What are the most profitable businesses (with job options)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 24 October 2022

Published 19 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When considering your career options, you're most likely to be looking for a stable job with excellent career prospects. Profitable businesses offer the best job opportunities with reasonable salaries. Knowing what the most successful businesses are may steer your decision towards which career to pursue. In this article, we focus on the most highly profitable businesses and look at career options in these fields.

Related: How to choose a career path

What are the most profitable businesses?

Here is a list of the most profitable businesses, with examples of career options:

1. Banking services

Banks' primary source of income is from the interest rates they charge on loans, with a secondary source of revenue coming from non-interest income such as overdraft and card fees. Banks operate within a strict regulatory environment and the demand for banking services follows the business cycles. A typical career in the banking industry is that of a banker:

Investment banker

National average salary: £18,795 per year

Primary duties: Investment bankers use financial models to evaluate companies and investment opportunities to help clients raise capital. They facilitate mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and develop product offering recommendations for private equity transactions. They carry out due diligence research and analysis of financial transactions.

Banker

National average salary: £28,059 per year

Primary duties: A banker meets with clients to advise them on the best way to manage their money. They manage clients' accounts and handle clients' queries and complaints. Bankers research banking products to improve their knowledge and understanding of the banking products offered in the banking sector.

Related: What to include in your banking cover letter

2. General insurance services

This industry provides general insurance policies for motor vehicles, properties, casualty and other general risks. They earn premiums for their services and invest these funds to generate additional income. This sector provides services to commercial and private clients. Fluctuations in the interest rate and business conditions affect this industry's income. Here is an example of a job in the general insurance services industry:

Insurance advisor

National average salary: £21,786 per year

Primary duties: Insurance advisors, also known as financial advisors, provide financial advice to clients on investing, retirement planning and protecting against risks. They do a financial needs analysis with their clients to determine the best insurance products for them. They use their knowledge of tax investment strategies to provide their clients with financial advice.

Related: How to become an insurance broker in 7 steps

3. Motor vehicle dealers

Motor vehicle dealers buy and sell vehicles for private and commercial use. Economic uncertainty affects this industry and typically results in lower vehicle purchases. Other factors that influence motor vehicle dealers include rising interest rates, increases in the fuel price and increases in the cost of owning a vehicle. Here is a typical job you can find in the motor vehicle industry:

Vehicle technician

National average salary: £28,237 per year

Primary duties: Vehicle technicians liaise with customers to determine the problem with their vehicle. They also inspect vehicles to find faults and sometimes use computer software to diagnose defects. Once they have identified the problem with the vehicle, they select the parts to perform repairs to ensure the problem is fixed.

4. Supermarkets

Supermarkets sell food products to consumers. Changing shopping habits and increased competition with discount supermarkets influence this industry. When there is an economic upswing and income levels increase, this industry benefits from higher demand for its products. Here is a typical position in the supermarket industry:

Delivery driver

National average salary: £28,514 per year

Primary duties: Delivery drivers load, deliver, and transport items to customers safely and timely. They review orders before and after deliveries to ensure that the orders are complete to ensure customer satisfaction. They may also assist with loading and offloading items from delivery vehicles.

5. Legal businesses

Legal businesses involve solicitors, patent agents, barristers, notaries and bailiffs, carrying out legal activities for corporate and private clients. Some of the typical functions performed by legal businesses include litigation matters, insolvencies and restructuring services. These businesses do well throughout the business cycle, but there is typically a higher demand for legal services during an economic downturn. A common position in legal businesses is that of a solicitor:

Solicitor

National average salary: £43,887 per year

Primary duties: Solicitors meet with clients to gather information and explain legal matters to them. They liaise with barristers and provide them with instructions on court cases. Solicitors research and interpret complex questions relating to applying laws. Their research helps them to give clients the best legal advice. They supervise and train junior solicitors and paralegals and advise clients about best behaviour while they have pending charges against them.

Related: How to write a solicitor CV (with tips)

6. Building project development

Businesses in this industry bring together the required technical, physical and financial resources for a property development project. Economic and socio-economic factors influence this sector, especially property valuations, market sentiment and credit conditions. A building project manager is an exemplary role in this industry:

Building project manager

National average salary: £46,288 per year

Primary duties: Building project managers create project plans and estimate the number of employees and other resources required to complete the project. They develop long-term strategies to increase the organisation's profitability and meet its long-term objectives. They analyse the project's costs, schedules and risks to identify mitigating actions that address the risks they've identified which could affect the successful completion of the project.

7. Construction contractors

The construction industry operates across the civil engineering and building construction markets. Operators in this industry get paid for completing infrastructure projects or new buildings. Their responsibilities involve maintenance, renovations and remodelling of houses and other buildings. General business conditions influence the demand for construction contractors and the trends typically align with the business cycle. A construction manager is one of the careers in this industry:

Construction manager

National average salary: £52,881 per year

Primary duties: Construction managers oversee and direct construction projects from beginning to end. They perform a detailed review of a project to schedule deliverables and estimate expected costs. They oversee all offsite and onsite constructions to ensure compliance with relevant building and safety regulations.

8. Management consulting

The management consulting sector comprises a broad range of consulting services, such as marketing, human resources, organisational planning and business process management. The increase in regulatory requirements in the financial services and banking sectors has stepped up the demand for management consulting services. Management consultants assist banks and other financial institutions in reformulating their strategies and operations to comply with new regulations. This example describes the role of a management consultant:

Management consultants

National average salary: £55,250 per year

Primary duties: Management consultants help organisations solve problems, create value and improve business performance. They advise and offer their expertise to assist an organisation in developing the specialist skills they need. They implement solutions for clients and ensure the client has the support they need to implement those solutions.

9. Security and commodity contracts brokerage

Brokers providing security and commodity contracts provide services in the financial markets on behalf of their clients. Operators work on behalf of others or manage portfolios. Security and commodity brokerage services are subject to significant regulatory requirements and the demand for these services can be volatile. Learn more about working as a commodity trader:

Commodity trader

National average salary: £58,247 per year

Primary duties: A commodity trader buys and sells commodities, such as natural gas, oil and gold. They monitor the performance of the international markets, analyse market reports and create hedging strategies. They may also research new business opportunities and market their service to their existing or new clients. Commodity traders network with other investment professionals and may analyse market conditions through financial publications. They mentor trainees in the commodities sector and advise clients about the buying and selling of commodities.

10. Computer consultants

The computer consultants industry comprises businesses that provide expert advice in planning and designing computer systems that integrate software, hardware and communication technologies. Computer consultants deliver services to clients in different sectors of the economy but most of their clients are in the financial services and public sectors. Business confidence levels influence the demand for computer consulting services. Information about working as a computer consultant is given below:

Computer consultant

National average salary: £45,582 per year

Primary duties: Computer consultants perform computer diagnostics, troubleshoot operating systems and investigate internet connection problems. They analyse an organisation's information technology (IT) system and infrastructure. They analyse and determine security threats to an organisation's IT systems. Computer consultants collaborate with an organisation's technical in-house team to ensure they become familiar with the in-house technology used.

Related: Computer skills: definitions and examples

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. None of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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