Fancy an apprenticeship in the UK’s highest paying sectors?

The Office for National Statistics recently published a report looking at the highest (and lowest) paid jobs in the UK.

Based on a 1% sample of employee jobs, through HM Revenue and Customs Pay As You Earn (PAYE) records, the report defined low pay as those earning below £10.59 per hour and high pay as those earning more than £23.82 per hour.

In light of this report, we’ve compiled this guide to the highest-paying sectors in the UK, and the apprenticeship routes you could take to get there.

The Highest Paying Sectors in the UK

The level of seniority affected pay, with the highest-paid employees in managerial and professional positions.

But there were also disparities across industries, with the following sectors coming out on top for highest-paid employees:

  • Business Consultancy 
  • Business Management
  • Finance 
  • Information and communication
  • Insurance services

Business Consultancy 

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) determine the standards for business apprenticeships.

Business consultancy apprenticeships typically last around two years with the option to continue for another three years in a specialisation. Consultancy is a varied role with duties including:

  • Compliance & Governance Risk
  • People Consulting
  • Operations
  • Customer Care
  • Corporate Services Transformation
  • Forensic
  • Risk & Regulatory

The following companies offer business consultancy apprenticeships:

Some of the highest-paid roles in business consultancy are:

  • Healthcare consultant (£78,143 per year)
  • Cybersecurity consultant (£62,652 per year)
  • Financial consultant (£43,258 per year)
  • Business consultant (£37,111 per year)
  • Environmental consultant (£35,538 per year)

Business Management

You can find business management apprenticeships from Level 2 to degree level, with the majority of business management apprenticeships being Level 3. Depending on the level of the apprenticeship and the provider, it will last between one and four years. This type of apprenticeship focuses on teaching transferable skills, equipping apprentices to pursue a career as a business manager in their chosen industry. Duties may include:

  • Sourcing supplies
  • Problem-solving
  • Briefing teams
  • Agreeing budgets
  • Planning and implementing changes
  • Monitoring work
  • Conflict management and resolution

Many high-profile companies across various sectors offer business management apprenticeships, including:

Some of the highest-paid roles in business consultancy are:

  • Product manager (£52,136 per year)
  • Contract manager (£46,229 per year)
  • Project manager (£45,625 per year)
  • Finance manager (£44,841 per year)
  • HR manager (£41,611 per year)


Finance and accounting apprenticeships encompass programmes on:

  • Credit Control
  • Mortgage advising
  • Taxation technicians
  • Professional accounting
  • Paralegal

Every business whether big or small needs an individual or a team to manage its finances and ensure they make a profit. Private citizens also need financial advice on everything from bank loans to mortgages.

You can find finance apprenticeships at:

Some of the highest-paid roles in finance are:

  • Private equity associate (£61,697 per year)
  • Financial planner (£49,858 per year)
  • Finance partner (£48,695 per year)
  • Financial advisor (£46,372 per year)
  • Finance manager (£44,841 per year)

Information & Communication

This is a broad term that encompasses many job roles, including digital and IT and media, and several apprenticeships designed to help you gain the skills and experience you need to excel.

Information Communications Technician

This is an 18-month Level 2 apprenticeship that aims to provide successful candidates with an entry into the tech world.

You can earn between £14k and £27k and move on to specialising in Support Technician, Network Technician or Digital Communications once you have completed the course. Single all industries require tech support, you should then have many career opportunities open to you. Your earning power will increase with time and experience. 

Other apprenticeships under this banner, include:

  • Content Production
  • Digital Marketing
  • External Affairs
  • Health Communication
  • International Communications
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Public Relations
  • Strategic Communications

Some of the highest-paid roles in information and communication are:

  • Solutions architect (£100,700 per year)
  • Cloud architects (98,400 per year)
  • Network security manager (£81,600 per year)
  • Information security manager (£75,600 per year)
  • Art director (£46,383 per year)

Insurance Services

Typically lasting 18 months, these programmes involve multiple placements across different departments to ensure you get to grips with each aspect of the business.

Duties may include:

  • Claims
  • Broking
  • Underwriting
  • Strategy
  • Business Planning
  • Global analysis
  • Testing new concepts

You can find insurance apprenticeships at:

Some of the highest-paid roles in insurance are:

  • Actuary (£64,669 per year)
  • Risk Manager (£49,128 per year)
  • Loss control consultant (£42,532 per year)
  • Insurance underwriter (£32,601 per year)
  • Insurance appraiser (£29,883 per year)

All of the figures noted are the UK national average wage, meaning you could earn significantly more if you reach the top of your chosen profession. 

Entry Requirements 

The entry requirements will differ depending on the industry, the level of apprenticeship and the provider. 

To be eligible for a UK apprenticeship, you must be:

  • 16 or older
  • Not in full-time education
  • A UK citizen or eligible to work in the UK

With business, IT, and finance apprenticeships, you may need GCSEs or A Levels in English and Maths (or equivalent) depending on the level of the apprenticeship.

Some companies will require you to take numerical, situational judgement or psychometric tests as part of your application.

The most important attributes are excellent communication skills, strong maths and IT skills, a strategic mind and the willingness to learn. 

Final Thoughts

Money isn’t everything, but in an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, it is important to understand which industries will see you earning more and where you may struggle financially.

There are other measures of job satisfaction, but a low rate of pay tends to leave employees feeling devalued and can lead to stress and other issues. 

You can search for the latest apprenticeship opportunities on our website by subject and location.

If you have any questions, check out our FAQs or get in touch.

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