Salaries rise 10% for one particular kind of job

Updated: 
Unemployment might be on the rise and wage increases stagnating but there are certain jobs where the salary bracket is still rising.

Salaries in the nuclear industry rose 10% in 2012 amid competition from firms bidding to carry out the decommissioning programme at 12 sites across Britain, worth an estimated £7 billion.

The Telegraph reported that four consortia are currently fighting for the 12-site contract and the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency are expected to choose a winner in 2014.

The 14-year clean-up programme will be worth between £4-5 billion over the first seven years and almost £2 billion over the next seven.

Engineering recruitment agency Project Resource has claimed that a lack of qualified staff has caused businesses to offer a more generous salary package.

Project Resource said that basic salaries for qualified nuclear engineers rose 10% to £45,000 last year, with senior planner's salaries climbing to £50,000.

Generous bonus schemes and relocation packages worth £15,000 are also on the table for the right candidates, it said.

Simon Griffiths, regional manager at Project Resource, said: "Attracting staff to work in some of the most remote locations within the UK, such as Dounreay in the far north of Scotland, is challenging, particularly when these staff are in short supply."

Project Resource predicted salaries would jump again when the contracts were awarded, especially work gets underway in the construction of EDF's proposed nuclear new-build project at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

"Unlike in other business sectors, nuclear decommissioning contractors cannot respond to a limited supply of engineering staff by importing candidates from other countries," the agency said.

"This is partly because strict security requirements mean that foreign nationals, even from EU countries, are not eligible for the majority of jobs in the nuclear sector unless they have cleared stringent security checks and have been a UK resident for at least five years."

In contrast, average salaries in the UK only rose by 1.4% last year with search engine Adzuna estimating the average UK salary at £32,041, well under the average wage for a nuclear engineer.

The Office for National Statistics publishes a list of the best-paid jobs in the UK every year and, traditionally, the jobs that top the list are chief executives and senior officials who can command and average of £85,223 a year plus bonuses, benefits and share perks.

Other jobs that make the list are aircraft pilots and flight engineers whose average rose by 14% in 2012 to £78,736 and medical practitioners who have an average pay packet of around £71,279.

Flora Lowther, the head of research for Adzuna, has noticed a spike in other sectors of the job market as well and said: "We have seen an rise in average salary in the IT/tech sector as supply and demand imbalances push up the amount employers are willing to pay top dollar for developers and other technical staff."

"There are 50,715 Technology jobs currently available across the UK at an average salary of £38,185 per annum, 15% higher than the national average. Advertised salary in this sector is up 16% in the past 6 months and 7% over the year."

"Demand for workers to join the Energy, Oil and Gas sector has grown 50% every 6 months to over 6,517 roles this April. Average salary has increased in tandem with vacancy rise, up 4% in the past 3 months and 1% in the 6 months since October 2012 to £48,839 per annum."

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