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Jobs that pay £40 an hour or more

The average full-time employee in the UK earns £13 an hour for those working 40 hours a week. There are jobs though out there that pay £40 or more per hour.

The average full-time employee in the UK earns £517* a week – or £13 an hour for those working 40 hours a week. While that certainly sounds preferable to the minimum wage (£6.31 for those aged 21 and over), there are jobs out there that pay £40 or more per hour.

We reveal five roles that pay top whack, what you'll need to become one, plus some of the currently advertised jobs on offer.

1. Senior software developer
Software developers earn £19.61 an hour (or £40,788 per year) on average – but some companies will pay double that for candidates with the right experience. Those with expert knowledge in a particular programming language are able to demand the highest salaries.

For example, a global financial organisation in London is advertising for an expertPython developer at £38-£52 per hour (£80-£110,000 per year).

What you need: You will usually need a degree, foundation degree or BTEC HNC/HND to become a software developer. If you do not have an IT-related degree, you may be able to find a place on a graduate trainee scheme.

2. Doctor
The average medical professional earns £30.54 (or £63,677 per year) but many general practitioner jobs are advertised with much-higher salaries.

For example, a surgery in Keighley, West Yorkshire, recently advertised for a doctor, offering £45-£48 an hour (£95,000 – £100,000 per year).

What you need: You will need to complete a five-year degree course in medicine and a two-year foundation programme of general training to become a doctor. You will also need to complete three years of specialist training in general practice.

3. Compliance officer
Compliance officers ensure business and environmental regulations are being followed, and as such tend to work in industries that are heavily regulated, such as finance and healthcare. Those working in finance, such as investment banking, enjoy the biggest pay packets.

For example, a finance compliance officer job in London was recently advertised with a pay of £63-£75 per hour (£130,500 – £156,600 per year).

What you need: You will normally need to be educated to degree level to become a compliance officer. Many candidates come from a law background, while others have a degree that is relevant to the particular sector they are working in.

4. Nurse
Experienced nurses work in a variety of settings, from GP surgeries to emergency and urgent care services. Nurses in permanent positions earn £13 an hour (or £27,086 per year) on average, yet those working in temporary roles can earn as much as £40 per hour.

For example, a locum nurse practitioner role in the Bristol area was recently advertisedat £30.00 – £40.00 per hour.

What you need: You will need to study for a degree in adult nursing leading to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to become an adult nurse. In addition, you'll need to pass occupational health checks and background checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

5. Marketing manager
Marketing directors earn £33 an hour (or £68,438 per year) on average but many roles, particularly those in large organisations, are advertised with much-higher salaries to attract the right candidate.

For example, a London-based company within the payments sector is currently recruiting for an experienced marketing manager at £63-£75 an hour (or £130,500 – £156,600 per year).

What you need: A degree is not strictly required to become a marketing executive, from which you can move up to become a marketing manager. However, a business-related degree or marketing qualification, such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Professional Diploma in Marketing, will be a definite advantage.


*£517 a week is the median figure rather than a true average. The median is the middle value when everyone's wages are arranged from highest to lowest, which means that salaries that are exceptionally high or low are less likely to affect the national figures as they would with averages.

Salaries are gross earnings – so don't take into account tax or any other adjustments.

Average salary incomes for each role are taken from the 2013 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, published by the Office of National Statistics.

Image Copyright: Melpomene, Shutterstock.com