Highest Paying Graduate Jobs

The highest paying graduate jobs are among the sought-after jobs today. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, about one-quarter of employees worked in manufacturing, while another one-third worked in professional, scientific and technical activities. A further 10% took up finance, insurance, and real estate roles. Many of these roles begin as graduate jobs.

Which industries have the highest paying graduate jobs?

Across the different sectors of the economy, the highest paying graduate jobs tended to be in the health and social care sector. This included surgeons, dental hygienists, and optometrists. Those working in the public administration sector also had some of the best wages.

This article elaborates on the highest-paying graduate jobs that pay well. Consider these jobs when choosing your university course of study and career path. 


If you studied Geology at university, there is no reason you should not consider a career in geology. It is in the category of highest-paying graduate jobs. Although geologists often work in mining, and oil and gas exploration, many others work in environmental protection, engineering, hydrology, geophysics, meteorology, and archaeology. 

A graduate geologist earns an average of £28,000 per annum, thus making it one of the highest paying graduate jobs. However, the pay rises further when you move to a more senior position. Senior geologists make an average of £85,000, plus bonuses.

Data Engineer

A Data Engineer is responsible for developing and implementing data solutions, including designing and building scalable software applications and systems, integrating existing technology platforms, and managing technical projects. They are responsible for working closely with team members to design and implement analytical models to solve problems.

They work across teams to build out complex data pipelines and integrate multiple sources of information. These professionals often collaborate with other engineers, scientists, statisticians, and analysts to collect, cleanse, analyze, model, visualize, and deliver insights into data sets.

The job requires a strong understanding of SQL, programming languages like Python, Vue, Java, etc., and knowledge of statistical analysis tools like Excel, Tableau, SAS, SPSS, Matlab, etc.

Some of the skills you’ll need include strong problem-solving skills, excellent written communication skills, ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.

A new graduate data engineer earns an average of £47,000 per annum, making it among the highest paying graduate jobs. However, the pay may be much higher with experience, which could rise to £120,000.

Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers

The aviation sector is a well-established field of employment abroad. People who work in this area are called aircraft pilots or flight engineers. They are responsible for the safety of passengers and crew while navigating the plane.

To do that, you must know how to fly planes, navigate them, monitor engines and instruments, and perform emergency procedures.

Most jobs require a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering. It is a fast-developing sector with a satisfactory employment rate as one of the highest paying graduate employers. However, some companies hire individuals without such degrees.

In addition, those who want to become pilots or flight engineers must pass several tests. First, they need to take a test called “the Knowledge Test,” where they learn about aspects of aviation like navigation, weather conditions, and air traffic control.

After passing this test, you must sit for another exam called “the Medical.” This test requires candidates to undergo medical examinations and psychological assessments. Finally, you must complete a period of training lasting up to six months.

Although working in this industry is difficult because you are responsible for the life of others, plus there are strict scheduling requirements you need to follow every day, it is worth seeking a career in this field because of the financial benefits.

According to official calculations, new pilots and flight engineers earn around £51,000 annually. It is one of the highest paying graduate jobs.

Clinical Psychologist

A clinical psychologist is a professional who diagnoses and treats patients with psychological disorders. They provide therapy to people suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, schizophrenia, personality disorders, substance abuse problems, and many others.

A clinical psychologist works under the supervision of a psychiatrist and often provides counseling to children, adolescents, young adults, and families.

Educational requirements vary widely among different countries. Some require a master’s degree while others require a doctoral degree to become a chartered clinical psychologist.

Most countries require a bachelor’s degree followed by a few years of supervised training in a hospital or clinical setting. In the UK, a doctorate is required to become a qualified clinical psychologist.

The average salary for a clinical psychologist is £43,000 per annum, thereby making it one of the highest paying graduate jobs. This varies greatly depending on where you work and your experience. Those working in private practice make about twice as much as those employed in hospitals.


Economists collect and analyse data, exploring issues related to economics and policies, and writing about the findings.

Some economists write books, papers, and journal articles; others work for governments or universities. Many economists work for themselves, conducting independent research and publishing their findings.

Because most economists hold a graduate degree, you’ll likely need one too. Depending on the position you choose, you could earn anywhere from £40K-£150K per year. A bachelor’s degree usually qualifies you for entry-level positions, while a master’s degree often allows you to move into management roles.

University Lecturer

A university lecturer earns anywhere from £40K-£100K per year depending on the university and job role, which could rise as you become a professor. However, many university lecturers earn much more than that due to benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans.

University lecturers can expect a base salary plus any bonuses or raise and may also receive additional compensation for teaching, advising, and administrative duties.

The amount of money earned depends on factors like experience level, tenure status, and seniority. Most universities pay their faculty members according to a formula that considers the number of students enrolled and the cost of living in the area.

A PhD in any field is usually required for this job, but you may be able to secure a lectureship with a relevant master’s degree. It is one of the most desirable and highest paying graduate jobs for students interested in research and teaching.

Corporate Lawyer

When you apply for graduate roles in the legal industry, it is essential to know what you are getting yourself into. There are different types of law firms, each catering to specific needs and expectations. While some firms provide advice and guidance, others take a more hands-on approach.

In either case, graduates looking to enter the legal profession will find the work varied, engaging, and often rewarding.

A lawyer’s job varies depending on where you work, but most lawyers will spend their days preparing cases and meeting clients. They might also draft contracts, write briefs, conduct research, and perform other administrative tasks.

The average potential salary of a lawyer is £46k, although many senior Attorneys will earn even more than this.

Investment Banker

Graduate roles in investment banking are some of the highest paying graduate jobs around. A graduate job in investment banking typically starts at around £28,000 per annum, rising to over £63,000 depending on experience level and location. 

The most obvious way to make money in investment banking is via bonuses. These come in three forms; base salaries, incentive schemes, and performance-related payments.

Base salaries are usually determined based on your current role within the organisation, whilst incentive schemes are tied to achieving specific targets. Performance-related payments are often linked to how much profit the bank makes.

Incentive scheme types include:

* Fixed Bonus Scheme – fixed bonus schemes reward employees for hitting pre-determined target levels.

* Target-Based Bonus Scheme – target based bonus schemes reward employees for meeting specific sales targets.

* Profit Sharing Schemes – profit sharing schemes reward employees for increasing profits.

Base salaries tend to range from £25,000 to £30,000, while incentives can reach the tens of thousands. For example, a junior analyst could receive an annual base salary of £20,000 and an incentive payment of £10,000, resulting in a total package worth £30,000.

Senior analysts and associates might see their base salary increase to £60,000, with a similar percentage increase in the incentive component.

Risk Manager

A risk manager helps companies identify potential threats to their operations and strategies, and take action to reduce those risks.

Their job includes managing risk across different areas like finance, legal, IT, human resources, marketing, sales, and customer support. This involves identifying and analysing problems, creating solutions, and monitoring progress.

Risk managers work closely with other departments within their organisation to ensure no gaps in coverage.

They must ensure that the policies and procedures are up to date, and that employees understand what is expected of them. They also monitor whether the processes are being followed correctly, and report any issues to relevant parties.

The role requires extensive communication skills, including speaking effectively with clients and colleagues, presenting findings clearly and concisely, and writing reports and presentations.

Risk managers need good analytical skills, strong problem-solving abilities, and organisational skills.

The yearly average salary of a risk manager is £69,000. However, the total annual pay can range from £35,500 to £92,000 for risk managers.


Orthodontics focus on correcting bite problems such as overbite, underbite, cross bites, open bites, and crowding. They also treat jaw deformities like prognathism, micrognathia, macrognathia, maxillary retrognathia, mandibular prognathism and mandibular retrognathia.

The average salary for orthodontists is around £137,280 per year. This figure includes salary information for orthodontists across several industries.

In addition to salary, orthodontists receive benefits such as health insurance, paid vacation days, retirement plans, and professional development opportunities.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and information systems (IS ) managers oversee e-data processing, information systems, system analysis, and computer programming.

They evaluate the information technologies (IT) needs of businesses and government bodies and work with technical staff to implement computer systems that meet these objectives.

Successful managers need to develop solid plans that mesh with the organization s goals, as well as the skills to motivate employees who are working under their supervision. Before becoming an IS manager, people typically have several years of experience in a related field.

Larger organisations typically require more experienced IT managers than smaller companies and startups. In general, larger organizations tend to require more seasoned IT managers than smaller companies do.

The median annual wage for computer and information systems managers was £89,500. Most computer and information systems managers hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science or another relevant field. It is a highly desirable job and among the highest paying graduate jobs today.

The typical workplace for computer and information systems managers includes large corporations, small businesses, and state and local governments. However, many workers in this occupation work freelance or part-time.


Anesthesiologists are among the best-paid doctors in the UK, USA, and Canada. They earn well over £100,000. In fact, they can earn more than surgeons (£92,560), pathologists (£87,400), radiologists (£83,000) and obstetricians/gynecologists (£77,000).

Anesthesiologists work in hospitals, clinics, doctor offices, and ambulatory surgical centers. They administer anesthesia and analgesia drugs to patients undergoing surgery, diagnostic imaging examinations, physical therapy treatments, and other health care procedures.

The job outlook for anesthesiologists is bright. Employment is projected to grow 9% faster than average over the next decade.

Which industries have the lowest paying graduate jobs?

The lowest paying graduate jobs are found in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector, where the average hourly wage was just £7.86. The retail trade sector comes next, with an average hourly wage of £8.85. 


If you want to apply to one of the highest paying graduate jobs, consider working in the health or social care sector or becoming an engineer or an IT specialist. The professions in these sectors comprise the highest paying graduate jobs.

However, there are many opportunities if you are interested in working in finance, energy, or medicine. The key to landing any job after graduation is to have a strong resume with relevant work experience, interest in the job and the confidence to undertake such jobs.

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