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Best paid jobs and biggest pay rises in the UK

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· Farmers enjoyed the biggest pay rise of the year

· Airline pilots have the highest paying jobs out of 275 professions

· See where you stand in the league of most paid jobs in Britain

Farmers grew their salaries by more than any other profession in 2016, according to the official annual survey of highest paid jobs in the UK.

The people who grow our food took home a fifth (21.2%) more pay than the year before, although their average pay of £26,798 still remained a couple of thousand pounds below the national average.

Average (mean) pay for all employees stood at £28,296, an increase of 2.7%, and average median pay, which tends not to be skewed higher by a few mega-earners, was £23,099.

Care assistants, or care escorts as they are known, were also big winners. They saw their pay rise by 18.7% but from a low base of £7,053 to £8,362. 

Hairdressers (up 16.6%), air travel assistants (up 20.1%) and typists (up 10.7%) all did well. 

But increases in 2016 pay weren't all down to increases in the minimum wage. Barristers and judges saw their average pay packets bulging with an extra 18.6%, taking their average to £43,743.

These tables are always controversial. 

How many judges really earn less than £50,000? 

But it's an average across the whole profession and these are the official figures - one cannot argue with that. 

(Actually you can... in the comments section below.)

It was a difficult year for people working in jobs being eroded by the internet. 

Travel agency managers lost 17.2% of their pay, down to £29,183, along with careers advisers (down 15.8%) and dispensing opticians (down 10.8%). See the full tables below.

A total of 21.9 million jobs were recorded. 

The two poorest paid jobs in Britain were care escorts and playworkers, yet these might be seen by many as among the most important work of all. They tend to be part-time jobs. 

The most averagely paid jobs were physiotherapists, moulders & die casters, plumbers & heating engineers and authors & translators, all earning within £500 of the overall £28,296 mean average.

We decided not to include the 64,000 chief executives & senior officials this time as it's not a specific profession, but they were Britain's highest earners with a mean average salary of £114,486, a fall of -4.4% on 2015. 

Their median salary was a lot lower at £84,275, which shows there are still plenty of fat cats in the boardrooms with salaries capable of lifting the mean average by £30,000.

Safety in the air was well rewarded with pilots topping the the best paid jobs league (£91,678) and air traffic controllers (£77,682) in third place, closely followed by sales, finance and legal professionals. 

Stockbrokers are usually near the top but data was not collected for 2016 from the City wheeler dealers.