There are some careers out there that many consider low paying jobs but sometimes you couldn’t be more wrong. From teaching to refuse collection, you might be surprised at just how well paid such positions can be.

Teachers, for example, begin their careers in education enjoying an average salary of a minimum £22,023 – £27,543 in inner London – which is very close to the current average for the UK of £22,044. They can quickly climb the pay scale, though; those who reach head teacher positions can receive anything from £43,232 to £107,210, depending on where they are based.

Teaching as a profession has become exceedingly popular amongst university graduates and even 30-year-old career changers. However, although it pays well and can appear easy to qualify for (it isn’t), it is not a soft career choice. Once you’ve applied through Edustaff for a role and started working 63.3 hours a week, if in a secondary school (59.3 hours for primary school teachers), you’ll understand why they get paid a decent starting wage.

Refuse collectors are another workforce currently a good starting salary of £19,945 and have the potential to earn a lot more through overtime. While it’s not a job many of us would wish to do, it’s one that must be done. Earlier this year however refuse workers in Barking and Dagenham campaigned against £1,000 a year pay cuts due to loss of overtime, so perhaps the job won’t enjoy a surprising wage for much longer.

If you train to become a librarian (yes, you must have a degree in librarianship) you will enjoy a decent average salary, which currently sits at £24,927. While many people think of librarians and recall the hunched over mean old ladies who used to menacingly stamp books and demand 50p for each day your book was late, times have changed.

Library 1 (PD)

More and more libraries are closing but those people who remain amongst the aisles are breaking the boundaries and entering the 21st Century, investing in new technology, encouraging children to love books with groups and events and ensuring the written word is well documented and maintained.

Surprisingly floor and wall tillers earn more on average (£24,447) than a dispensing optician (£23,458), who deals with sizing and fitting eyewear for those who need it. However, this wage isn’t overly surprising due to the skilled worker shortage we are currently facing here in the UK which means those tradesmen who are in high demand can ask for more money for jobs.

One plumber from Kent apparently earns up to £100,000 due to such high demand for his work, as we continue to put up new build houses to accommodate our growing population. Bricklayers and carpenters are also in demand and when we first suffered the economic downturn skilled workers put their tools away and sought other work and are yet to return.

So when it comes to guessing how much someone earns you just might be surprised, don’t expect skilled worker jobs to bring in very little money and likewise you might be shocked to discover positions held by university graduates bring in less than the UK average. In that case, it’s probably time to just head to the local shop and pick up a lottery ticket – you only have a one in 14million chance.

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