As of April 2022, the median pay for employees in the UK stood at £2,076 per month, equivalent to a salary of £24,912. 

Of course, some jobs pay a lot more than that. And while we would never recommend choosing a career path based solely on earning potential, there’s no denying that financial security is extremely important. With that in mind, here we’re taking a look at the best paying jobs in the UK.

10 highest paying jobs: UK data

“What is the highest paying job in the UK?” 

It sounds like a simple question, but in reality, coming up with a specific answer is extremely difficult.

For one thing, people with the same job title can still have a wide variance in salaries due to a range of factors, such as the type of organisation they work for and where they are located. A software engineer in London will likely make more money than one in Newcastle, while the average private sector accountant can expect to earn more than their counterparts in the public sector.

To make things more complicated, certain “elite” jobs - such as professional sportspeople and high-profile broadcasters - might earn tens of millions of pounds per year, but landing those sorts of roles isn’t a realistic prospect for everyone.

However, as one of the largest recruitment agencies in the UK, Michael Page is well placed to provide an answer. We can draw on a raft of earnings data based on the annual salary surveys we carry out across our core disciplines of finance, marketing, HR, tech, and sales.

While there are still too many variables to identify one single result, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 highest paying jobs UK employees can realistically aspire to reach.

For consistency, our results are based on the median salary of top advertised job titles in London. We’ve also chosen to exclude C-suite roles (such as chief executive officer and chief financial officer), because otherwise those positions would make up most of the top 10.

Transformation Director 

Salary range: £150,000 – £250,000

The transformation director is responsible for driving change, working closely with people at all levels of the organisation and holding them to account for hundreds - or even thousands - of daily tasks, deliverables, and initiatives.

HR Director

Salary range: £100,000 – £280,000

The most senior HR professional within the department, the HR director is ultimately responsible for all decision-making related to their organisation’s human relations policies, practices, and strategies.

IT Director

Salary range: £125,000 – £175,000

The director of IT leads the development, rollout, and ongoing maintenance of their organisation’s communications and information systems, while also making strategic decisions on future IT policies and investments.

Head of Reward

Salary range: £90,000 – £150,000

The head of reward controls their organisation’s reward strategies, collaborating with senior leaders to develop, roll out, and report on the performance of rewards programmes.

Head of IT

Salary range: £90,000 – £145,000

Similar to the IT director role, the head of IT oversees IT infrastructure and systems, as well as analysing those systems to ensure they’re suitable for the organisation’s future strategy and goals.

Head of IT services

Salary range: £90,000 – £135,000

Another IT-related role, the head of IT services is the leader of the IT support services team, while also managing the delivery of IT-related services across the organisation (and potentially for external clients as well).

Machine Learning Specialist

Salary range: £70,000 – £150,000

The machine learning specialist role is generally tailored to the specific goals and requirements of the organisation that employs them, but typically involves developing new algorithms and solutions to support organisational goals.

Engineering Manager

Salary range: £90,000 – £130,000

The engineering manager supervises several teams involved in researching and developing new engineering projects, as well as planning and coordinating existing initiatives, which requires a range of skills, from HR to financial management.

Enterprise Architect

Salary range: £90,000 – £120,000

Nothing to do with designing buildings, the enterprise architect is tasked with maintaining and upgrading an organisation’s IT hardware, software, and services.

Head of Information Security

Salary range: £90,000 – £120,000

The head of information security is in charge of managing all aspects of their organisation’s digital security systems and processes, with responsibilities that include designing and rolling out disaster recovery solutions, and developing security goals and policies.

What’s next?

Want to boost your earning potential or find out how your pay stacks up against other people in similar roles? Check out our salary advice content hub, where you’ll find advice and insights on everything from negotiating your pay to how much people earn in different regions of the UK

And while you’re here, don’t miss our salary benchmarking and comparison tool, which will all you to see how your salary fairs against industry standards. 

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