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Lorry drivers on £50,000-a-year and plumbers raking in £150,000 – the high paid jobs that might surprise you


LORRY drivers and plumbers are among Brits working surprisingly high-paying jobs – raking in as much as £150,000 a year.

Waitrose lorry drivers are being offered up to £53,780 a year by the supermarket chain.

Waitrose lorry drivers are being offered up to £53,780 a year

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Waitrose lorry drivers are being offered up to £53,780 a yearCredit: Alamy
Pimlico Plumbers is offering up to £150,000 in salaries for engineers

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Pimlico Plumbers is offering up to £150,000 in salaries for engineersCredit: Reuters

The offers mean drivers will be earning more than staff at parent company John Lewis Partnership’s head office – including two senior executive roles being advertised at £45,000 a year.

Waitrose offered the payment to try and tackle a shortfall of 90,000 drivers.

The shortfall has led to McDonald’s running out of milkshake supplies and some stores unable to stock beer.

The crisis has been caused by a combination of factors, including the Covid-19 pandemic and complications related to Brexit.

Waitrose said lorry driver salaries have risen by 15 per cent – or £7,000 – in the past year-and-a-half.

James Clifford, boss of driver trainers HGTV, said new recruits could make up to £60,000 a year.

He told The Times: “Truck drivers are being treated like royalty. It’s a great time to be an HGV driver. The numbers being offered are crazy.

“All of a sudden the truck driver has become the most valuable person in the company.

“Companies have to do whatever they can to keep their drivers — healthcare, more holiday entitlement, discounted goods, travel allowances to get to work.”

Meanwhile Pimlico Plumbers is offering up to £150,000 in salaries for engineers.

The company said the salary was a “realistic figure” due to an increase in bookings as more and more people carry out home improvement work they had put on hold due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

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Pimlico Plumbers chief executive Scott Mullins said: “From the moment lockdown restrictions began to lift and people realised they couldn’t spend their money on travelling abroad, improving or repairing their homes became a priority. The phones have been ringing red hot.”

Pimlico engineers can earn £120 an hour on weekdays, with the rate climbing to £200 for late-night jobs.

Pimlico’s biggest earner was making more than £200,000 a year before the pandemic.

The plumbing company employs around 300 workers, and said up to a fifth of them could earn at least £150,000 in 2021.

Mr Mullins said he was struggling to find staff silled enough to fill the roles.

The numbers being offered are crazy

James Clifford, boss of driver trainers HGTV

He told the Daily Mail: “If 50 experienced tradespeople walked through our door tomorrow, we’d have them inducted, in uniform and in a Pimlico van immediately.

“Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that because the number of engineers is sadly limited.”

Waitrose lorry drivers will be earning more than the average salary for secondary teachers (£40,880), solicitors (£43,190) and architects (£42,930).

The lorry driving jobs are being offered with a “vast range of benefits and a healthy work-life balance” – including a 20 per cent discount at Waitrose and 25 per cent off at John Lewis.

Airline pilot Steve Freeman, 53, is retraining to be a lorry driver, having flown jets during his 12 years with the Royal Air Force.

He said: “With the threat of losing my income and the job that I love, along with the prospect of no other employment opportunities… I found myself searching for totally different avenues to pay the mortgage.”

Other surprisingly well-paying jobs include master sommeliers, who can earn around £120,000 per year, professional “snugglers” who make up to £70 an hour giving people hugs, and Tube drivers – some of whom earn in excess of £100,000.

The majority of Tube drivers earn wages of around £60,000 to £70,000.

Professional beer tasters can make up to £200 an hour, while experienced British dental hygienists can earn up to £43,000 per year.

Surprisingly well paid jobs

  1. Submarine cooks – $187,000 per year in Australia (£116,000/year)
  2. Master Sommeliers – £118,000
  3. Aeroplane repo men – £1m per plane
  4. Professional Snuggler a.k.a Cuddle Therapist – £70/hour
  5. Tube Driver – up to £100,000
  6. Ethical hackers – £100,000
  7. Beer taster – £200/hour
  8. Embalmers – £34,000
  9. Offshore Oil worker – £75,000
  10. Air traffic controller £100k (plus shift pay)
  11. Dental Hygienist – £43k
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