Contractors and freelancers have been given an insight into the hottest skills in the UK market, thanks to a league table of the 10 highest-paying professional temporary roles.

The list is based on analysis by Parasol of the hourly assignment rates currently earned by its army of contractor employees.

IT specialists dominate, with cloud, procurement and support skills attracting a premium.

The top earning Parasol contractor employees by hourly rate, as of 20th October 2014, are as follows:

  1. Office 365 Champion (Outsourcing, Midlands) – £443
  2. IT Procurement Officer (Aerospace / Defence, London & South East) – £400
  3. IT Support Analyst (Healthcare, London & South East) – £374
  4. Senior IT Delivery Manager (Financial Services, Edinburgh) – £333
  5. IT Engineer (Telecoms, London & South East) – £294
  6. Finance Analyst (Pharmaceuticals, London & South East) – £211
  7. Project Support Analyst (Healthcare, London & South East) – £188
  8. First Line Support Engineer (Aviation, London & South East) – £187
  9. Project Management Analyst (Online Retail, North West) – £160
  10. Clinical Programmer (Pharmaceuticals, North West) – £150

Parasol managing director Derek Kelly described the findings as evidence of strong demand for specialist IT skills across a range of sectors.

He said: “We predicted back in January that 2014 would be the year of the niche contractor, and so it is proving.

“As UK PLC regains its confidence, organisations of all shapes and sizes are reviving and pressing ahead with IT projects that they put on hold during the downturn.

“IT contractors offer businesses short-term access to skills and expertise that otherwise may have been unavailable to them. Our findings demonstrate the financial rewards on offer to those IT professionals who have successfully carved a niche in a particular area.”