If you fancy making a bob or two, it's probably best to avoid waiting tables or fitting car tyres. But you probably knew that already and didn't need the latest Government figures to tell you. You'll probably also have guessed that our stethoscope-wielding friends are near the top of the list of Britain's highest earners. At number two, in fact, behind only company directors. The latest figures from the Government's Office for National Statistics show that doctors' average salary in 2005 was a chunky £81,744, just ahead of city traders. That's down to their new contract, which gave them a rather handy extra £13k or so on average. The Annual Survey Of Hours And Earnings, which covers average pay in more than 300 professions, also reveals that average pay across all jobs was £28,210 in 2005. Here's the top 10 of Britain's best-paid jobs:
1. Company Directors
Job Description: Oversees all aspects of a company, including its goals and policies.
Qualifications: Generally, at least a bachelor degree or MBA and considerable work experience.
Job Description: Diagnose and treat illness, disease and infection in patients admitted into hospital or treated in outpatient clinics.
Qualifications: A five-year degree in medicine, usually with at least three A levels at grades ABB in maths and two science subjects. In Scotland, five H grades, and two science Advanced Highers, one of which must be chemistry.
Job Description: Managing investments for clients or companies. Buy and sell stocks, shares and other financial products to get the best return for their clients.
Qualifications: Normally a degree, usually 2:1 or above, in any subject, but economics, business, finance or accountancy could increase your chances.
4. Financial Managers and Chartered Secretaries
Job Description: Financial Managers oversee the preparation of financial reports, direct investment activities and implement cash-management strategies. Chartered Secretaries are senior professionals qualified in corporate law, finance, governance, company secretaryship and management.
Qualifications: For Financial Managers, a degree and accountancy qualifications. For Chartered Secretaries, the IQS enables you to become a Chartered Secretary and use the designatory letters ACIS or FCIS after your name.
5. Civil Servants (Senior)
Job Description: Can include these duties - manage the NHS, administer the social security system, calculate and collect taxes, run the courts, help ministers implement legislation, devise policy responses, engage with European and international institutions ... and much more.
Qualifications: Good degree; Ph.D. preferred.
6. Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers
Job Description: Flying long- and short-haul flights.
Qualifications: A-levels and a Civil Aviation Authority course lasting anything from nine to 36 months. You'll need a sound knowledge of maths and physics, and be Class 1 medically fit, to standards approved by the CAA.
7. Management Consultants and Economists
Job Description: Consultants give organisations objective analysis, wider expertise and specialist skills. They initiate and implement changes. Economists offer specialist advice based on economic theory and knowledge to practical problems. They research, analyse, monitor and forecast.
Qualifications: Consultants -- a good degree, preferably in business/management, economics, maths or IT. An MBA won't hurt. Economists -- good (first or 2.1) honours degree in economics or economics joint honours.
8. Lawyers, Judges and Coroners
Job Description: A commercial solicitor acts for businesses of all sizes. Caseloads can range from general company/commercial work to large complex corporate transactions. They advise on law and represent clients in business-related disputes. Judges oversee legal proceedings in the courts. Coroners find the medical cause of sudden or unforeseen deaths.
Qualifications: Solicitor -- law degree, or non-law degree followed by conversion course, or long-winded non-graduate route. Judge -- can apply after seven years as a solicitor. Coroner -- must be qualified barrister, solicitor or doctor with at least five years' experience. A few coroners are doctors and lawyers.
9. Police Officers (Inspector and above)
Job Description: Detective police inspectors are middle managers who supervise lower ranks; they control, plan and organise the work of others.
Qualifications: No formal educational requirements; open to anyone.
10. Managers (Marketing and Sales)
Job Description: Launch products, develop and maintain a brand's image, and formulate marketing and communication plans to generate, maintain and increase existing business.
Qualifications: HNC or HND or a degree or professional marketing qualification. Any degree may be accepted, but business and marketing-related are better. So there we have it. Not too many surprises.
Curiously, what the salary survey doesn't answer is why, no matter how much you earn, it's never quite enough to pay off the credit card or buy a new washing machine when you need one. Hmm, now where'd I put that Lotto card?