Four surprisingly well-paid jobs anyone could do
You don't need a degree to be a high-earner.
Image: Anthony Devlin - PA
If you've got ambitions to strike it rich, then chances are you won't have set your sights on a career as a cleaner or a bus driver. Unless you plan to wind up owning the company, that is.
With GPs, lawyers and accountants consistently topping the league tables of the best-paid jobs, the "professions" are where most high-achievers head. However, there are some surprisingly high earners who don't have any academic qualifications to their name, yet whose take-home pay is enough to make a chartered accountant wish they'd concentrated less on the numbers and more on what's going on in the real world.
The fact is that while some graduates sneer at having to take a job that they could have done straight from school, with no qualifications at all, those who did just that - left school and went straight to work - could very well already be earning more than you. Much more.
And they're not all urban myths. For every barman who tells you they've been offered big bucks to work the bar at a strip joint or some other suitably exotic location, while they resolutely stay put at their grotty little boozer, there really are people earning big bucks from surprisingly lucrative jobs.
These are typically - and rather unkindly - referred to as "unskilled" jobs. But that's presumably just so people who are better-qualified, but substantially less well-paid can sleep at night. Because let's be honest, everything requires some sort of skill. Even taking your clothes off - which brings me to the first of our top-paying unskilled jobs.
Dance rings around the opposition
It may not be the sort of job your careers adviser, or your parents for that matter, would be likely to suggest, but lap dancers can - and do - earn a small fortune.
Peter Stringfellow, who claims to have brought lap dancing to London, says dancers at his eponymous club can earn £1,000 a night. With top earners taking home up to £200,000 a year, cash-in-hand, there is clearly serious money to be made from taking your clothes off.
And most surprising of all is that this means that top-earning lap dancers are in the same salary bracket as RAF pilots. That's according to a new study which shows that lap lancers take home about the same as a pilot and farmers are now no better paid than staff who work on the checkout in their local supermarket. It's an interesting turnaround. But lap dancers aren't the only surprise high-earners.
A small fortune on tap
One group of people who are seen as typical under-achievers academically are currently having the last laugh. Plumbers may be the sort of boys who left school at 16 with their teachers shaking their heads in dismay, but they're earning a darned sight more than their teachers now. Word has it that £70,000 a year is the norm.
The Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering says you can forget stories of plumbers earning £70,000 to £120,000 a year, and most "only" earn between £30,000 and £40,000. But, there is a big "but" attached. The College of North-East London says that its graduates can earn as much as £90 an hour in central London.
And, with a distinct shortage of plumbers and the fact that most are self-employed (for that, read cash-in-hand earners) and you can see how a plumber's potential earnings can be much, much higher.
And with KPMG LLP and the Construction Skills Network forecasting that demand for construction will increase significantly over the next five years, the money is there for the taking, for anyone with the appropriate skills. And it's not just plumbers who are in the money.
According to figures from the Construction Skills Network, in addition to the ongoing repair and maintenance work and general construction projects already in existence, there are more than 7,500 new projects anticipated - worth a total value of nearly £190 billion from 2007 until the end of 2012. Nice work if you can get it.
Then there's your average cabbie. One driver I spoke to said it's not unrealistic for a black taxi driver to take home at least £60,000 a year, although admittedly getting to grips with exactly how much your average cabbie earns is notoriously difficult.
As "Frank" put it: "Are you asking what gets reported to the tax man or what we really earn? The two are somewhat different - as with all cash businesses." But you can bet your bottom dollar that it's a nice little earner.
Gamble on a fortune
Perhaps the most potentially lucrative job to fall into the dubiously-titled unskilled category is the professional poker player.
This may be the most risky and require the most skill to pull it off, but anyone who likes a flutter could go the whole hog, turn professional and make millions.
As I said though, it is also the riskiest way to strike it rich, because if it goes wrong it can go very wrong indeed. And you could end up losing everything, literally on the turn of a card.
So, there you have it. Four jobs that can earn you serious money.
If nothing else, it's food for thought. And it's always good to know that there are other things you could be doing as you edge slowly up the greasy pole to that oh-so-coveted £40,000-a-year managerial position.
If anyone can do it! why cant i get a job lap dancing? it pays well, short hours per day or night,tax free, upto £200000 a year
Now i remember im a 50 year old 16 stone man....
Get your facts right MSN Thiis is a very silly report
What an absolutely ridiculous report! After leaving school at the age of 15 in 2001 with no qualifications it took me 5 years to make any kind of progress in the plumbing industry! Even then I got no qualifications, as at the time apprenticeships did not exist, and living in an unemployment blackspot just confounded the problem even more! I ended up doing work for free to get my name about for 2 long hard years. Whoever this silly reporter is needs to get on grip on reality! Its a cold hard world out there with friends of mine getting sacked on building sites being told theres no work, only to find a month later that 15 new foriegn labourers/tradesmen have started on the same site! Cheaper to pay europeans to labour in numbers obviously! Same goes for the plumbing trade! All the builders and plumbers I know including my family members who are all tradesmen of some form, cant get the work because they are all undercut by foreign workers. Im one of the lucky ones I found a small niche where i have relative job security, but even then im lucky if I clear £30000 a year. However im grateful for that because I can provide something for my family, there are alot of people without any work.
Every site I go to I struggle to find anyone who speaks English! I visit ten to fifteen different sites a month all over London, especially the East End where all these new projects are! Have some cold hard facts of life Mr Reporter your out of your depth!
Its a sorry state of affairs, but we only have ourselves to blame! We let this happen, any other country would have stood up and have its people counted, and said enough is enough! I speak to cabbies all over London and the story is the same with them! Pay has gone down because foreign workers are coming into the game! Its time to wake up before its too late! Never mind being called racist i've been waking up and smelling this strong coffee for years! Except im one of the angry Blairs youth that will stand up and be counted!
This report is clearly unresearched, with jumped up facts and figures pulled out of thin air, and founded on the rubbish that the government tries to screen its people with. Great Britain?? Whats Grrrrreat about it today??
And why Poker, you might as well suggest jobless/or working people to go and gamble whats left in their bank account to make a living. Could be poker, rollette, B.J. slot machines whatever the game is, it is just wrong to recommend that.
And Lap Dancing!!? Seriously? I can write better articles than your reporter MSN, i'm jobless and free to start immediately.
Four equally stupid/surprising well-paid jobs anyone could do:-
- Professional Lottery Player - Huge earning potential.
- Prostitute (Only soliciting is illegal) - Taxman estimates huge earnings.
- Radio Presenter - No education required, just bad attitude..
- Big Issue Seller - Daily Mail estimates massive earnings potential.
Now maybe someone at MSN can pay me.
What about freelance pharmacy, its got to be one of this countries top earners for young people.
As Colin Kear already pointed out. I've just recently finished a plumbing course (complete with gas safety qualifications) so far all i've got out of it it a massive debt to pay off.
Admittedly it's early days but it seems that the second you mention to any potential employer you're new to the game they try and get you off the phone as quickly as possible.
As for everyone being able to do it, Plumbing requires a lot more knowledge than you might think and i saw many people drop out before they'd even completed the course because they couldn't pass the exams.
Cool! Taxi driver by day and poker player at night, i'll be loaded in no time!! and here's me been grafting 6 days a week to pay the bills......Come on MSN a bit of effort PLEASE.
The article states - 'According to figures from the Construction Skills Network, in addition to the ongoing repair and maintenance work and general construction projects already in existence, there are more than 7,500 new projects anticipated - worth a total value of nearly £190 billion from 2007 until the end of 2012.'
Remember this was obviously stated before 2007 and therefore pre credit crunch. What will happen after 2012 now may not match these figures.
Yet again another retarded article shallow and pathetic as always. Seriously though if the issue on gambling was not a big enough problem already and you add fuel to the fire by suggesting it as an option for the fools. Secondly stripping Emma Lou you might have a thing for strippers but your tastes should not be put on here.
If you go there keep it to yourself love. most of them have no choice or are reduced to this for whatever reason although you do get the odd cases i suppose.
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