ShortList is supported by you, our amazing readers. When you click through the links on our site and make a purchase we may earn a commission. Learn more

Here's how much you should apparently be earning at different stages of your life

If you're following the averages

Here's how much you should apparently be earning at different stages of your life
04 April 2017

The average full-time salary in the UK last year was just over £28,000 per year, according to the most recent government statistics – but if you’re in London, it’s closer to £35,000. 

The worst place on average to live in Britain, at least in terms of pay, is the East Midlands, where you can expect to be earning just £25,000.

As you’d expect, London far outweighs all other the regions in terms of pay: if you live there, you get paid £105 per week more than the next best area (the South East, which you’ve no doubt guessed), or £132 more per week than the national average. 

There’s bad news for women too; while the gender pay gap fell in 2016, it only fell by 0.2%, from 9.4% to 9.2%. This is the lowest it’s ever been, but it still means men are paid £1.09 for every £1 a woman earns, on average. Still, when the government began collecting data on the subject in 1997, the pay gap was something like 27.5%.

You should expect, as a man, to earn around £24,000 per year in your 20s – around £1,600 more than woman at £22,400. In your 30s, this increases to an average of £31,000 or so for a man, or £28,500 for a woman. It’s at this age that women’s earnings peak, too, though men do best in their 40s, when they can expect to earn an average of a little over £34,700 – still a little less than someone of any age in London. Just imagine what a dude in his 40s could expect to earn in the capital.

Meanwhile, according to Instant Offices, pilots and aerospace engineers have the biggest earning potential, raking in more than £93,000 per year. ‘Chief executives’ – whatever that means – air traffic controllers, sales directors and lawyers round off the top-earning positions. Kitchen assistants, cashiers, carers, lollypop people and cleaners are meanwhile the five most poorly remunerated jobs. So if you want our advice, listen to your dad and stay in air school.