We all want a good rate of pay for a hard day's work, but if you're planning ahead for the rest of your career, what would be the most lucrative move to make?
Whether you're looking to retrain for a different discipline or you have unused skills you'd like to put into practice, this shortlist can help you to get the best pay back for the work you put in.
According to Glassdoor salary data, the highest paying jobs in the UK are:
- Chief Financial Officer
- Executive Director
- Chief Technology Officer
- Senior Leader
- Chief Operating Officer
- Chief Executive Officer
- Medical Manager
- Managing Partner
- Technology Manager
- Consulting Manager
- Quantitative Analyst
- Of Counsel
- Enterprise Architect
- Software Architect
- Database Architect
- Equity Research Analyst
- Portfolio Manager
- Risk Manager
- Enterprise Account Manager
1. Chief Financial Officer
Median Salary- £124,410/yr
A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is the top financial position in any company. The purpose of the role is to maintain the financial health of the business and includes preserving its assets, enhancing profitability, ensuring compliance, minimising risks, and running the finance department. It is their responsibility to align the finance strategy with the business strategy and needs.
Generally, experience of approx. 10 years in financial roles is required as a minimum to be a CFO with a preference for an MBA or master’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related subject. Some desired certifications include Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
2. Executive Director
Median Salary- £121,345/yr
An Executive Director is one of the most senior positions in a business. It typically sits with the board while having senior management responsibilities at the same time. The main purpose of the role is to develop the business strategy and lead its implementation to build and maintain a healthy business. Executive DIrectors may need to represent the company to external stakeholders, including the media, governments, and more.
Usually, these roles require a minimum of 10 years of business management experience and an advanced degree in business or a related field, while some employers may prefer an MBA. Some crucial skills for Executive Directors include strategy formulation & execution, people management, communications, and creativity.
3. Chief Technology Officer
Median salary: £65,800
A Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is an executive position that has responsibility for the technology needs of an organisation, making sure solutions are aligned with business objectives. The areas typically included in the scope of a CTO role are strategy, technology development and implementation, cybersecurity, infrastructure, and IT ops.
To be considered for a CTO role, you may be expected to have at least 10 years of experience in tech-related positions with a degree in computer science, engineering, or another technical field. This role usually requires a mix of technical and soft skills depending on the industry and company.
4. Senior Leader
Median Salary- £76,606/yr
The role of a Senior Leader is to provide direction related to their expertise. They usually are hired to identify long-term opportunities and threats and lead a business in the right direction. Senior Leaders may sit in several departments, including Product, Marketing, Finance, HR, Operations, and more. They have a wide range of responsibilities, including processes, people, and budgets.
As the title suggests, a Senior Leader should be a subject matter expert in their domain. In most cases, employers look for candidates with extensive experience combined with an advanced degree in business or a domain related to the employer’s industry and relevant industry certifications. Strong management, leadership, and consulting skills are beneficial for this role.
5. Chief Operating Officer
Median Salary- £108,303/yr
A Chief Operating Officer (COO) is an executive officer responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company. COOs execute business strategy by establishing and owning policies and processes, while they also create and manage operational teams.
A COO should have at least 10 years of experience in Operations or related roles. In many cases, employers also ask for a bachelor's or master’s degree in business, while certifications like Lean or Six Sigma may be preferred. COOs are also required to demonstrate competency in running a business efficiently and effectively while having commercial awareness and strong business acumen.
6. Chief Executive Officer
Median Salary- £99,424/yr
A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for the overall direction of a business. It is the highest-ranking position of a company leading all other executive and non-executive functions. A CEO works with the Board to develop long-term objectives, builds the business strategy, oversees its operations, ensures compliance, and serves as the main company representative.
To become a CEO of a company, one may need to have at least 10-15 years of senior management experience along with advanced degrees. Business strategy, strong leadership skills, commercial expertise, communication skills, and high ethics are some of the traits that help a CEO succeed.
7. Medical Manager
Median Salary- £49,721/yr
A Medical Manager plans and coordinates the provision of healthcare services. Their primary role is managing the day-to-day operations of a health facility to ensure patients receive the right treatment and care. They may also be required to have a functioning knowledge of healthcare laws.
A bachelor’s or master’s degree in the medical domain may be required to become a medical manager Examples include:
- A Certificate/Diploma in Primary Care and Health Management (DPCHM) by the Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR)
- Vocational Training Scheme for General Practice Managers (VTSGPM) by the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM)
- Academic courses like an MSc in Healthcare Leadership.
Some skills required in this profession are medical industry knowledge, team management, emotional intelligence, empathy, and problem-solving skills.
Median Salary- £93,451/yr
A Director is responsible for strategy formulation and execution. The role may include building and managing teams, overviewing business operations, ensuring compliance, and acting as a spokesperson. Additionally, they usually have P&L responsibility.
To be a Director, you should be a visionary leader, strategic thinker, and strong manager, while communication and interpersonal skills are also key. A Bachelor’s degree in a related subject along with 15-20 years of experience is usually required for a Director’s post. A master’s degree may be desirable.
9. Managing Partner
Median Salary- £107,589/yr
A Managing Partner is responsible for setting key goals and managing the day-to-day operations of a business in which they typically have equity. The role is pivotal in maintaining positive relationships with existing clients and securing new engagements. Additionally, they are also responsible for managing their practice in the business.
A Managing Partner is usually expected to have a management or business degree with a considerable amount of experience, although they may have a technical background relevant to their industry. Additionally, one should have strong organisational, team management, decision-making, and analytical skills to complement their experience.
10. Technology Manager
Median Salary- £67,256/yr
A Technology Manager spearheads an organisation’s technology department. Some of the areas that may fall under their remit include vendor selection and management, implementation of solutions, IT operations management, technology infrastructure, and cybersecurity.
The qualifications of a Technology Manager typically include a degree in IT, relevant certifications like ITIL, and work experience of about 3-7 years in a similar role. Technical as well as soft skills are crucial for this role, including project management, service delivery, and stakeholder management.
11. Consulting Manager
Median Salary- £67,327/yr
Consulting Managers help organisations identify, analyse, and solve complex business problems to enhance business performance and profitability. Their areas of expertise usually include strategy, change management, and business transformation. They use figures and facts to make recommendations, which enables senior management to make informed decisions.
A Consulting Manager usually requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree in management or related fields. Some top skills that help professionals in this role include strong analytical skills, communication, strategic thinking, and relationship management skills.
12. Quantitative Analyst
Median Salary- £73,353/yr
A Quantitative Analyst is a professional who helps companies make financial and business decisions based on quantitative analyses. Their role is to use mathematical and statistical techniques to solve complex business problems. They also interpret financial statements and analyses and prepare reports that are presented to the higher management.
A Quantitative Analyst may be required to have a higher degree in mathematics, statistics, or economics, while experience in a related role may be a must depending on seniority. Some skills to support your candidacy include strong data mining, data analysis, and programming skills along with extensive financial knowledge.
13. Of Counsel
Median Salary- £77,910/yr
Of Counsel have responsibilities for an organisation’s legal affairs. They ensure that all business activity follows local and global laws and regulations. Specifically, they are responsible for providing legal direction to company operations, contractual agreements, takeovers, mergers, and acquisitions
Along with a degree in law, significant experience within a similar role is often required. Some common skills that help professionals in this role are legal expertise, negotiation, commercial awareness, oral and written communication.
14. Enterprise Architect
Median Salary- £82,270/yr
An Enterprise Architect plays a crucial role in an organisation’s IT team. They are responsible for maintaining IT infrastructure, operating systems, and integrating information applications and programs. They maintain and update key enterprise architecture deliverables and serve as advisors to senior management on business-related IT strategies.
To be an Enterprise Architect, one should have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in IT, computer engineering, or a related field. Companies also look for 5-7 years of experience in a similar role for such jobs.
15. Software Architect
Median Salary- £72,876/yr
A Software Architect enables software development. They build relevant product specifications, communicate them to the development team, oversee the progress, and ensure software meets all the requirements. In short, they plan, track, and schedule software deliverables.
16. Database Architect
Median Salary- £73,098/yr
A Database Architect builds and maintains a company’s database, designing effective solutions and models to store company data. They assess and improve implementation procedures to ensure these align with internal and external regulations. Moreover, they monitor system performance by conducting regular tests and integrating new features.
To be a Database Architect, one can start with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering or Computer Science, or a related field. Companies usually prefer some experience in a related domain with strong technical expertise, communication skills, data analysis, data innovation and modelling, and problem resolution skills.
17. Portfolio Manager
Median Salary- £62,146/yr
A Portfolio Manager is responsible to oversee financial portfolios including equities, fixed income, capital investments, and more. They work directly with clients, managing their investment accounts. Based on clients’ goals, portfolio managers provide recommendations to enhance investment performance. Additionally, they develop reports on investment activities & performance and communicate them to their clients.
Most Portfolio Managers usually hold a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, statistics, or economics. Pursuing some online courses on capital markets, portfolio management, international economics and trade, and equity strategies also strengthen an applicant’s position. Some skills needed to be an efficient portfolio manager are decision-making, attention to detail, and relationship building.
18. Equity Research Analyst
Median Salary- £70,579/yr
In simple terms, an Equity Research Analyst provides investment recommendations to buy, sell, or hold financial securities. This may include performing company valuations, industry analysis, financial modelling, financial statement analysis, and reporting. They assist in company IPOs, working on stock valuation and capitalisation.
To work as an Equity Research Analyst, a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, stats, or a related field is required. Relevant experience of 3-5 years in a related industry strengthens your candidature and maybe a must depending on seniority. Some skills that can help you in this role include analytical thinking, communication and presentation skills, and financial planning.
19. Risk Manager
Median Salary- £55,468/yr
As the name suggests, a Risk Manager manages risk in all forms for a business. Some of these risks include financial, environmental, enterprise, information & security, tech, and market & credit risks. Risk Managers develop, manage, and execute an overall risk management process. Their core responsibilities include assessing and evaluating risks in the company and working on reducing or nullifying their impact.
Most employers look for a bachelor’s degree in business administration, management, or analytics. However, a master’s degree can be a great addition to support your application too. Of course, Risk management experience may be a must for senior roles. Some skills required in this role are in-depth industry knowledge, communications, strategic thinking, and problem-solving.
20. Enterprise Account Manager
Median Salary- £57,949/yr
An Enterprise Account Manager is a professional who manages customer accounts and plays a key role in generating revenue through sales for a company. They develop, manage, and nurture relationships with customers while bringing new business to the firm. Additionally, they also serve as a link between customers and internal departments.
In most cases, Enterprise Account Managers should have a bachelor’s degree along with a strong experience in Sales. Some key skills required are communications, negotiations, and project management.
Glassdoor’s 20 Highest Paying Jobs in the UK report identifies specific jobs with the highest median annual base salary. For a job title to be considered, it must receive at least 30 salary reports and at least 30 job satisfaction ratings shared by UK-based employees over the past year. This report takes into account job title normalisation that groups similar job titles.