In the last few years, more women are entering into successful, challenging, high-paying careers in the UK. Here are four of the top paying jobs for today’s career women:
Chief Executive Officers
This was ranked as the highest paying job in the UK by both The Guardian and The Telegraph. A growing number of women are enjoying the challenges, prestige, and pay of this rewarding career. Whereas being a CEO was once solely a man’s career field, women now make up 14% of all CEOs in the UK, according to The Telegraph, and the numbers are expected to rise dramatically in the next few years. In 2012, the average salary for a CEO was £85,223, with the top 25% earning £137,623 or more. The primary job of a CEO is to generate profits for her organization, so a strong background in business, finance, or both is required. Otherwise, there is no required schooling or training to become a CEO, so women are entering this field through multiple different avenues.
Women are entering this highly lucrative field at an exponential rate, according to The Guardian. Fifteen years ago, women only compromised one-third of all lawyers in the UK; now, they make up nearly half. Furthermore, 58% of all new law school graduates are women. Lawyers earn a median salary of £61,544, but the rate of pay is highly varied, based on the employer and location. Patent attorney partners who work in a private practice can earn well over £100,000 a year. Lawyers in London also earn slightly more than in other locations. To become a Solicitor requires graduation from University in an LLB training course with a lower second class UK Honours Degree (preferably higher, due to strong competition), followed by a Legal Practice Course (LPC) and two years of training.
Although this career still only employs a very small number of women (about 5% according to The Daily Mail), this is rapidly changing. More and more women are claiming their rightful places in this high-paying field, which ranked number two on the list of The Guardian’s Highest Paying Jobs in 2012. The median salary of an aircraft pilot is £78,736, and, within just three years of beginning their careers, most aircraft pilots can expect to be promoted to a captain on a Q400 or a first officer on a jet, thus even further increasing their salaries. The amount a pilot earns is also highly dependent on her employer—pilots employed by Emirates make £65,000 on average, while those employed with Flybe generally earn about £82,000, according to The Daily Mail. To become an aircraft pilot, a woman needs five GSCEs and two A-levels, followed by an intensive 18 month course to obtain an airline transport pilot’s license. Then, she needs several months, if not years, of additional training.
By the year 2017, female doctors will outnumber male doctors, according to The Daily Mail, and sixty one percent of all new doctors in the UK are women. The field of medicine is a popular career choice for motivated career women who are highly successful students in the sciences and maths and have a strong desire to help others. Being a doctor requires a strenuous amount of schooling and training – 5-6 years medical degree and 10 years of postgraduate training. However, the payoff is a median salary of £71,279, with most doctors earning upwards of £140,000 after 20 years in the field. Physicians in certain specialties, such as cardiology and orthopaedic surgery, earn even more. The NHS still has the best health care in the world, according to Randstad Care and that is because of all the superb women healthcare workers but some female physicians are also choosing to emigrate to the US or Canada, where doctors earn twenty to one hundred percent more than they do in the UK.
Despite recent advancements, women in these fields still do earn less than men—about 20% less, on average. But pressure from the government, industry regulations, and national recognition that women perform equally to (if not better than) men is changing this fact. In the coming years, we can expect to see salaries for women rise even more as they become more equal to men’s salaries.