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The best industries for high-paying jobs in Britain

Photo: Reuters

If you’re unhappy with your job and you want to earn more, maybe you’re just in the wrong industry and it’s time to retrain by getting that finance MBA or going to law school.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of research out there to show just which industries are offering the best salaries.

Reed, the recruitment firm, compiles an index of the average salary for each industry. So here, in reverse order, are the top ten highest-paying sectors, and the best salaried jobs within them.

Recruitment consultancy: £41,183

The average salary has taken a hit over the past year, down by £3,969. But the top earning role of director still attracts an average annual salary of £91,531. But there are fewer jobs available in this sector – 9,485, a drop of 1,572 over the year.

General insurance: £41,643

The top-earning role for general insurance is in risk management, attracting an average yearly salary of £64,045. The overall average for the sector is £2,480 higher than last year. The number of jobs available is fairly steady with 3,443 roles open, down by just 69 on the previous year.

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Legal: £42,411

Partners earn most in the legal sector, having risen up the ranks to the top. They take home a huge average salary of £115,850. The overall average salary is up by just £281. There was a fall of 668 in the number of jobs available to 6,201—but that is still plenty on offer for any budding lawyers.

Construction & property: £44,037

The average salary fell by £135 over the year so it was fairly stable. The highest earners in the construction & property sectors were commercial managers who are paid an average of £66,146 a year. There are 10,359 jobs available, a healthy number, though this is down across the year by 265.

Science: £45,090

Within the scientific sector, those who work in SAS (Statistical Analysis System) programming take home the biggest pay packet with an average salary of £73,333. The average salary across the whole sector is also up by £2,781 annually. There are 104 fewer jobs, though 1,758 roles are open.

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Financial Services: £47,656

In the financial services sector, it is those working in mergers and acquisitions who come out on top, taking home an annual salary of £80,833. The sector’s average as a whole is up by £1,825. And while there are 7,562 job openings, this is 674 fewer than in 2017.

IT & Telecoms: £49,551

It is the technical architects who create the structures for IT programs or systems earning the most in this sector, generating an average salary of £78,581. The sector-wide average is down by £2,969 but there are 21,473 jobs available, an increase of 710 compared to 2017.

Banking: £53,977

For the banking sector, the average salary is up by £820 over the year. And the highest earners were in equity, taking home an average of £120,000 a year. But there are 402 fewer jobs advertised compared to a year before, with 1,350 roles open to candidates.

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Accountancy (Qualified): £55,038

If you’re prepared to train as an accountant, the salaries are bumper and the jobs plentiful. The average salary is up £2,233 on 2017 and there are 9,507 jobs available, an increase of 440. The highest earners are finance directors, who take home an average of £100,386 a year.

Strategy & Consultancy: £58,731

Those working in the strategy or consultancy sectors have the highest average salary of all industries and it increased by £2,058 over the year. The best paid work is in outsourcing and offshoring, a sub-sector where staff take home an average salary of £99,184 but there are high-paying roles across the whole sector. Reed says there are 1,274 roles open, a fall of 96 on 2017.