5 high-paying finance jobs in the UK

high-paying finance jobs
If you are pursuing a career in finance, you are in for a wealthy future. Source: DANIEL LEAL / AFP

Are you looking to pursue a career in finance? Whether you are interested in studying it or entering the financial sector, it is first important to know where the best high-paying finance jobs lie. 

In the UK, finance is one of the highest-paying economic sectors. Being the world’s most exciting professional environment, the financial sector attracts thousands of applicants and job seekers from across the world every year. 

According to Glassdoor’s anonymously submitted salary data, the average pay for a Finance Director is around £99,410 per year. It was even listed as one of the most popular sectors providing employment by Indeed UK.

Still, you should be aware that pursuing a career in finance comes with long hours and gruelling days at the office. The upside is that those who stay on in the profession are rewarded as they climb their way up the corporate ladder. These include higher pay and shorter working hours. 

There are many different roles in this field, from commercial banking to insurance. Recognising the wide scope and top high-paying finance jobs in the field will help you in making your decision when pursuing a career in finance. 

Here are five of the best high-paying finance jobs in the UK:

1. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

A CFO is in charge of all the financial decisions in a company. CFOs in the UK have a national average salary of £131,958 per year, taking the first place among the top high-paying finance jobs in the country.

But with higher pay comes greater responsibility — and this is exactly the case for a CFO. Their input will significantly affect a company’s investments and the decisions made about income and expenses.  This comes with a long list of duties including: analysing the financial health of a company, business planning, budgeting, and ensuring all financial reports are accurate and completed. 

Though difficult, the job is extremely rewarding. To kickstart your career as a CFO, you’ll first need a degree in the field of accounting and finance or something related to that field. The majority of CFOs go on to further their education by doing an MBA. Based on a survey of Fortune 100 CFOs, it was found that 54% of them have completed an MBA.

According to QS World University Rankings, of the top ten universities in the world for accounting and finance, the UK is home to three. This includes University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and The London School of Economics and Political Science

high-paying finance jobs

A career in finance has some of the highest-paying jobs in the UK. Source: Wakil Kohsar / AFP

2. Tax Director 

Most of us dread the time of the year when we have to file our taxes. Tax Directors do this every day.

Tax Directors spend their day-to-day managing people’s taxes. The difference is they get paid the big bucks for doing it. According to Glassdoor UK, the national average salary for a tax director in the UK is about £117,161 a year. 

Overseeing quarterly and annual regulatory and tax preparations, filings, and disclosures are just some of the duties of a tax director. 

Completing a bachelor’s degree in a business field such as finance, accounting, economics or business administration is the first step in pursuing a career as a tax director. This is followed by taking on graduate training schemes while working towards the qualifications needed to become a Tax Director.

Though it may take a couple of years, aspiring Tax Directors are required to pass the exams offered by the ATT (Association of Taxation Technicians) or the CIOT (Chartered Institute of Taxation).

3. Quantitative Analyst

A quantitative analyst or “quant” is responsible for planning and forecasting as well as accounting-related tasks. The average quantitative analyst pay per year in the UK is £79,948.

Quants find profitable investment options while minimising risk. They utilise quantitative methods to aid the business and financial decisions of investment banks, hedge funds, asset managers, and private equity firms.

The road to becoming a quantitative analyst is typically easier than that of other jobs. The minimum requirement for candidates is to have a bachelor’s degree that will equip them with the mathematical fluency needed for the job. A bachelor’s degree in data science, computer science or statistics are some of the courses that will serve you well in this field.

For positions of higher seniority, a field-relevant master’s degree or a PhD is needed. 

high-paying finance jobs

Students have many universities to choose from when studying finance in the UK. Source: Vano Shlamov / AFP

4. Actuary

If you are are math whiz, this is the career for you. To become an actuary one would need to have specialised math knowledge, analytical, and communication skills. Actuarial science majors are trained to have specialised math knowledge, analytical skills and computer know-how.

The job of an actuary is no easy task. They manage risk, from assessing the chances that things will happen to planning ways to keep them from happening. 

To become fully credentialed, aspiring actuaries would first need to pass a series of actuarial exams. Though it’s a long and difficult road to qualify as an actuary, once completed, actuaries are among the highest paid employees in the UK. Based on the national average salary, an actuary in the UK earns up to £76,001 per year.  

Interested in taking the risk? Sign up for an actuarial science programme in the UK. Many of their top universities offer the programmes you need to get your foot into the field. 

5. Investment banker

Investment banking sits among one of the top high-paying finance jobs in the sector and is a highly competitive field. Typically, an investment banker makes up to £52,854 a year in the UK.

Investment Banking Associates are often employed by financial companies to perform client-facing duties. They are responsible for a wide range of tasks in the financial industry. This includes managing client relationships, creating a portfolio of investment opportunities, and executing strategic financial transactions to support the company’s profitability objectives. 

In addition to standard mathematics and computing skills, investment bankers must be ready to work long hours and have a strong understanding of industry ethics. After all, most of their work is spent negotiating with customers and colleagues over the phone. A background in banking, finance or accounting is a solid foundation for this position.