A recent study has analysed over 50,000 salaries of top earners in London. From the data we can see which industries pay those at the top the most.

Finance is where the money is

Bankers’ are famous for their bonuses and therefore it’s no surprise that Finance has come out on top, paying their top earners an average of £290,000 – a staggering £137,000 more than Insurance companies, who came second in this study.

One of the big surprises comes from the world of Consulting. Often hailed as a very lucrative career path (especially for graduates) pays its top earners a fairly average £118,000.

Doing it for the cause

In last place behind public sector workers, charity & not for profits come out bottom of this list. The average top wage is £61,000, which is similar to some starting salaries in top tech companies.

Industry Top  earners’ compensation*
Financial Services £290,000
Insurance £153,000
Energy, Mining, Chemicals, Environmental £143,000
Law Practice £136,000
Recruitment & Executive Search £124,000
Technology & Telecoms £120,000
Consulting & Professional Services £118,000
Manufacturing £115,000
Apps, Web, eCommerce £113,000
Pharmaceuticals & Biotech £110,000
Consumer Goods £105,000
Transportation & Logistics £103,000
Construction & Real Estate £92,000
Media & Communication £88,000
Healthcare £84,000
Retail & Trade £77,000
Services, Tourism, Restaurants £72,000
Sports, Culture, Recreation £72,000
Public sector & Education £67,000
Charity & Not For Profit £61,000


Education pays

The study also looked at top earners in relation to their level of education. An MBA (Master of Business Administration) really pays off – it’s the education option of choice for the Finance industry. Those with an MBA are shown to enter in higher paid positions or use it to boost their earnings later on in their career.

Unsurprisingly, remuneration matches education level. Thos without university education on average earning £34,000 less than those with a Bachelor degree. Although the difference between salaries is dwarfed when you take into account tuition fees and the expense of university living costs.

Degree Top 10% earners’ compensation*
MBA £290,000
PhD £226,000
Master £194,000
Bachelor £143,000
None £109,000


Alice Leguay, Co-Founder & CMO at Salary Benchmarketing site Emolument.com said: ‘While finance remains in the lead when it comes to remuneration, young professionals are more and more reluctant to sign up just for the money, which means that the financial sector has to work harder to incentivise millennials to either join the industry or remain for more than a couple of opportunistic years of training. The attempt to attract top talent by injecting a stronger sense of purpose, flexibility and impact into financial sector jobs may be its biggest challenge yet.’