Don't join the gym, get a job there if you want to pump up your salary

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Fed up with the rat race? New Year's resolution to change your life? Then take heart from a new report showing that carefully selected vocations are tipped to be more lucrative than the average profession.

Forget joining the gym, get a job at the gym. The top fitness instructors can expect to command salaries of £80,000 by 2020, 50 per cent more than the national average. Such is the cult of the body beautiful that anyone deemed able to deliver the dream can expect to be in high demand, soaking up increased levels of disposable income.

Beauticians, senior security guards, electricians, IT workers and hairdressers are among the "golden vocations" highlighted in research out today by City & Guilds, a body that provides qualification for skilled trades.

Chris Humphries, the director general of City & Guilds, believes the country is in the grip of a "vocational renaissance" triggered by the likes of Jamie Oliver and Linda Barker. "Self-fulfilment and a work-life balance are prompting many Brits to re-evaluate their lifestyles and opt for careers that meet their needs, desires and dreams," he said.

The top leisure managers - those running the sort of establishments set up by Matt Roberts, trainer to the stars - can look forward to pocketing an average annual salary of £91,792 by 2020. Along the way they will enjoy average earnings growth of 7 per cent, more than double the national average.

Also in the money are mechanics, who can expect to see their pay outstrip that of their bosses, the garage owners, over the same timeframe. Beauticians will benefit from the nascent male grooming industry, especially if they run their own salon. Already males working in the Square Mile are seeking beauty treatments to improve their image in "an industry that thrives on how one looks", according to the research by the Centre for Future Studies, a consultancy.

The Future Earnings report sets a national average of £52,576 as a yardstick for the high-flying skilled professional to look forward to by 2020. On top of this, vocational workers can look forward to being their own boss or working part-time.

The popularity of round-the-clock drinking is expected to prompt a surge in demand for senior security guards for pubs. Skilled guards will take home an estimated £70,500 a year on average. Meanwhile, social care assistants will prosper from the growing number of older people.