(UPDATED for 2023) – Before making an investment in education, many people want to understand how having more qualifications could lead to higher wages and levels of prosperity. For many, earning over £100,000 a year is a clear goal. This is because this amount affords the earner the autonomy and resources they need to comfortably keep with the cost of living and have a higher quality of life.
In fact, earners in this category would take home more than three times the median annual wage in Britain, which is around £33,000, according to data from ONS. Therefore, it can be easy to see why a six-figure annual salary is both a desirable yet challenging goal among many workers in the United Kingdom who are on five-figure salaries.
However, if you’re committed to earning the elusive six-figure salary of £100,000 or more, there are many opportunities within industries you might not even have considered as having the potential to help you earn the income you want. Find out what new job you could try to improve your income stream and earn more today.
How to get a high-paying 6 figure job
Reaching the top tier of UK earners and getting six-figure salary jobs is largely about putting in the time and hard work to be where you want to be. Getting a six-figure sum doesn’t happen overnight. No matter which industry you are in, it’s likely to take years of experience and skills gained over a long period of time, including all of the top-earning jobs listed below.
Perseverance, passion, and a focus on what you want to achieve are essential, no matter what your A-level, GCSE, or university grades look like. However, to stand yourself in good stead, it’s always a good idea to work hard and achieve results no matter what stage of life you are at.
Discussing how much we earn isn’t something we like to talk about in the UK. Therefore, we may not be aware of what high-paying jobs are out there with 6-figure salaries or more. Generally, there’s no hard and fast rule on how you can get a six-figure salary, but having knowledge of which professions and job roles are most likely to deliver higher wages can be a great strategy.
Top jobs with 6-figure salaries in the UK
Although some jobs are famous for being well-paid, there are other roles out there that might pay more than most people think. Here’s a rundown of the top-paying jobs that pay above six figures or higher.
Solicitor – Annual earnings £100,000
Solicitors can earn up to £100,000 a year if they are experienced in the field. Although starters in this area may not immediately earn that amount, it is typical for solicitors to be six-figure earners or higher, depending on their clients, firm, and reputation.
So if you’re wondering how to become a solicitor, firstly, you must complete an LLB (Hons) Law degree. You can choose to pair your law degree with another subject, for example. For example, you could complete a Law with Business degree or a Law with Psychology degree.
After completing your degree, you must complete a Legal Practice Course, and then you’ll be required to complete two years of recognised training. The process as a whole takes around six to seven years.
Insurance risk surveyor – Annual earnings £100,000
An insurance risk surveyor is in charge of assessing the level of risk posed by a building and advises clients on ways in which they can reduce the amount of insurance they will have to pay by improving safety. The upper salary for someone in this role can be £100,000 or even higher.
There’s no set path to becoming an insurance risk surveyor, but most working in this role have completed a degree in a relevant subject. You can also take the route of an apprenticeship. Earning potential for this role rises significantly if you become a senior risk surveyor or set up your own consultancy.
Company CEOs – Annual earnings £120,000+
Becoming a chief executive officer of a company is likely to significantly impact your earnings, as most CEOs are amongst the highest-paid members of an organisation, with yearly earnings of around £120,000 or higher.
The size and success of your business can have an impact on earnings, but even a CEO of a company with smaller profits can expect a paycheck that’s far higher than median earnings. According to data from Lensa, CEOs in the UK can earn as much as 759% more than the median employee wage within their company.
Although the nature of the role of CEO means it’s difficult to specifically train for, having experience or skills as a business manager can help you reach the levels of knowledge needed to rise up to the highest rank within your company. Taking Business Management courses can be one way to build up this skill set, as well as taking more general courses in Business and Finance. Setting up your own company as an entrepreneur can also be another way to become a CEO, as you can appoint yourself the role as you are the founder of the business.
Stockbroker – Annual earnings £125,000
Stockbrokers are well known for taking in high salaries, with experienced stockbrokers earning £125,000 a year. Working on behalf of big clients, workers in this area can get access to lucrative salaries and be amongst the top UK earners. You may find that it’s easier to access higher salaries in London, thanks to it being one of the biggest financial markets in the world.
If you want to know how to become a Stockbroker, you’ll need to think about the skills and knowledge you’ll need in order to break into this role. Typically, stockbrokers will have a degree or qualification in Finance, Analytics, Management or Accounting.
In order to get an understanding of how trading works, taking a course in Trading can be an excellent way to improve your knowledge in this area. This can be done as a short course, meaning that you can add to your knowledge base without having to complete a longer-term, costlier course.
Barrister – Annual earnings £200,000
Being a barrister can be a rewarding and varied job. People in this role mostly deal with courtroom advocacy and litigation and have a wide range of tasks, from taking on cases, drafting legal pleadings, and giving expert opinions.
Barristers will typically complete an LLB (Hons) Law degree and then work within a law firm and complete a Higher Diploma in Law. Potential barristers can also join the Bar Council to receive dedicated training and make industry contacts.
Once barristers are fully qualified, they can expect to earn £200,000 a year or more. However, barristers may have to gain significant amounts of experience before they can reach their full earning potential.
Judge – Annual earnings £267,509
Lawyers, barristers and solicitors can all become judges, and the highest salary a judge can earn a year is £267,509. Those with an LLB (Hons) Law degree who are working in the legal profession can apply to be judges. To be considered, most people will complete a judicial work shadowing scheme or directly apply to the Judicial Appointments Commission once they’ve had 5 to 7 years working in the legal profession. You can work full-time or part-time as a judge in the UK.
Applicants aren’t guaranteed to be accepted however, those with ample experience should eventually be granted the chance to be a judge in UK courts. If you’re successful in this area, you can access earnings that are amongst the highest in the legal profession and an annual wage that is over eight times higher than the median annual wage in Britain.
Jobs with high salaries in the UK
If you’re looking for roles with high salaries, you could also consider career paths in the following areas, which have average salaries that will give an annual wage that’s just below a six-figure income.
Surgeon – Annual earnings £77,274
Becoming a surgeon is fulfilling and lucrative. The upper earnings of a surgeon can be close to £77,274 a year, and earnings can vary depending on whether you choose to work within the NHS or at a private hospital.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you could also work abroad with the right training, which opens you up to even higher earning potential.
The path to becoming a surgeon is a long one and will require you to undertake a five-year course in medicine, a two-year foundation programme of general training, two years of core surgical training in a hospital, and then up to six years of specialist training.
PR director – Annual earnings £80,000
PR directors can see annual earnings of around £80,000, which can rise to even higher levels depending on the size of the client or company. A good way to start off in this career is by completing a degree or a journalism, Digital Marketing, Marketing, Social Media Marketing or public relations qualification.
Business Project manager – Annual earnings £80,000
Those working in this area can see high wages or around £80,000 a year, and can work in a wide variety of industries or types of companies. Taking a Project Management course or a Business Management course can be an excellent way to get the skills you need to move into this role.
Pathologist – Annual earnings £84,559
A pathologist works hard to protect us all by working in laboratories and hospitals, studying areas of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease and illness. Upper salaries for this role can be close to £84,559 a year and can vary depending on whether you choose to work in the public or private sector.
Similar to other roles within medicine, you’ll need to complete a five-year medical degree, followed by a two-year general training foundation course, which is then followed up by a five or six-year specialist training programme within pathology.
Dentist – Annual earnings £96,154
Dentists can earn lots of money in the UK, with those working the profession seeing earnings of £96,154 a year or higher. Dedicated sources online can guide you on how to become a dentist or how to become a dental assistant, providing you with the knowledge needed to step into this lucrative career path. If you want to first become a dental assistant, you can take on a Dental Assistant Diploma, which will give you the skills and knowledge necessary to break into this exciting profession.
GP – Annual earnings £91,228
Overall, there are many routes you can take to become amongst the highest earners in the UK and get a job with a salary that’s £100,000 a year or more.
But there are no quick fixes or easy hacks. The best way to go about this is becoming educated with a higher education qualification, learning new skills and getting a deeper understanding of the area you want to move into.
Start your education journey, and find out how we can help you to raise your earning potential today.