What next for pay?

Pay rates increasing, but what is medium term outlook?

Pay in private firms is increasing at the fastest rate for years, but there is a "big question mark" over the medium term outlook for wages, according to a new report.

The Resolution Foundation said maintaining the recent pay "surge" into next year will be a challenge once inflation starts to rise.

The think tank said that average weekly earnings grew by between 3.4% and 3.6% in the three months to August, which would represent the strongest growth since 2002.

While recent wage growth has been driven by low inflation, there has also been a welcome shift in creation of higher paid jobs, said the report.

Despite the pay revival, average earnings remain several years off a return to pre-crash levels, according to the foundation.

The report also showed that under-employment – the number of extra hours wanted by those both in and out of work – has fallen over the last year, but is still around two-thirds higher than in early 2000.

Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: "Workers across the UK are enjoying a much-needed mini pay surge after a painful six year squeeze. While much of this growth is down to historically low inflation, there are welcome early signs of a shift towards higher paid job creation that could boost pay still further.

"But while the immediate outlook for pay is healthy, it will be far harder to maintain this catch-up growth once inflation starts to return - especially with the labour market still under-performing in many key areas.

"The relatively subdued level of moving between jobs among young people is a particular cause for concern, as it can harm career prospects and their long-term earnings potential.

"The jobs market has proved remarkably resilient over recent years. But securing a sustainable period of strong employment and pay growth will require a renewed focus on jobs quality, skills, investment and productivity."

A Treasury spokesperson said: "The report is further evidence that our economic plan is working.

"We have one of the fastest growing advanced economies, more people are in work than ever before and pay cheques are rising strongly.

"But there is more to do to deliver economic security for working people, which is why we need to keep on working through the plan, including introducing a new national living wage which the independent OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) expect will benefit up to 2.7 million people directly, with up to six million seeing their pay rise as the knock-on effects are felt higher up the earnings scale."

10 PHOTOS
The UK's 10 best-paid jobs
See Gallery
What next for pay?

Flying high literally as well as metaphorically, pilots top the salary scale this year. There are various routes into the job, from university courses to airlines' own training schemes; private training will set you back as much as £50,000 to £60,000.

"I most enjoy the variety of the job, working as a team, to a schedule, with the responsibility of safely transporting hundreds of people to their destination. I would advise aspiring pilots to thoroughly research training routes, understand the serious financial outlay required with no guarantee of a job after training and to consider other routes such as flight instruction."

Not all CEOs are making millions - but they're doing pretty nicely on average. There's no clear route into the job; an MBA can help, but many bosses have worked their way up from the bottom and many simply started their own firm.

"There is an old saying, it's very lonely at the top, which is usually the case for a CEO. You're the leader and you're responsible for everything, meaning you take the credit for the successes and feel the most pain for the companies' failures."

Most air traffic controllers train through National Air Traffic Services (NATS), which has programmes for college leavers who have studied at BTEC ND/HNC/HND level, university students on a sandwich year and graduates. NATS says the most important attribute for acceptance on a course is natural aptitude.

"Much of the time, the job is routine and capable of being done by many people. What you are paid for, however, is your ability to make the right choices and decisions under extreme pressure."

The high pay reflects both the heavy workload and the length of training required - a five-year degree course in medicine, a two-year foundation programme of general training and then another three years specialist training.

"You will get paid well and (despite recent changes!) you will get a very good pension. You will, however, work hard for your money with less recognition than previous years."

This is a job where most people work their way up, although qualifications like the Chartered Institute of Marketing's Professional Diploma in Marketing or the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing's Diploma in Direct and Interactive Marketing can help. You'll probably need three or four years' experience before you can move into management.

"It's great working in such a varied job - there's something new every day. I enjoy the travel, too. But it's fast-paced, very hard work, and there's a lot of technical data analysis work involved."

It's not surprising that IT and telecoms directors earn good money. The job requires both business and technical skills, and the stakes are high: smoothly-running IT systems are crucial for most businesses and the cost of getting things wrong is high.

"It's a high-pressure job, and the hours can be unbelievably long, but it's extremely rewarding when a project goes well. The biggest problems are staying on top of changes in technology and being clear about what's actually achievable within a budget."

Financial managers and directors need to be qualified accountants and, particularly in larger organisations, have strong general business skills. And the job carries huge levels of responsibility, from keeping the company in good health financially to making sure it complies with the law.

"What I enjoy about the job is the way it's central to the business, the way I'm involved in creating long-term business plans. Compliance [with regulations] can be a bit of a pain; it takes a lot of hard work."

Until recently, the only way to become a senior officer was to work your way up through the ranks. Each police force sets its own recruitment process and selection policy, though there's a basic national framework for evaluating competency. This year, though, the College of Policing has started appointing superintendents from outside the force - so you might be in with a chance.

"I love the opportunity to take on a vast array of roles which would never be possible in a civilian organisation and to progress through a clearly defined promotion structure, should I prove to be good enough. The training I have received has been quite brilliant, enhancing my life skills as well as my ability to do my job well."

If your vision of a bank manager is of a middle-aged man in a panelled office dictating stern letters to his secretary, think again. It's now about managing a team and, especially, attracting new customers and monitoring branch performance. There are two ways to get to be one: either through a bank's graduate scheme, or by starting off in a customer service role and working your way up.

"For me, what's great about working in a branch is that anyone could be a branch manager, you don't have to have a certain skill set. Having a background in customer service, whether it's in a bank or with another retailer, certainly helps. Some other skills that would help are organisation, patience, tolerance and empathy. After 27 years I can genuinely say that that not only do I love coming to work every day, I have also made lifelong friends here. For me, it's not just a nine-to-five job."

Once you're qualified as a teacher, it's a question of working your way up by gaining extra responsibilities - by becoming a head of department, a head of year, or a specialist in something like special educational needs. At head teacher level, the job is far less about teaching itself, and far more about managing staff and budgets and creating a productive, disciplined learning environment.

"It's a common complaint that teaching is all about performance targets these days, and there is some truth in that. It's a question of balance, though. The most rewarding part of the job is knowing that you're bringing the best out of every single child by creating an environment where they feel safe and motivated to learn."

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE


More on AOL Money:

Greggs say national living wage may raise prices

Adults on minimum wage to see 20p an hour pay increase​

People could work 40 jobs up to age 100​

The Truth About Low-Pay Britain

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS