Not everyone will base their decision on what career to go into solely on the financial rewards. Many people fall into a career because they study certain subjects at school, or because they get a lucky break at the start of a career and work their way up. If you take a step back though and consider which careers are the most financially attractive then it could steer your life in a completely different direction.
Chief Executives and Senior Managers
It’s probably not surprising that the people who run companies and are responsible for turning in a good level of profits for their shareholders are the highest earners in the UK. Salaries of top officials regularly make the headlines when it is revealed that a bank or utility service boss is on several million a year, but the average salary across the chief executive board is a more modest £85k. On top of this, many senior managers and company directors have lucrative bonus schemes, profit sharing options and a benefits package including pension.
If seeing the world is your idea of fun rather than sitting in a board room, then seek out a career in the aviation business. A qualified airline pilot earns on average £78k, and also gets considerable perks such as free flights for family and the chance to spend days off in exotic locations. It can however cost thousands to learn to fly a plane and then undergo all of the rigorous testing needed to fly for one of the major airlines. Competition is fierce, and as well as a good all-round standard of education, you will need to demonstrate superb hand to eye coordination and be good at engineering and maths.
The average doctor earns £71k, although salaries for top consultants can be as high as £135k, plus whatever they earn from private medicine. Working as a doctor is rewarding and fulfilling for many, but qualification takes many years and only the most academically able candidates will be able to secure a place in University. The long hours traditionally associated with junior doctors are a thing of the past, but shift work and being called out of your bed in the middle of the night to treat a patient are all part and parcel of working in the medical profession.
The way in which businesses use and process information has changed hugely in the last couple of decades and even the smallest business needs to have a web presence, online ordering and a whole range of software packages to help staff do their job. A good IT director can earn up to £64k per year and many top IT staff regularly move around companies as they are headhunted for new roles. A background in computer science or maths is a good starting point for this sort of role, but it is more important that IT directors have good people and negotiation skills.
Not all finance managers are accountants, but they will be responsible for both the day to day management of the company’s money but also strategic decisions about investments, costs and purchases. Accountants either study the subject at University, or do on the job training where they combine an office job with studying for accountants exams in the evening. More important than the exams though is the ability to analyse figures, spot trends and make tough decisions to keep the company on the right tracks. The average salary earned by senior accountants and finance managers in the UK is £56k, and many will also have bonus and profit sharing arrangements.
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