Landing a job with a six-figure salary may seem like a pipe dream for some professionals - but it's not impossible. Find out here what the best paying jobs in Britain are and what it takes to get there.
Every year the Office for National Statistics looks closely at who earns what in which industries and occupations. The 2012 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) revealed that the average weekly pay for UK employees grew by 1.5 per cent in the year to April 2012 to reach £506 per week. Median gross annual earnings for full-time employees (who had been in the same job for at least 12 months, including those whose pay was affected by absence) were £26,500, an increase of 1.4 per cent from the previous year.
While the majority of jobs in the six-figure range require years of experience and specialised degrees, with careful planning, a strong drive to succeed and a little luck, one may be within reach for you.
These are currently 10 of the highest paying jobs in the UK:
Chief executives (and senior officials): £85,223*
What they do**: Chief executive officers or CEOs are responsible for a company's overall performance and answerable to its share-holders.
How to get there: The majority of CEOs traditionally requires a degree in business management related field from an accredited college or Bachelor's degree in business management related field and possibly an MBA.
Aircraft pilots and flight engineers: £78,736
What they do: Exactly what it says on the tin - to fly commercial, business or freight aircraft on short- or long-haul flights. Flight engineers are involved in the development of aircraft.
How to get there: A-levels/HND are sufficient and pilots must undertake an intensive training programme to obtain their commercial pilot's licence (CPL) and Airline Transport Pilot's Licence from a CAA-approved training school. To become a flight engineer, you will normally need a degree, BTEC or HND in a relevant engineering subject.
Medical practitioners: £71,279
What they do: Medical practitioners provide primary and ongoing care in the community for patients. They are skilled in diagnosing a patient's condition based on physical, psychological and social factors and recommend patients for further treatment or referred to hospital clinic if required.
How to get there: A degree in medicine is essential obtained over a five-year period (or four years for a graduate entry programme), followed by a two-year foundation programme.
Information technology and telecommunications directors: £70,393
What they do: IT directors plan, direct, and coordinate the development, implementation, deployment and operation of information systems and technology solutions for business needs. They also identify and propose new information technologies and systems to improve business processes and decision making. They are involved in making personnel decisions.
How to get there: A bachelor's degree in computer science or other technology-related field combined with leadership experience in the field.
Marketing and sales directors: £68,245
What they do: In their function as the senior managers of the marketing and sales department, they coordinate the staff's efforts towards achieving organisational objectives. They advise the CEO and other company leaders on issues relating to sales and marketing.
How to get there: Marketers typically enter the profession upon graduation (a degree in marketing or business is not necessary but is advantageous) or after completing either a HNC or HND.
Legal professionals n.e.c.: £61,544
What they do: Legal executives are qualified lawyers who specialise in particular areas of the law, such as conveyancing, civil and criminal litigation, family law, corporate and public law.
How to get there: A degree/HND in law, accounting/finance, business studies or information technology and relevant experience.
Senior police officers: £59,037
What they do: A detective police inspector is a middle manager who is responsible for supervising the ranks of constable and sergeant and acting as a link between the investigating team and senior officers. And they are usually the public face of the Force - responsible for ensuring good community relations.
How to get there: Requirements can vary, but in general you must be over 18 and you will have to pass background and security checks. You will also need to have lived in the UK for 3 years. You
Financial managers and directors: £55,504
What they do: Financial managers provide advice, financial and strategic support - such as budgetary controls or financial implications of a particular course of action - to organisations to enable them to make effective business decisions. With experience, financial managers can move on to the role of finance director.
How to get there: A degree in business/management, economics, accountancy and finance or maths/statistics coupled with professional accountancy qualifications.
*Salary figures based on annual gross mean pay for full-time employee jobs
**Job descriptions: files from CareerBuilder.co.uk, job profiles on https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk, http://www.prospects.ac.uk and http://www.payscale.com
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