Top occupations earn 16 times as much as the lowest paid

The top occupational groups in the UK earn up to 16 times as much as those in the bottom 10 occupations, according to new figures.


The data, collated by the GMB union, was published by the Office for National Statistics in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings for 2004.


The union ranked the occupations by the average salary from the highest to the lowest. There is also an estimate of the number of jobs in each occupational group.


Unsurprisingly, directors and chief executives top the table with leisure and theme park attendants in last place.


At £162,028, the chief executive salaries are 16 times higher than leisure and theme park attendants who earn an average of £10,400.


Paul Kenny, acting general secretary said there was no greater indicator of the nature of the labour market in Britain today.


“The pay of all those at the bottom and in the middle of the pay league is closely controlled,” he said. “However, the pay of senior managers and directors is subject to little control and the numbers and pay of these people continues to inflate. The only way to tackle the resulting inequality is via the tax system.”


The top 10 occupations by pay


Position (mean annual salary)




  1. Directors and chief executives of major organisations (£162,028)


  2. Financial managers and chartered secretaries (£72,124)


  3. Medical practitioners (£67,895)


  4. Brokers (£64,290)


  5. Senior officials in national government (£63,928)


  6. Managers in mining and energy (£59,893)


  7. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers (£56,206)


  8. Management consultants, actuaries, economists and statisticians (£51,770)


  9. Solicitors and lawyers, judges and coroners (£49,970


  10. Marketing and sales managers (£49,726)

The bottom ten occupations by pay:


Position (mean annual salary)


333 Shelf fillers (£12,136)


334 School mid-day assistants (£11,709)


335 Hairdressers, barbers (£11,552)


336 Kitchen and catering assistants (£11,408)


337 Waiters, waitresses (£11,156)


338 Bar staff (£11,094)


339 Floral arrangers, florists (£10,757)


340 Retail cashiers and check-out operators (£10,734)


341 Launderers, dry cleaners, pressers (£10,629)


342 Leisure and theme park attendants (£10,405)

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