highest-paying jobs in the UK
Careers in healthcare and finance are among the highest-paying jobs in the UK by average annual salary in 2021. Source: Daniel Sorabji / AFP

What are some of the highest-paying jobs in the UK? If you’ve had your eye on British universities as your study abroad destination, it’s worth knowing the country’s latest in-demand industry jobs. With the Graduate route visa, you now have a chance to participate in the UK workforce after graduation to establish your career. 

Depending on your circumstances, the Graduate route could also be your ticket to the Skilled Worker Route. This would allow you to work with an approved employer and remain in the UK for a maximum of five years, after which you could apply to live permanently in the UK. 

So which UK jobs bring a sizable paycheck to the bank account?

According to the 2021 list posted on the job site Indeed UK, the finance and medical industries are some of the most lucrative jobs in the country. The latter profession has experienced increased demands due to factors such as a greying population and spikes in lifestyle-related conditions. Outside of healthcare, careers in sales and finance rake in a high national average salary to make the cut in this year’s list.

Here are some of the highest-paying jobs in the UK for you to consider:

1. Tax director

Yes, cue the annual tax filings groans. Though sorting your taxes might feel like a chore, managing other people’s taxes can be a money-making venture. Tax directors in the UK have a national average salary of 89,619 pounds from implementing strategies to ensure accurate tax returns in a company, on top of being responsible for compliance with applicable statutes. While it might take years for you to get to the top, getting a head start with a degree in accounting and finance will boost your chances in this bankable profession.

2. Actuary

One of those careers that we’ll probably never fully understand, actuarial sciences require a high degree of mathematical ability and analytical acuity to correctly predict financial risks. Though working in insurance is a popular route, an actuary can also manage a company’s financial assets, quantify business risks, and provide advice on pension plans. Sure, it’s a long and arduous road to qualify as one, but the payoff of 67,269 pounds in average annual salary isn’t too shabby. 

3. Orthodontist

The UK has some of the best schools globally for orthodontics, which is a specialised branch of dentistry focusing on jaw problems and teeth positioning. To practise as an orthodontist in the UK, you need to complete a five-year dentistry degree, followed by a few years of clinical practice. You can then apply for an orthodontic training programme, which takes about three years, after which you’ll have to pass the Membership in Orthodontics examination (MOrth). Sounds tough? Just remember the potential annual income of 96,521 pounds to keep you going.

Healthcare professions are experiencing a surge in demand due to the UK’s greying population and a rise in lifestyle-related conditions. Source: Oli Scarff/AFP

4. Anaesthetist

One of the highest-paying jobs in the UK forms the largest group of hospital-based specialists, Anesthetists are the backbone of any surgical and pain management procedures in patient care. Understanding patients’ needs is crucial in pain alleviation, so anaesthetists must be swift and decisive in making accurate judgments under pressure, especially in life and death situations. It can take up to eight years of specialist training to become one, but with high risks comes high rewards: the average yearly salary is reported to be 95,155 pounds in 2021.

5. Engineer

No career list would be complete without engineers breaking the ranks. Three of the world’s top 10 engineering schools are in the UK, with international students making up 24% of the entire engineering student body in Britain. A UK engineering degree programme typically has a sandwich year option that counts towards graduation requirements, providing industry training and professional networking that can firmly place you ahead of other job seekers after completing your studies. A director can make up to 93,066 pounds yearly, while starting annual salaries average around 40,628 pounds