Who are the top earners in society and are they worth it?

We choose our jobs for lots of different reasons and, although salary is important, it’s rarely the most important factor in why we opt for one role or profession over another.

Young people entering banking and financial investment can look forward to highly lucrative careers, but first they must meet exacting industry standards that require the full surrender of their personality and soul to the Dark Lord Satan and the swearing of eternal allegiance to Him and all His works. So, it’s swings and roundabouts.

Alternatively, they might choose to eschew monetary reward in favour of moral enrichment, by working in the public and Third sectors – in education and healthcare or by signing-up to one of the so-called ‘caring’ professions, such as social work, addiction and offender rehabilitation, or oat milk-based, non-binary, person-centred, mindfulness therapy.

With the latter, even if they do manage to break through the glass-ceiling and secure one of the senior management roles, long dominated by global majority, neurodiverse, gender-fluid torso stumps, they will still have to accept a life of grinding arrogance and passive aggression, reading the Guardian, stealing from foodbanks and smelling of boiled hemp.

Earning a decent wage may improve our standard-of-living, but not necessarily our quality of life. And who other than a corporate fat cat would choose to work somewhere that makes them miserable, solely because it gives them a fatter wage packet at the end of the month.

More perplexing is those who appear willing to turn themselves into social pariahs for little reward, such as journalists, traffic wardens, Ryanair ground crew and Nigel Farage.

It’s a natural human instinct to want to know who’s earning more than us and, often to wonder what they do that justifies such a higher wage. Anyone who has watched Piers Morgan for longer than a couple of minutes on TV will know what that feels like.

Many of us think people who perform a valuable social function, such as nurses and teachers, should earn the most, while accountants, corporate lawyers and Premier League footballers shouldn’t earn as much.

That’s not the way society works however. Rather, it rewards most the jobs that have the highest barriers to entry which, in most cases, means those that require a particularly difficult qualification or a minimum level of financial investment or risk.

As the world becomes more digitised, it’s interesting to note that many of the highest paid professionals are those qualified to use their knowledge of technology to add value to businesses or other professions.

With all of that in mind, it’s interesting to see the latest list of the UK’s highest paid professionals of 2023, compiled by a national jobs website. Bear in mind, those quoted are average salaries. Some may surprise you.

  1. GP – £107,000

GPs require listening skills, a compassionate nature and healthcare knowledge to diagnose, investigate, and treat illnesses. They’re the first port of call for patients and they’re trained to consider physical, emotional, and social factors, as well as the patient’s medical history, when diagnosing an illness and recommending a treatment.

  • Consultant Psychiatrist – £104,000

Psychiatrists diagnose and treat patients with mental health disorders including dementia and depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia eating disorders and they decide on the best treatment, either medication or psychotherapy. Their work can be challenging, so emotional resilience is key. Psychiatrists usually specialise in specific areas of psychology, such as child, elderly, adult, or forensics.

  • Cloud Architect – £98,000

Rather than owning their computing infrastructure, companies can rent computing services from a cloud service provider that delivers servers, storage, databases, networking, applications, analytics, and more. Cloud Architects are IT professionals responsible for designing, building, maintaining and deploying these services. It’s a relatively new and increasingly popular discipline, which makes those skilled in the field of cloud computing particularly sought after.

  • Sonographer: £95,000

Sonographers use ultrasound technology to produce diagnostic scans of organs, blood vessels, joints, and soft tissue inside the body. Their work is vital in helping to diagnose health problems and monitor other conditions in several areas including gynaecology and pregnancy, breast, and abdominal, to cardiac, vascular, musculoskeletal, neurological. It involves a mix of interpersonal skills, technical ability, hand-eye coordination and more.

  • Financial Officer: £95,000

Financial Officers are key to most organisations, helping to control everything finance, from budgets, records, and receipts, to invoices, audits, and financial policies. Using their expert skills in financial and accounting procedures, along with excellent analytical and mathematical abilities, they’re able to ensure an organisation’s financial operations are running smoothly and in line with legal requirements.

  • Data Modeller: £94,000

Data Modellers use creativity and analytical skills to design computer databases, using logical, conceptual, and physical data models. Working closely with data architects, they ensure databases translate complex business data in a way that meets a company’s requirements.

  • Agile Coach: £94,000

Agile Coaches lead and promote agile processes – a project management methodology employed by thousands of business worldwide – and are responsible for educating and guiding developers, focusing on increasing collaboration and innovation within projects. They may also help with implementing long-term strategies across an organisation.

  • Security Architect: £90,000

Security architects design, build and testing security systems, ensuring IT networks are safe and secure from outside attacks. With the introduction of GDPR in May, they’re more in demand than ever.

  • Java Architect: £85,000

Java architects design develop and upgrade architecture that supports Java applications and achieves organisational goals. This involves studying business operation and user-interface requirements and contributing information and recommendations to strategic plans. They need excellent technical skills and an in-depth understanding of Java languages. Java architects are also leaders with excellent communication skills.

  1. Managing Director: £79,000[IC1] [IC2] 

Managing directors oversee strategy and performance and, with other board members, they oversee the management of companies, focusing improving profits, growth, and shareholder return. This includes implementing an effective company policy, developing strategic goals, and building an operational management team.

 [IC1]This a really interesting reminder of just how well-paid diagnostics is compared to pretty much everyone else. As of this morning my cheapest MD is looking for around £150,000 and I’d struggle to get change from £150,000 for an FO with sector knowledge.


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