Best paying jobs and highest pay rises: How does your salary compare to the UK average for your occupation?
Whether you’re just starting out in your career, considering a career change, or considering asking for a raise, understanding what other people are getting paid will help you.
But how much do you know about the average salary for different professions?
You can use our interactive tool below to search for your occupation and see average salaries, as well as the largest and smallest pay increases in the past year.
What does a headteacher earn on average, do all CEOs get salaries in excess of £1m, and how big of a pay rise have travel agents typically received in the last year?
Characters from Office for National Statistics Highlighting the average wages across all UK occupations, as well as revealing which jobs received the biggest pay rises in 2023.
In many cases, you can also find out what the top 10 percent and bottom 10 percent of earners in specific roles earn.
Enter the profession you are looking for in the search box and you can rearrange the columns from largest to smallest and vice versa by clicking on them at the top.
Use the interactive tool here
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What you need to know about salary numbers
The figures in our table are for full-time earnings and come from the Office for National Statistics’ Annual Survey of Working Hours and Earnings 2023 report. This is the official, comprehensive view of earnings across all occupations and gives two average numbers, the mean and the median.
The average is if you take all the salaries for that occupation, add them together and then divide it by the number of jobs to get an average number.
The median is if you rank all the earners for that job in a row, from lowest to highest, then take the middle number for your average.
The Office for National Statistics’ preferred way of measuring the average is to use the median salary, which gives a better picture of the average individual’s income – and is less likely to be skewed by a few on very high or very low incomes.
We’ve collated our table of median salaries, but we’ve also provided the average and median annual change of the median, as this is the most comprehensive data. Where possible, we also included the average of the top 10 percent of earners and the bottom 10 percent of earners in each role.
We analyze what each sector pays its employees on average annually, and which jobs saw the best and worst pay increases in 2023.
Where possible, we have included the top 10 per cent and bottom 10 per cent of earners figures, but there are a number of occupations where this information is missing from the ONS statistics.
What are the best paying jobs?
It’s no surprise that CEOs and senior administrators top the list of the best paying full-time jobs in the UK, earning £84,131 on average.
To many this will seem low though. Don’t all CEOs receive salaries in excess of a million pounds?
not exactly. First, because the numbers are for CEOs and senior officials, not just CEOs; Secondly, because the data covers CEOs across the range of UK companies, from those where employees can be counted, to those with dozens or hundreds of employees, right up to large companies employing thousands.
This average £84,131 represents a fraction of what CEOs in the FTSE 100 earn, with the country’s top bosses earning £3.81m a year on average (excluding pension payments), according to the Center for High Pay. CEOs at FTSE 350 companies earn £1.32m on average.
These top earners take the median median pay for chief executives and senior officers to more than £120,000 – and note bonuses are not included.
Marketing, sales and advertising directors closely follow CEOs with a total full-time salary of £83,015, while IT directors earn £80,000 on average.
PR and communications managers do well, earning £79,886, while school principals were also among the best paid too, earning £66,014 a year.
But figures from the Department for Education show this can vary significantly. The minimum headteacher salary in England, excluding London, is £53,380 and the maximum is £131,046. Within London, this amount rises to £62,304 and £139,891 respectively.
In comparison, the average salary for teaching professionals is £41,800, according to the Office for National Statistics.
At the other end of the scale, leisure and theme park workers earned just £17,860 in a full-time job, followed by bar staff, waiters and waitresses, and supermarket workers.
Hospitality workers are often paid very little and are often younger, meaning they often fall into the lower bracket of the minimum wage.
The national minimum wage for people aged 18-20 is £7.49, while people aged 21-22 earn £10.18 per hour. The National Living Wage, for those aged 23 and over, is £10.42, which equates to around £21,700 a year for a 40-hour week.
Which jobs saw the biggest pay increase in 2023?
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics in January revealed that growth in ordinary earnings, excluding bonuses, was 6.6% in the period from September to November 2023, while annual growth in average total earnings was, Including bonuses, 6.5% over the same period.
Some professions earned much more, according to Office for National Statistics figures.
It’s been a strong year for clothing and accessories designers who received a 29.3 per cent pay rise over the course of 2023 to earn an average salary of £40,503.
Employees working in the travel industry also saw significant pay increases, with travel agents and air travel assistants seeing income rise by 20.5 and 16.5 percent, respectively.
Aircraft maintenance and related professions also achieved an increase of 22.2 percent over the previous year.
Despite the difficulties in the hospitality industry, pub owners and managers received an 18.2 per cent rise in 2023 – although their average salary of £33,477 is still at the lower end of the scale.
Bar staff did not see a similar increase, with supervisors seeing a 6.9 percent increase in their take-home pay.
Clinical psychologists saw the biggest pay cut at 12.5 per cent to £36,315, while coaches and sports officials saw their salaries fall by 10.6 per cent on average to £23,206.
Delivery workers also saw a 10% drop in their pay to £22,193, meaning they are among the lowest paid employees in the UK.
Work in healthcare saw similar declines, with health and social services directors and managers facing an 8.8 per cent cut to £26,313, while children’s nurses saw a 7.8 per cent drop to £34,024.
Construction technicians, librarians and tax experts also saw their salaries fall below the inflation rate, meaning they lost money in real terms.
(tags for translation) Daily Mail