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How Much do the Top Earners Make in the UK?

In its latest study, analysed 52,000 salaries from London professionals London to find out how much top earners* in each industry can expect to bring in. Results show that finance is the obvious path for those willing to ensure a high income, while some industries which offer top salaries to their junior employees are not as competitive when it comes to bigger pay packages.

Top earners by industry



Top earners’ compensation*

Financial Services




Energy, Mining, Chemicals, Environmental


Law Practice


Recruitment & Executive Search


Technology & Telecoms


Consulting & Professional Services




Apps, Web, eCommerce


Pharmaceuticals & Biotech


Consumer Goods


Transportation & Logistics


Construction & Real Estate


Media & Communication




Retail & Trade


Services, Tourism, Restaurants


Sports, Culture, Recreation


Public sector & Education


Charity & Not For Profit


* Gross annual salary and bonus

  • Surprise! Finance is the place to earn big: At £ 290,000 per year, finance’s best paid employees earn almost twice as much as those in other industries.
  • Consulting, not what it seems: Graduates are often lured into consulting by high starting salaries, but further up the food chain consultants’ earning potential is still a way off banking salaries: consulting’s top earners make £118,000 per year, ranking only 7 out of 20, behind industries such as law, recruitment and technology services.

  • Not in it for the money? Public institutions and charity workers cannot expect high earnings, even when they make it to senior management levels. Those sectors’ top employees can expect a total compensation of £67,000 in the public sector, and £61,000 for charities.

    Top earners by degree



Top 10% earners’ compensation*











* Gross annual salary and bonus

  • MBA: the key to a higher salary? MBAs are particularly prized in the finance industry and an additional boost to paychecks. As a result, the top 10% MBA holders are paid £290,000 per year.

  • Education impacts an entire career… Even for those who have reached the more senior positions within their industry, education continues to affect earnings: top earners (up to £290,000) with a post-graduate degree earn more than those with just a bachelor’s degree (£143,000), who themselves earn more than those without any degree (£109,000).

Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & CMO at said:

‘While finance remains in the lead when it comes to remuneration, young professionals are more and more reluctant to sign up just for the money, which means that the financial sector has to work harder to incentivise millennials to either join the industry or remain for more than a couple of opportunistic years of training. The attempt to attract top talent by injecting a stronger sense of purpose, flexibility and impact into financial sector jobs may be its biggest challenge yet.’