How to find the jobs that pay the best and have the least competition (infographics)

When you’re looking for a new job or hoping to move up the wages ladder in your current company, it stands to reason that the better the wages, the more competition you’re going to face for that job. After all, everyone wants a high-paying job so they can afford a nicer lifestyle.

But it’s not necessarily the case that the jobs that pay the most have scores of people queuing up to apply for them. That isn’t to say that you can just walk into an executive role, because there will still be high expectations and requirements that you’ll need to meet, but the odds will certainly be more in your favor.

At a time when the jobs markets in the USA and the UK have been badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s increased compensation for almost all roles and many people are out of work. However, there are still jobs out there that offer top range salaries with only a few other people to battle against. used PayScale and LinkedIn to look into hundreds of jobs on both sides of the Atlantic that offer salaries in the top 15% and used LinkedIn to find out how many people were applying for each type and demonstrate which roles offer the best wages with the least amount of competition.

Here’s what they found:

Highest-paid jobs with the least competition in the USA

If you’re looking for top dollar jobs but don’t want to fight off hundreds of other applicants for them, the two roles in the USA that offer that are both in the legal profession.

An Assistant City Attorney serves the city by providing direct advisory legal services to various departments, the City Manager and associated boards, committees, and commissions as well as representing the city before administrative agencies and the courts.

If that sounds like your kind of job, the good news is that it comes with an average salary of $76,028 and only 1.2 applicants per opportunity, which means that most times you would be the only person in the running.

You could get even more money as an Administrative Law Judge, where you would be a trier of fact who both presides over trials and adjudicates claims or disputes involving administrative law. These roles can earn $83,379 and generally attract 2 applicants each, so you’d only be up against one other person.

If you’re not in the legal trade, there is another role that offers even more with still only 2.7 people applying for each job. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses that specialize in the mental health needs of adults, children, families, groups, and/or communities and can earn an average of $108,623.

At the other end of the scale, you may have your eye on a role as the Senior Vice President of Operations; managing a company’s day-to-day functions using guidance, supervision and leadership related to operational procedures.

However, while the salary runs to an impressive $170,674, you would have to fight tooth and nail to get that, with an average of 159 applicants for each role, making it the most competitive role on the list for the USA.

Highest-paid jobs with the least competition in the UK

Over in the UK, instead of the legal sector, it’s transport that you should be looking for jobs that pay really well without a lot of competition. Out of the top ten jobs on the list, four of them are in aviation, so if you want a soaring salary, it seems to be time to take to the skies.

The top job with a high wage and a low level of competition is Aircraft Pilot, which is a fairly self-explanatory role and certainly one that comes with a lot of responsibility and a sky-high barrier for entry. It offers around £63,713 and has an average of just 1 applicant per opportunity.

This doesn’t mean that you can just apply and get the job, of course, which is good news for us airline passengers. But if you have the skills and qualifications, the odds are definitely on your side and the same can be said for the role of Aircraft First Officer, where each role attracts 1.1 applications with an average salary of £48,605.

If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, the role of Air Traffic Controller also offers a good wage with very little competition. A salary of £51,144 puts it in the top 15% but with just 1.1 applicants per job, the process of getting the job should be less stressful than the famously high-octane role itself.

Other UK jobs that offer that ideal combination but without the life and death perils include being a Family Physician, which pays £50,391 and has only 1.2 applicants, or Head Teacher on £55,096 with 1.6 applicants. If your head is always in the numbers, perhaps you’d be suited for the role of Data Science Manager which also has just 1.6 applicants but offers £70,000.

If you’re not afraid of a bit of competition, there are of course jobs that pay incredibly well and attract a lot of applications. Being Vice President of IT can mean earning £86,500, but with an average of 162 applications, you’ll need to make sure your CV and covering letter make you shine.
Just like in the States, a Vice President of Operations role in the UK offers a lot of money with an average salary of £80,110, but as with the American market, that comes at a price, with 129 applications per job.

As both the USA and UK start to look beyond lockdown to how their economies will bounce back when we’re all vaccinated and living life more normally, more opportunities will become available and salaries will rise again.

There’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic, so why not take a look at which jobs offer your best chances of getting the kind of life-changing role that can make 2021 the best yet for your career?
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