Lawyers out-earn doctors and dentists with £93k average salary

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By Aishah Hussain on

Chief execs top 2021 earnings table with £131k, new stats show

Lawyers earned more this year than doctors and dentists, new research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown.

Lawyers are earning an average of £92,606 each year; they are the second highest earners and beaten only by chief executives, who earn an average of £130,734, according to the ONS’ 2021 data.

By contrast, doctors took home £74,588 this year and dentists £59,669.

Below are the top 20 highest paying professions for this year, and how these have changed since last year.

20 highest paying professions of 2021

Job Average annual salary % change from 2020
Chief executives £130,734 7.6%
Lawyers £92,606 0%
Marketing & sales directors £85,899 -6.6%
Brokers £83,893
IT and telecoms directors £80,624 -2.3%
Financial managers & directors £77,669 -9%
Aircraft pilots & flight engineers £75,903 -11.4%
Doctors £74,588 2.1%
Financial institutions managers & directors £67,915 -16.8%
Functional managers & directors £65,247 -9.4%
Actuaries, economists & statisticians £64,118 -8.2%
Senior police officers £62,457 6%
Production managers & directors in manufacturing £61,521 0.1%
Senior educational professionals £61,075 6.3%
IT project & programme managers £60,463 17.2%
Quality assurance & regulatory professionals £60,039 14.1%
Dentists £59,669 -14.4%
Train & tram drivers £58,256 2.1%
Tax experts £56,684 10.6%
Finance & investment analysts & advisors £56,684 20.9%

Interestingly, out of the top 20, only lawyers saw no change at all to their average annual salaries from 2020.

It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that lawyer earning power drastically varies across the profession and depends on the type of firm or work they do as well as level of seniority, among other things. The earnings of top City lawyers, for example, stretch to six and seven figures, while those specialising in legal aid or criminal law earn far less.

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