Wilkinson turned professional in 1987, and climbed the rankings to reach the no. 5 spot in the world within four seasons. He failed to sustain these results and has never won a ranking tournament, losing in the final of the 1991 British Open and the 1992 Scottish Masters as well as four semi-finals. He spent a decade in the top 32, but without reaching a ranking semi-final after 1992. He has made ten appearances in the World Championship, meaning that he has come through qualifying eight times, a record only bettered by John Parrott. His best runs were to the quarter-finals in 1991 and 1995. After dropping off the main tour he played in the PIOS whilst also working as a tournament assistant for World Snooker. Wilkinson did capture one major title, however when he became the World Matchplay Champion for 1992.