As the cost of living continues to rise in the UK, with energy prices reaching record levels, higher-paying jobs become more of a necessity. Although job satisfaction is one of the pinnacles of happiness, it may become less relevant in the current climate. After all, happiness does not pay bills or put food on the table.

Unless of course, you have earned the privilege of both. Or, your most beloved career path happens to be amongst the highest paying jobs in the UK. Others may have to switch to higher-paying jobs to survive if that is a possibility. Students and pupils may also have to put more weight into the average salary of jobs when choosing their career path.

Students may be lucky enough that their skillset and desires match the highest paying jobs in the UK. This article will answer what these highest paid jobs are and who earns the most money in the UK. It will also address which sectors have the highest average salary and discuss the average salary in the UK.

Some sources differ slightly, but by and large, chief executives and senior officials are seen as the highest paid jobs in the UK. For example, chief executives and senior managers fetch an average salary of £97,083, according to One Education. Though they state it can range from £50,000 to £250,000 per year.

GQ state chief executives and senior officials are number one with a median average salary of £2,514 per week. When multiplied by the 52 weeks in a year this equates to an average salary of £130,000 per year. To reach senior management or chief executive status, more than just qualifications are required. Usually, at least a business degree is required, along with a lot of hard work, dedication, and a history of competency. As these jobs are normally a steady climb to the top they may not be suitable for those that want immediate high pay.

legal professionals include some of the highest-paying jobs in the UK. Judges in particular are high-paying jobs with an average salary anywhere between £91,217 to £267,509. Furthermore, it is estimated that those who have graduated with a law degree earn an average of £1,349.3 per week or around £70,000 a year.

Marketing directors and sales directors are also some of the highest-paying jobs in the UK. This profession earns an average salary of £85,899. However, the pay can be well over £170,000 depending on skill and experience. Medical practitioners earn high earnings from the get-go, meaning a medical degree is a valuable professional qualification to aim for.

The below table shows the basic pay grades for this field, as supplied by the NHS. However, salaries can reach much more than this. For example, working nights, length of service, clinical awards, and supplementary private work can boost the salary.

Doctor in foundation training£29,384 to £34,012
Doctor in specialist training£40,257 to £53,398
Speciality doctor£50,373 to £78,759
Consultant£84,559 to £114,003
Salaried GP£62,268 to £93,965

This also does not include private doctors who can now earn over £1 million a year.

Brokers also have a high average salary of around £83,893. Entrepreneurship is also listed by some sources as one of the highest-paying jobs. However, income can vary so greatly that it is not a stable career. For example, an entrepreneur can earn between zero and billions,

If you do not want to nail down a specific role, it may be more beneficial to target sectors with the highest paying jobs. This gives you the versatility to switch positions whilst maintaining a high average salary.

The most recent results by Statista show which sectors have the highest average salary. Above all else is financial and insurance activities, with an average pay of £43,508 per year. Other sectors with the best paying jobs include:

  • Electric, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply (£43,430)
  • Information and communications (£41,552)
  • Mining and quarrying (£37,567)
  • Professional, scientific, and technical activities (37,246)
  • Construction (£34,892)
  • Education (£33,910)
  • Public administration and defence; compulsory social security (£33,447)

These sectors have the best-paid jobs, which pay more than the national average salary but by how much?

Recruitment website Glassdoor has published a list of the best jobs in the UK. This is based on a combination of the best-paying jobs and satisfaction, based on thousands of reviews. The number one job, according to Glassdoor, is a Java developer. These jobs pay an average of £55,381, and there are a relatively high number of job openings at 1,567. Satisfaction was rated as 4.1 out of five.

Enterprise architect was second on the list. Enterprise architects were also the best-paid jobs on the list. They earned £73,898 per year with a satisfaction level of 4.1. You will usually need a computer science degree or an IT management undergraduate degree and around 10 years of experience in the industry.

A corporate recruiter had the highest satisfaction rate at 4.6. However, because they were not the best-paid jobs, and the job opportunities were fewer it dropped to seventh place. The average salary was £46,215, and there were only 877 available jobs.

As a product manager was one of the best-paid jobs (£60,656), it came third. It had a high level of job opportunities (1,432) and a satisfaction level of 4.1.

On paper, the highest salary in the UK is the Bank of England Governor who earns £575,000 a year. However, this is not entirely accurate. For example, the Queen receives a minimum of £85.9 million per year from a Sovereign Grant. This is taken from taxpayers and equates to around £1.29 per person. She also receives a Privy Purse from a portfolio of land and property which netted her £22.3 million in 2021. Prince Charles also earns around £21 million each year from land and property known as The Duchy of Cornwall.

Furthermore, the salary list does not include sports or entertainment stars. For example, earned £31 million in 2021. Christiano Ronaldo also has an annual salary of £26,520,000, which is far above that of the Bank of England Governor. Also, British actor Daniel Craig received around £73 million in 2021, becoming the world's highest-paid actor. Though, it has to be said that the average singer, footballer, or actor earns very little, if anything at all.

Bet365 boss Denise Coates CBE also earned £469 million in 2021, which was one of the biggest corporate pay packets in UK history. FTSE 100 chief executives are also paid £2.7 million on average, according to the latest figures. Chief among them was Pascal Soriot, the chief executive of AstraZeneca. He earned £15.5 million thanks to the Covid 19 vaccine in 2020.

With living prices rising, such as energy costs, it is perhaps more prudent than before to target jobs with high salaries. Both students and workers may feel the need to switch to a more financially rewarding career.

Chief executives and senior managers are estimated to have the highest salaries in the UK. Depending on the source, the average salary can be around £97,083 or £130,000 per year. To reach senior management or an executive position, a person will normally need at least a bachelor's degree in business. They will also need to develop crucial skills, such as leadership skills, and climb their way up the ranks in the business.

The legal professional also delves out high wages, especially judges who earn anything from a basic salary of £91,217 to £267,509. Marketing and sales managers have an average salary of £85,899. However, income can vastly surpass this for those who are extremely effective at their job.

The healthcare sector can be extremely profitable for some staff. For example, doctors can earn high wages both working for the NHS and the private sector. However, the sector is not one of the highest-paid overall. Likely due to the NHS having a number of lower-paid roles.

The highest-paid sector in the UK was financial and insurance activities, such as financial managers. On average, people in this field made £43,508 per year. This was followed by:

  • Electric, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply (£43,430)
  • Information and communications (£41,552)
  • Mining and quarrying (£37,567)
  • Professional, scientific, and technical activities (37,246)
  • Construction (£34,892)
  • Education (£33,910)
  • Public administration and defence; compulsory social security (£33,447)

The average salary in the UK is £31,285. However, this figure can fluctuate vastly between age, gender, and location. For example, Londoners earn a much higher salary on average. The gender pay gap means men also earn more. Finally, the 40-49 age group earns more on average than any other age group. Graduates also earn more on average than non-graduates.

The minimum wage also ranges between £4.81 and £9.50, depending on a person's age bracket.

However, the average salary is not the only thing to consider. For example, a list of the best jobs, using availability, salary and satisfaction, has been listed. These included:

  • Java developer
  • Enterprise architect
  • Corporate recruiter
  • Product manager

The highest-earning average salary is the Bank of England Governor. However, this is a job only one person can do at a time. Other extremely high-paying salaries that are highly improbable and, in some cases, impossible for a person to earn include; elite sports stars and royalty.

Other staggering incomes can come from high-level actors and musicians such as Ed Sheeran and Daniel Craig. Unlike the vast majority of entertainers, they can make tens of millions of pounds a year.

Denise Coates CBE earned £469 million in 2021, which is one of the largest pay packets in UK history. Also, the highest-earning chief executive officer was Pascal Soriot of AstraZeneca, who netted £15.5 million in 2020.