to directly apply for a director’s job.