Dive into the world of PAYE investigations. Uncover the facts, implications, and insights in this informative blog
In today’s cost of living crisis, it isn’t too surprising that more people than ever are wondering how to maximise their earning potential. For those who are just starting out on the career ladder, there are some major choices to make – which career path can lead to the best salary growth potential?
Whether you’re thinking of changing direction to unleash better earning possibilities or whether you’re looking for a first job that will stand you in good stead for long-term success, it can be hard to choose the right option.
Of course, doing something you enjoy is always a goal, but it’s also essential to ensure the career you choose will allow you to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle – something that isn’t always easy in the current economic climate. Nobody wants to dedicate years of their life to developing skills in a job that will never be able to provide them with the quality of life they require.
That’s why we’re taking a closer look at some of the best paying jobs in the country right now, and examine each one’s potential for salary growth over the course of a career so that you can make a well-informed decision about which is the right path to suit you.
Pursuing a career in the medical field has long been known to be a good choice for money earning potential. However, it’s a path that requires a lot of hard work, effort, dedication, and patience. The hours can be very long and the stress levels can be high.
For those who are just starting out in this career, the rate of pay in hourly terms is surprisingly low, especially with the current high cost of living, but for those who persevere and continue to progress, the rewards can be outstanding.
Compared to many other careers, the starting salary for a doctor is quite high – around £30,000. But it’s important to remember that the many years of study required to qualify will lead to a substantial amount of student debt to pay off too. Nevertheless, there are plenty of options that allow qualified doctors to progress in their chosen paths and to unlock high earning potential.
An NHS consultant at the top of their game can earn as much as £120,000, with the possibility of supplementing that already high income with private sector work.
What is the average salary for a doctor in the UK?
There are many different areas of medicine and many different options for doctors to specialise in various fields, all of which come with their own earning potential. However, on average, doctors in the UK are earning approximately £76,300 annually.
What does a doctor in training earn?
Doctors in their foundation stage of training earn between £29,384 and £34,012 annually. This increases to £40,257 - £53,398 when beginning specialist training.
What can a general practitioner earn?
GPs working solely for the NHS can earn between £65,070 and £98,194 annually. Those who work in private practice may earn significantly more than this.
If you’re looking for a career path with plenty of earning potential but less requirement for academic study, becoming a personal trainer could be an option for you. Of course, you have to have a high level of personal fitness and a dedication to living a healthy lifestyle, but the financial rewards can be surprisingly high, especially for a career in which no formal qualifications are needed to succeed.
The starting salary for a personal trainer is relatively low at just £20,000, but for those who are committed to furthering their career and working with the highest level clients, it’s possible to unlock salaries as high as £126,000 per annum.
Personal trainers have the abilities and expertise to help their clients achieve their fitness objectives through exercise instruction and planned workout regimes, and with the focus on health and well-being being so strong at the moment there’s never been a better time to branch out into this career path.
How much does the average personal trainer earn?
On average, personal trainers can earn £27,000 per year, but earning potential tends to depend on the individual’s motivation, the number of hours they’re prepared to work and the kind of clients they can attract.
How much can personal trainers charge for a single session?
For newcomers to the professional, a fee of around £30 can be charged for a single session, however for those who are at the top of their game, fees of £120 or even more can easily be commanded.
The legal profession has long been associated with attractive salaries and plenty of growth potential, and in today’s increasingly litigious society, it isn’t surprising that the law is still an appealing career choice.
With so many different areas of laws to practice, there is plenty of scope to branch out and explore specialist areas where higher rates can be charged, and while there will be a certain amount of student debt to pay back after qualifying, those who are committed to their chosen career will find that they can eventually earn annual amounts of over £100,000.
Trainee solicitors are paid for their qualifying work experience, and while firms are only legally obliged to pay minimum wage, most will pay a higher amount, with some firms paying significantly more.
What is the starting salary for a solicitor in the UK?
Trainee solicitors who are on a training contract will receive at least minimum wage, and the Law Society’s recommended amount is £21,024 (or £23,703 in London).
How much can a solicitor earn if they work at a top law firm?
The top 5 law firms in London (sometimes called the “Magic Circle”) pay their newly qualified solicitors salaries as high as £130,000. Top firms in the USA will pay salaries that are even higher than this figure.
How much can a solicitor earn if they become a partner in a firm?
Solicitors who become partners in firms outside of London can expect to be paid over £100,000 annually, while those who become partners in Magic Circle firms can expect to earn about £400,000 per year.
Marketing is big business all over the world these days, and there are plenty of ways to exploit maximum earning potential by following a career in this field. Thanks to the rise of online retail, there are more opportunities for skilled marketers than ever before and there are also plenty of ways to enter the profession.
According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing, while some professionals take the traditional route of obtaining university qualifications, others become marketers by taking apprenticeships or by going to college to take a vocational course. All of these routes can lead to great success.
Those who are just starting out in the field begin on salaries of approximately £20,000 - £25,000 depending on where they are based in the country but with work and dedication, those who rise to become marketing directors of a company can expect to earn an average salary of £93,775, with even larger sums on offer from the biggest and best-known firms.
How much can marketing professionals earn with the top companies?
Salaries for those at the highest level of the marketing profession, such as marketing directors, can be impressive. Big-name companies such as Samsung Electronics are paying their marketing directors salaries in excess of £160,000 pa.
What is an average salary for marketers at the middle of their career ladder?
The average marketing salary in the UK right now is £40,801.
Although risk management may not be an obvious choice when thinking of the jobs with the highest salary growth potential, in fact it can be a surprisingly lucrative career choice. As a graduate-level profession, risk management is on the rise as there is an increasing need for companies to assess and mitigate any potential threats to their organisations.
It isn’t possible to take on an entry level role in risk management as, by its nature, a management role requires the candidate to have previous experience in the field. For those who wish to progress in this career, it’s essential to start out as a risk technician, with a starting salary of approximately £21,000.
While this figure may appear low, it’s worth noting that those who rise to become risk managers can earn £45,000 and those who reach senior director level can expect to earn over £80,000 per year.
How long does it take to reach the top of the risk management career ladder?
Although it can vary between individuals, it is possible to become a Chief Risk Officer after working in the industry for around 10 years.
Can you earn while you learn in the risk management sector?
There are some graduate training schemes available that pay a base salary while candidates learn on the job. Many of these schemes lead to professional qualifications.
If there’s one department that is essential in virtually every organisation, it’s the HR department. Human resources is vital in all areas of business, dealing with all aspects of employee-related matters. As it is such a crucial department for all kinds of firms, there are naturally many roles available, both for those who have some relevant experience and those who are just starting out on this career path.
At the bottom rung of the HR career ladder, you’ll find HR administrators and assistants, while at the top, you’ll find HR directors and executives. There are also several specialist roles that are available for those who wish to branch out in different directions in order to command higher salaries, such as Diversity and Inclusion managers and specialists in onboarding.
What is the starting salary for an HR administrative assistant?
As the bottom rung of the HR ladder, you can expect to earn around £23,000 pa, although depending on where you’re based in the country you can expect to earn a little more or a little less than this amount.
What is the average earning potential for someone working in HR?
Those who are in the middle of their career and who are working as an HR officer or adviser can expect to be paid approximately £35,000 pa while those who are in management can expect to command an annual salary of around £55,000.
What is the top salary for an HR professional?
Individuals who are CIPD qualified and who have extensive experience in the field can become a human resources director and receive a salary of over £100,000.
Accountancy may not be the most glamorous or exciting career path, but it can certainly be a lucrative one in the UK thanks to the excellent salary growth potential it offers.
Graduates who are looking for their first job in this sector can be offered roles with a starting salary of around £30,000, although this amount could be higher or lower depending on the size of the company and the area of the country in which you’re working – not bad for a trainee!
For those who qualify and become a chartered accountant, average salaries increase to over £48,000, and this amount will only increase with added experience. Globally, the average salary for an ICAEW chartered accountant is as high as £130,000.
Can I qualify as an accountant while earning?
Trainee accountants can gain their ACCA qualifications while working in the industry and earning a basic salary.
Where in the UK can accountants receive the highest salaries?
London is obvious a hotspot for high accountancy salaries thanks to the large number of big-name firms in the city, but Northern Ireland also offers surprisingly high salaries in line with the capital and Scotland isn’t far behind.
Careers in the financial sector are always lucrative, and investment banking is no exception. While this isn’t a career for the faint-hearted – the hours are long and the stress levels are high – the attractive salaries on offer more than make up for it, with even entry level roles commanding increasingly high sums as companies strive to attract the top talent to their teams.
In 2022, graduate bankers in London were being offered entry level salaries as high as £63,000 when starting out as a banking analyst in the city – an impressive amount for anyone in their first year after leaving university. Furthermore, these lucky candidates could also expect to receive bonuses and benefits on top to give their bank balances an even bigger boost.
What is the average starting salary for an investment banker outside of London?
Outside the capital, bankers who are just starting out in their careers can expect to receive a starting salary of around £29,225.
What is the career progression path for an investment banker?
An entry level position in investment banking is an analyst role, progressing to a position as an investment banker and then to a senior investment banker, commanding a salary of around £120,000 pa.
For those who are educated to a high level in their field and who are keen to impart their knowledge, a career as a university professor could beckon. There is a very clear career progression for those who are keen to end up with this lucrative post.
Most prospective professors will start out as a graduate research assistant with a starting salary of £27,929 and progress to an associate lecturer post with an average salary of £30,760 per year. Lecturers can earn as much as £46,718 and senior lecturers up to £59,135.
The final two rungs on the career ladder are Associate Professor, with an average salary of £64,356 annually, and finally a Professor who can command a salary as high as £113,251.
Is there a defined pay structure for professors?
Many higher education institutions use the HE Single Pay Spine to determine salaries for their professionals. Nevertheless, there are some institutions that operate under their own pay structure.
What can a professor at a top university earn?
Senior professors at Cambridge University can earn as much as £162,650 per year.
Estate agency hasn’t always enjoyed the best media coverage, however work in this sector has the potential to earn an attractive salary. One of the most appealing aspects of this career path is that there is no need to go to university to become a successful estate agent. Apprenticeships are available in this sector, and there are plenty of other courses that can lead to a career in this industry.
There are also plenty of opportunities for career progression. Many new entrants will start out as a trainee or apprentice estate agent and progress to a more responsible position within the company once you have gained the skills and experience you need. The next step is to become a branch manager and then an area manager or, alternatively, to set up your own agency.
Salaries within this field are complicated by the fact that candidates not only receive a base salary but also commission on every sale as well as bonuses for reaching their targets. While the base salary may be low – around £16,000 to £20,000 annually, successful agents earn commission on every property they sell that can significantly boost that amount.
On average, an experienced agent will earn an average base salary of around £41,392 pa before commission and bonuses, and the most successful agents can scoop annual amounts of over £100,000.
How much commission does an estate agent make?
The estate agent’s office will make commission of around 1% on the sale of every property, then the individual agent’s cut of that percentage will be around 10%. That means if a property is sold for £500,000, the office will receive commission of £5,000 and the agent themselves will receive £500.
As many properties, especially in London and the South East, sell for over £1 million, there can be high commissions to gain.
What are estate agent bonuses?
As well as commission and a base salary, estate agents also receive bonuses for hitting their targets. These are usually one-off sums that are paid out immediately as soon as the target is reached and could be around £5,000 each.
Although many people believe that a university degree is the only way to become an architect, in fact there are other options including apprenticeships and the RIBA Studio Practice route. Typically, it takes around seven years to become a fully qualified architect, with five years of study and another two years of practical experience in the workplace, but the eventual financial rewards can be well worth it.
A starting salary for a Part 1 architectural assistant, depending on where you’re based in the country, can be up to £24,000, with Part 2 architectural assistants earning up to £30,500 annually. Those who are newly qualified can expect to start out earning at least £31,500 in their first post, and once they have gained at least five years of experience, they can expect to command a salary of up to £45,000 annually.
Those who become a partner or director at their firm can expect to earn considerably more – at least £70,000 pa.
How much could I earn as an architectural intern?
Architectural interns are often paid around £29,000 annually.
Where in the UK can architects earn the most?
London has the most opportunities for architects at all levels to earn the highest salaries, but with the higher living costs taken into account, it can sometimes be more financially beneficial to take a post in one of the UK’s other major cities away from the capital.
Dentistry isn’t a job for everyone, but for those who don’t mind dealing with other people’s mouths, it can be a financially rewarding career. As more and more dentists in the UK are leaving the NHS and entering into private practice, the potential for salary growth is extremely high, with the highest paid dentists bringing in around £170,000 annually.
Becoming a dentist isn’t an easy path to follow, requiring a lot of time and financial commitment. The training period for dentistry in the UK is at least five years of study with a further year of foundation training on the job. Fortunately, this year is paid at a salary of around £36,288.
Once dentists complete their foundation year, they can choose to either become a dental core trainee with a basic salary of just over £51,000, or they can start work for a dental practice, earning a salary of £44,945.
Those who decide to train to specialise in a particular area of dentistry can earn more – up to £58,398 annually while those who become dental consultants can earn as much as £119,133 while working for the NHS.
How much can private practice dentists earn?
Dentists who work in private practice can easily earn £130,000 annually.
Where can dentists make most money in the UK?
London is, of course, one area of the UK where dentists can command the highest salaries, but with the higher cost of living, it’s often more lucrative to work in other major cities where salaries are high but the cost of living is slightly lower. Birmingham has some of the highest salaries for private practice dentists in the country.
Many young children dream of becoming a train driver, and it’s a dream that can certainly prove to be a lucrative career choice.
As one of the career paths that doesn’t require a university education, it can be an especially appealing option to school leavers who are looking for a job that offers excellent progression but with minimal qualifications. Apprentice train drivers can start their careers with only a level 4 or above in GCSE maths and English.
Even better, trainee train drivers can get paid while they learn, so they not only qualify without any student debt to hold them back, but they can also start enjoying a good quality of life from the very start of their career. The initial training course lasts around 9 months, and once a candidate completes it successfully, they can start earning around £24,000 annually during their initial probation year.
When the probation year is complete, drivers start on a salary of around £30,000, progressing to an average of just under £60,000 annually. Some drivers earn considerably more than this by choosing to do overtime or by opting for long-distance routes.
Do train drivers receive benefits as well as their salary?
Most train drivers are able to benefit from either heavily discounted or completely free train travel for themselves, and sometimes for their family members too.
Where in the UK do train drivers receive the highest salary during their probation year?
In Scotland, trainee drivers during their probation year receive a salary of around £38,000.
Those who are interested in a career in the healthcare sector but who don’t want to invest the money and time in becoming a doctor may be keen to pursue a career as a pharmacist instead. The training programme lasts for five years, although the fifth year is a paid placement, successful completion of which entitles you to become a practising pharmacist in the UK.
There are many different options in the pharmacy sector to explore. While some professionals choose to work in hospitals or community pharmacies, others enter the pharmaceutical sector or become academics in their field.
Starting salaries for pharmacists who are working in the NHS are at least £35,392 according to the current NHS pay scale, with progression over the years up to Chief Pharmacist on Band 9 of the scale, commanding an annual salary of around £114,949.
Do pharmacists receive a higher salary in London?
Pharmacists practicing in the NHS in inner London receive a London weighting addition of 20% of their basis rate of pay (up to a maximum amount of £7746 annually). Those who practice in outer London receive an extra 15% of their salary (up to £5436) and those practicing on the fringes of the city receiving an additional 5% of their salary (up to £2011).
What can pharmacists earn in community pharmacy?
Usually, community pharmacists aren’t paid under the NHS scale but usually, their pay and benefits will be roughly in line with the NHS equivalent.
Engineering is one of the most in-demand careers right now, and there are plenty of different avenues to explore. Nevertheless, electrical engineering is one of the most lucrative, with graduates earning a minimum of £26,000 when entering the field.
Of course, salaries will vary significantly depending on the company that you work for, the area of the country in which you’re based, and your level of experience, but it’s quite possible for a highly experienced and qualified electrical engineer to command a salary of over £65,000.
There are many different specialities that fall under the electrical engineering umbrella, and the branch that you take will affect how much you can earn. Some of the most lucrative areas include nuclear electrical engineering and electrical control engineering.
What is the highest possible electrical engineering salary?
Salaries are constantly changing, and with electrical engineers in high demand, it’s likely that salaries will only rise over the coming years. In some countries, demand is so high for skilled professionals that salaries can be extremely high. In some cases, electrical engineers may be paid as much as $250,000 annually.
How much can a junior electrical engineer earn in the UK?
As a junior engineer, you can expect your salary to start at around £27,000.
If you aren’t sure what an actuary does, you certainly aren’t alone. This career path isn’t one of the best known, but it can certainly be one of the most financially rewarding. The reason why actuaries are able to command such attractive salaries is that they are generally in short supply.
The industry may be relatively small in comparison with other areas of the financial sector, but it is, nevertheless, a vital one, especially in the field of insurance. Therefore, those who have the right skills and qualifications can find themselves in high demand, and paid handsomely for their services.
Becoming an actuary requires years of study and dedication. Usually, graduates start out as an actuarial analyst and complete two or three years at this level before progressing to become a Fellow. It can take as long as seven years to become fully qualified.
On the upside, though, a trainee actuary will start out with a salary of around £28,571 annually – far higher than a typical UK graduate. Senior actuaries can command almost double that amount, and those who reach the top of their profession can expect to earn over £200,000 annually.
How much does a senior actuarial manager earn?
Salaries over £68,000 are possible for those who progress into a management position.
Do actuaries receive benefits as well as their salaries?
Often, actuaries will receive a number of benefits on top of their annual salary including gym memberships, life insurance policies, and even private healthcare.
Animal lovers are often drawn towards becoming a veterinarian, a career that offers far more benefits than simply working with animals every day. Newly qualified vets bring in a salary that is substantially higher than those of the typical UK graduate – around £32,000 pa as compared with around £21,000.
Depending on whether you choose to work in corporate or private practice you can expect to receive a slightly different salary. Corporate practices tend to offer more perks as well as slightly higher salaries, although that depends very much on where you’re based in the UK.
On average, with five years of experience, a vet in the UK can expect to earn around £45,000 annually, and around £60,000 after ten years. At that point, vets can continue to increase their earnings by undertaking further clinical training and obtaining specialist qualifications that enable them to command even higher salaries.
Do vets in the UK receive any benefits on top of their salaries?
All vets will receive a generous pension as well as their professional fees and a CPD allowance. Those who work for large practices may also receive a car and fuel allowance, corporate discounts for gym memberships, and even healthcare benefits.
Can vets work outside clinical practice?
Qualified vets will usually choose to work in clinical practice, but there are other options available too. Some work for pharmaceutical companies or in nutrition and can expect a salary of at least £50,000 together with other appealing benefits.
Jobs in the IT sector have often been associated with high demand and, thus, high salaries. Software development is one such role. With technology on the rise, there is higher demand than ever for those with the right software development skills, and the salaries on offer can be especially attractive.
Depending on skills and experience, a software developer can earn over £120,000 these days and even starting salaries can be high. Junior developers can expect to receive over £30,000 when first starting out on the career ladder, and even more if they live in London.
The best option for anyone who wishes to follow a career as a software developer is to work as a contractor rather than as an employee. Daily rates of pay can be exceptionally high, especially in the capital, starting at around £400 in Scotland and the Midlands and rising to over £500 per day in London.
Which industries pay most for software developers?
Software developers are in demand across many sectors, not only the tech industry. The finance sector as well as the healthcare industry are among those that will pay the highest salaries to professionals.
Where in the world are software developers paid the most?
The USA offers the highest average salaries for software developers – an average of $95,879 annually.
Another healthcare sector career that can offer lucrative potential is ophthalmology. As ophthalmologists are specialist doctors, the path to becoming one is neither easy nor cheap. Nevertheless, the earning benefits are high in the long run.
It takes at least five years to complete a medical degree, followed by two further years in a paid foundation programme. It is only once that has been completed that you can begin specialist training to become an ophthalmologist. This stage of the training takes a further seven years.
The initial paid foundation programme sees candidates receiving up to £34,012 pa, but once specialist ophthalmology training with the NHS begins, starting salaries increase to a minimum of £40,257. Once an ophthalmologist becomes a consultant, they can expect to earn around £112,000 annually with the NHS, but of course, it’s possible to increase that amount by doing some private sector work too.
What is the average London salary for an ophthalmologist?
On average, ophthalmologists in the capital receive £82,708 annually.
How much do ophthalmologists make working in the private sector?
Private ophthalmologists are able to earn at least £100,000 annually.
Similar to becoming a train driver, becoming an aircraft pilot is often a childhood dream that you can turn into a reality. There is no need to have a university education to reach this goal, and the salary that you can receive can be especially attractive.
The amount that a pilot in the UK can earn will depend on numerous factors from their level of experience to the size of the airline that they work for and the type of flying that they choose to do. After completing a pilot training programme, candidates can become a Junior First Officer on a starting salary of between £24,000 and £29,000 depending on the size of the commercial airline.
Once enough flying hours have been accrued, it’s possible to progress to a Senior First Officer position, with a significant increase in salary to, on average, £43,254 pa. Those who work for a major airline such as British Airways can expect to receive at least £10,000 pa more than this amount.
The final step on the career ladder for pilots is to become a captain, with salaries of up to £150,000 pa available.
Do pilots in the UK receive benefits as well as their salary?
Most UK pilots will also receive the benefit of free or discounted airline travel for themselves and even their families as well as health benefits.
How long does it take to become a captain?
It can take as little as five years to receive the number of flying hours required to become a captain.
Which Is The Best Job For You?
Whichever career path you’d like to take, you should be aware of the potential for salary growth before making any final decisions. In the UK right now, the average salary is around £31,772 annually, and in today’s cost of living crisis it can be difficult to make ends meet on this amount.
By choosing one of the 20 careers outlined above, you’ll have a great chance of progression and of maximising your potential future salary.
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*We have taken a simplified approach to the average salaries and assumed that a person will qualify in around three years and then become a partner/director level employee by ten years in the profession.