Highest Paying Jobs in the UK

When you're looking for a new job, there are a lot of factors to consider. One of the most significant things you need to think about is how much the role pays.

Even if money isn't your main motivation, it's still important. You'll need to earn enough money to live comfortably on your new salary, and you should aim to be paid what your time and skills are worth.

Do you ever wonder what the highest paid jobs are, and whether you could earn more if you lived somewhere else in the UK? Do you consider at what stage you are in your career, and reflect upon the most you could earn in your industry? Are you intrigued about other industries and curious about what you can earn doing a similar or different job?

If you're looking for the answers to these questions or more, then we're here to help. We've used data from the Office of National Statistics to put together this list of high paying jobs, so you can find out the answers to these questions and explore the best job opportunities across the country and the business market.

What Sectors Pay The Most?

Some sectors and markets pay more than others, so if you're searching for the best paying jobs out there, then you need to think about the industries that offer the highest salaries. Whether you want to work in the public or private sector, there are high paying roles available across both, so you can make a lucrative career choice and get the job satisfaction you want from your future career.

In private companies, financial services and banking are two areas that have high rates of pay, as these markets, by their very nature, are dedicated to bringing in more cash. They require high-levels of training and specific skillsets, so they often pay well, both in terms of average salary and extras like bonuses and perks.

Within the public sector, there is room to earn a lot of money, but the highest paying jobs in this market require extensive experience and long service. For example, Police Commissioner is one of the highest paying jobs on this list, but it requires a long period of service in the force and lots of experience working in multiple departments.

Another sector that has many high paying jobs in it is healthcare, although this depends on your qualifications and experience. Doctors and surgeons often make high salaries thanks to the risks involved in their roles and the expertise they need. However, they have to spend a lot of time earning qualifications and working as a junior doctor, often on lower pay, before doctors can treat patients and earn higher salaries.

As such, you need to think about your overall career path, not just the role you want. If you're looking to earn more money and get into a career that will offer you opportunities for a high salary, then you should explore these niches and consider training to help you get the high-paying, fulfilling role you want. It might take some time to achieve a high salary, but over time you could potentially get your dream job.

What Factors Cause High Average Salaries?

The average salary for any job is influenced by a wide range of factors. Some of these are universal and apply to every niche, while others are more specific. Below are 4 areas of key criteria that influence becoming a high earner in a role across the job market.


If you're working in a physical role, then this could influence the starting salary that you can command. That's because there's a higher cost of living in some large cities, such as London or Manchester, as opposed to small towns. However, just because the salary is higher, that doesn't mean you'll have more money to spend, as the costs of rent, travel, food and other necessities are usually higher.

In today's job market, more and more companies are embracing hybrid or remote working, so you might find that this affects how much modern jobs pay. While most remote jobs come with a good salary that reflects the average in the market, these salaries are often lower than those for employees who have to work in an office or other physical workplace. So, when you're looking for jobs that pay well or considering a career change, you should consider where you want to work and how this affects starting salaries across the corporate landscape.


It is widely known that as we get older we gain more experience, and with more experience and knowledge, we are able to command a higher salary.

School leavers starting out in the world of employment can expect to be some of the lowest-paid employees, given their lack of experience. University leavers can hope to earn more, due to their extensive education, particularly if you go into a specific niche such as medical school or the legal sector.

When in the early stages of your career you should consider making ‘career investments.’ To invest in your career, you may consider seeking some form of work experience in a sector that appeals to you. This can be unpaid, part-time or working in an internship. Doing this work will help you to gain experience, and give you a good start in your career; hopefully, these foundations set you on the path to becoming a high earner.

When we reach our 30s we should see our earnings improve. With good experience and relevant success behind us, possibly combined with training and qualifications, we should start to reap the rewards of our hard-work and previous career commitments. Statistically, staff who are aged 40-49 are some of the best paid because they have, by this age, racked up a good 15 years or more of experience.

While it does influence your annual salary, age isn’t always the major factor in how much someone earns. High performing people, regardless of their age, can become a high earner much earlier in their career. Industries such as the financial sector can see employees realise huge earning potential at a young age. High-earning roles such as investment banker, financial analyst, software developer, computer programmer and others can be undertaken by employees of any age- experience, attitude and training can influence the best paid jobs, rather than just age.

Skillset and Education

Further education is expensive, but it can also help you to get jobs that have high demand for staff, and therefore command a higher salary. Also, additional training and education can help you to set yourself apart from other applicants when you're applying to good paying jobs.

The more qualifications you have, or the better educated you are, generally the more higher-paid jobs you are qualified for. Having a relevant degree for your industry may sometimes be a prerequisite, and it will also serve you well by putting you ahead of the competition.

To continue working in a high paid job it is important to keep your skills up to date and relevant. One of the most effective ways to ensure your salary increases steadily as you get older is to specialise within your industry. Having a specialist skill-set will improve your salary prospects and help you to become, and stay, a high earner.

Occupation / Industry

Different industries will have different requirements when it comes to education and skills. A job within the medical profession, or in the legal industry, will have very comprehensive requirements for job-seekers and it is common for jobs in this sector to be some of the highest paid jobs. 

That's because these industries have higher demand for staff than other markets. This could be short-term, due to market trends, or it could be longer term, because the industry is fast-paced and has lots of high paying job opportunities. Also, if staff can't receive training on the job, and need specific qualifications, then this could affect what jobs pay the most in each sector.

Certain industries like construction, energy, logistics and marketing, have seen a boom over the last few years, so working in one of these growth areas may also provide you with increased earning potential. Also, specific roles in these markets might be more in-demand than others, so you should explore the average salary for each role and find the high-paying career that you'd like to do.

Highest Paying Towns and Cities

While certain cities pay more money across the board, in some towns and cities, specific roles can pay more than in others. Check out this breakdown of the highest paying roles across different cities to see if there's somewhere you should move to fulfil your full potential.

Location Difference to Average Salary
London 25% £40,701.42
Reading 17% £38,352.90
Birmingham 14% £37,088.67
Leeds 4% £33,868.97
Cardiff 3% £33,628.88
Leicester 2% £33,332.19
Nottingham 2% £33,257.69
Coventry 1% £32,920.67
Newcastle upon Tyne 1% £32,914.39
Sunderland -1% £32,344.15
Liverpool -1% £32,220.91
Edinburgh -3% £31,740.41
Sheffield -4% £31,335.65
Bradford -7% £30,488.89
Wakefield -10% £29,404.61
Belfast -26% £24,114.69
Bristol -29% £23,225.63
Glasgow -35% £21,273.68

Highest Paying Home Nations and Regions of the UK

Much like cities, different home nations and regions pay more or less for specific roles. Working in the same role in a different part of the UK could increase your earning potential, so you should explore the average salaries for your role throughout the country. Here are the top paying roles across the UK and where they can be found.

Location Difference to Average Salary
London 25% £40,701.42
Eastern -1% £32,154.14
South East -2% £31,938.17
North West -4% £31,358.22
West Midlands -5% £31,059.11
East Midlands -5% £31,016.05
South West -5% £30,925.71
Wales -6% £30,672.10
Yorkshire and the Humber -6% £30,547.99
North East -8% £30,016.75
Scotland -9% £29,675.51
Northern Ireland -17% £27,217.72
Isle of Man -57% £14,025.21

Highest Paying Salaries By City

The city you live and work in can also have an affect on your potential salary. While it might come as no surprise that London is top of this list, some other cities on this list aren't what you'd expect. Check out this list of the highest paying cities in the UK.

Location Salary
Royston £77,368.11
London £51,961.16
Dollar £47,618.83
Normanton £46,378.30
Melrose £43,044.18
Camberwell £41,519.90
Paddington £40,353.57
Camden Town £39,684.32
Corsham £38,791.01
Stevenage £38,451.26

Highest Paying Salaries By Region

It's not just cities that have high paying jobs. Small towns and villages also have high paying roles, and when these are taken together as a region, you could find that there are even more option out there for you to choose from. So, if you don't live or work in a city, but you want to explore the highest paying regions in the UK, then here are some of the areas that pay the highest salaries.

Location Salary
England £435,877.19
Scotland £92,793.66
Wales £235,746.01
Northern Ireland £69,952.02
East Midlands £132,388.28
Eastern £112,646.71
London £145,853.28
North East £84,487.74
North West £115,326.95
South East £177,132.27
South West £141,129.91
West Midlands £92,669.81
Yorkshire and the Humber £131,389.47

Going For A Higher Paid Job? How To Maximise Your Chances Of Success

If you're ambitious and want to get a a highly paid role, then you need to make sure that you maximise your chances of getting your perfect job.

That means taking the time to work out the career you want and what you need to do to get yourself on the path towards the salary you desire.

Whether you're changing career or starting afresh as a school leaver, you need to make sure that you plan ahead if you want to get one of the highest paying jobs out there.

Here are some practical tips to help you to find the best paid jobs and set yourself on the right career path.

Choose The Right Sector

The first step towards earning the right salary is to choose the right niche and find a role within it that you'd enjoy doing.

The average salary data on this page will help you to find the sectors with the highest paying jobs, so you can do more research into these roles.

Read job descriptions and articles from employees who work in specific roles that you are targeting, so that you can get a sense of what they're like.

Then, you can get yourself on the right path towards the highest paying jobs in the sector that you are passionate about.

Plan Your Career And Get As Much Relevant Training As Possible

Planning your career and working out how you're going to achieve your dream role is central to ensuring that you get the salary and position you want.

Part of this planning process involves getting the qualifications you need. Many high paying careers require degrees or specific qualifications.

For example, if you want to become a lawyer, then you need a law degree. You should also try to get experience in a related field.

Many law firms have various departments, some of which don't require full training, so you can earn relevant and potentially valuable experience in the law market before you qualify as a lawyer.

This approach will help you to earn the role you've always dreamed of and give you more options when you're applying for jobs in your target market.

It will also give you more scope when it comes to negotiating your salary and trying to get paid as much as possible.

Be Prepared To Start At The Bottom

While you might be aiming to become a project manager or earn another senior role, you must be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up.

Most senior managers and highly paid executives have to earn their promotions, and don't start at their current level.

However, if you've chosen the right industry and have a plan, then you should be able to achieve your full potential and eventually get the salary and power that you deserve.

Use The Resources At Your Disposal

As well as this guide to the highest paying jobs in the UK currently, there are plenty of other resources out there to help candidates to get the starting salary they deserve.

Check-a-Salary offer plenty of solutions to save you time and allow you to improve your chances of getting the best possible starting salary.

These resources include:

By using these online solutions and taking the time to explore all your options, you can improve your chances of finding the best paid jobs that will suit you.

After all, while getting paid what you're worth is important, you also want to find a role that will interest and challenge you.

By collaborating with Check-a-Salary, you can find the highest paid jobs on your career path and get yourself on the right course towards your dream position, with the perfect salary to match.