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Top 10 highest paid jobs in 2014

17 December, 2014George Browne

A recent study published by the Office for National Statistics has revealed the top ten highest paid jobs in the UK for 2014. The study, the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2014, is based on a 1% sample of employees in full-time employment taken from HMRC’s PAYE records.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, top of the pile are CEOs and senior company officials, who earn an average of £107,703 per year before tax.

In second place are aircraft pilots, averaging £90,146 before tax, but don’t rush out to buy your pilot’s hat just yet: it can cost anything up to £100,000 to train as a pilot, and starting salaries are nowhere near that much, sometimes as little as £23,000.

Aviation is clearly a lucrative industry to work in, with air traffic controllers coming in at number 8 on the list and aircraft engineers (along with other transport engineers) at number 9. Breaking into the industry is tough: National Air Traffic Control Services accept fewer than 1% of applicants onto the training course each year, and chartered engineer (CEng) status -for which a BSc or MSc in Engineering is a prerequisite - is vital if you want to land a top engineering job.

Those who hold director-level roles in marketing and sales, Information Technology and PR do pretty well for themselves, at third, fourth and sixth on the list respectively. Company Lawyers are tenth, earning an average of £73,425 per year.

Readers of this blog will be most interested in the two spots in the top ten not yet mentioned. The directors of financial institutions come in at number five, averaging £78,782, while financial managers and directors are at number seven, averaging £76,320 per annum. The former of these two figures seems low to us here at ifs University College, where we know that the heads of multibillion-pound businesses are extremely well remunerated, but this is no doubt a function of the way the survey was conducted and the way certain job roles were grouped together.

Financial Qualifications

Happily, it is slightly easier to get one of these roles than it is to become a pilot, but there are still some important steps to take if that is where your aspirations lie. Charles Middleton, MD of Triodos Bank, speaking to the Guardian suggested that a good understanding of the regulations surrounding the finance and banking sector is a good start. Professional accountancy qualifications are important for those aspiring to a CFO role.

As with all jobs there are good points and bad points. According to Middleton the best part of his role is the chance to have a positive impact on the world, while the worst is dealing with fraud. The worst part of being a financial manager/director is that “people hate budgeting […] everyone thinks you’re a pain in the backside”. This is mitigated by having a “great overview of the business” and the chance to make a “tangible difference”.

ifs University College is proud to play its part – through the Financial Capability curriculum for 14-19 year olds – in helping to dispel the notion that financial responsibility and budgeting are boring, and in inspiring the next generation of leaders in the world of banking and financial services.

Here is that top ten in full: (via The Guardian):

1. Head of a company or organisation
Includes: CEOs and presidents of leading organisations of more than 500 people
Average pay before tax: £107,703

2. Aircraft pilots
Includes: Flight engineers and flying instructors
Average pay before tax: £90,146

3. Marketing directors
Includes: sales directors
Average pay before tax: £82,962

4. Information technology directors
Includes: Telecommunications directors and CIOs
Average pay before tax: £80,215

5. Financial institution directors
Includes: Heads of banks and building societies
Average pay before tax: £78,782

6. Public relations directors
Includes: advertising directors and heads of press offices
Average pay before tax: £77,619

7. Financial managers and directors
Includes: Chief financial officers (CFOs)
Average pay before tax: £76,320

8. Air traffic controllers
Average pay before tax: £75,416

9. Rail engineers
Includes: Aircraft engineers, ship and hovercraft officers and other transport professionals
Average pay before tax: £74,402

10. Company lawyers
Includes: Patent attorneys
Average pay before tax: £73,425