What are the highest paid jobs in the UK?

Written by adam dawson
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What are the highest paid jobs in the UK?
The highest earners in the UK in 2009 were company directors and chief executives. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

The UK has the highest salaries in Europe, with an after-tax household income of £37,730 a year in 2012, which was more than £10,000 higher than the European average. The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) carried out by the Office of National Statistics, produces information on the highest-paying jobs in the UK every year. The survey found a range of jobs paying high wages, from directors to airline pilots.

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In 2009. ASHE found the highest-paid jobs in the UK to be held by directors and chief executives of companies and organisations. The average salary was reportedly £172,716, and most normally require bachelor's degrees or master's in business administration. Directors and chief executives are in charge of the overall profitability of a company or organisation.


With an average salary of £133,845 in 2009, brokers were the second highest earners in the UK, according to ASHE. The role of a broker is to buy and sell stocks and shares for clients, with the hope of gaining a financial return on the investment. Some brokers in the City of London earned more than £2 million in bonuses in 2009, according to Career Builder.

Financial Managers

Financial managers give financial advice to companies and organisations so they can make business decisions that increase profits and avoid financial losses. The average salary of a financial manager in the UK in 2009 was £78,926, according to ASHE. Most aspiring managers will find they need a degree in conjunction with professional accountancy qualifications.


Physicians, or medical practitioners as they are called in the UK, earned an average of £73,598 in 2009, according to ASHE. Physicians in the UK need to complete a five-year medical degree, which is followed by a two-year program in which they work as junior doctors, with a salary of around £35,000 a year.

Aircraft pilots

Pilots fly commercial, business or freight aircraft to and from the UK. In 2009 they earned an average of £70,595 a year. The route to get there includes A-levels plus extensive training in order to get a commercial pilot's license, which needs to be received from a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)-approved training school.

Air traffic controller

This is a stressful job that requires individuals to oversee the safe landing and take-off of aeroplanes from UK airports. This involves monitoring the aircraft's speed, height and course. In 2009, the average salary was £64,045 a year, and most candidates had a minimum of five General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSEs) and two A-levels.

Police Inspector

Police inspectors and those ranked above them earned an average salary in 2009 of £56,421 a year. Police inspectors play a supervisory role over the ranks of constable and sergeant and report to those police officers ranked higher than them. They are normally responsible for good relations within the community, and are often seen on the streets. There are no formal educational requirements to enter the police force except for a clean criminal record.

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