Signwriter – Week 10 (Nov)


Salary range:  £18,000 to £25,000.  Signwriters produce hand-painted signs for places like historic buildings, fairgrounds, shops and pubs.

Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 35 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may work evenings and weekends in some jobs.

You’ll be based in a workshop or studio, but may also do installation and repainting outdoors.

You may need to work at height and do some manual lifting.

Career path and progression

You could move into work for TV, film and theatre to design sets and props.

You could also combine this job with signmaking.

Jobs closely linked to this type of work include: Graphic Designer, Signmaker, Fine Artist and Pre-press Operator.
Entry into this career is normally via an apprenticeship.  Courses like IT and Digital Media will give you a good foundation to progress to this career.
Further information can be found at:
Signwriter career
Signwriter course



Physiotherapy – Week 9 (Oct)


Salary range: £22,000 – £40,000 (depending on experience)

Physiotherapists work with patients to improve their range of movement and promote health and well being. Settings are extremely varied, ranging from working with the National Health Service (NHS) to varied private settings including specific sporting roles, professional clubs and national teams.

You’ll need a physiotherapy degree or postgraduate award approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Relevant paid or voluntary experience may help you to get on a course. Health Careers, Do-it and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) have more information about getting work experience. You could also gain experience through an apprenticeship.

Year 10 students considering this career should definitely consider trying to get relevant work experience.

Links and local contacts:

NHS website for physiotherapy

Entry requirements and training (Heath Careers)

I want to be a physiotherapist (Australia)

Working as a physiotherapist (UK)

University courses and requirements (Which)

Car Design – Week 8 (Oct)


Salary Range: £20,000 – £60,000 depending on experience

Car designers (or automotive designers) develop all aspects of car design from the aesthetics to the mechanical. You would be involved in aspects such as:

  • Vehicle architecture, materials and manufacture
  • Clay modelling, initial design and digital rendering
  • Interior design, modelling and testing
  • Concept car development, show and market research

The car industry in the UK and beyond is huge, with considerable scope for new design as hybrid and full electric car technology develops. Car design is a hugely competitive industry, with successful designers quite literally shaping the cars of the future!

Links and local contacts:

An example University course (Coventry)

An example job advert working with Dyson electric car design (may expire)

The North West automotive industry homepage

BMW Car design process

Personal Assistant – Week 7 (Oct)

Image result for personal assistant

Salary Range: £18,000 to £50,000 (depending on experience)

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • screening telephone calls and handling enquiries
  • organising your manager’s diary and making appointments
  • dealing with letters and emails
  • arranging meetings
  • organising and maintaining office systems
  • taking notes at meetings
  • making travel arrangements
  • looking after visitors

You’ll need:

  • excellent organisational and time management skills
  • good written and spoken communication skills
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • a calm and professional manner
  • excellent computer and administration skills
  • a flexible and adaptable approach to work
  • the ability to use your own initiative
  • tact and discretion, for dealing with confidential information

There are no set requirements to become a personal assistant (PA), but you’ll need proven experience of administrative work.

Employers will usually look for a good standard of general education, including GCSEs in English and maths. A recognised qualification in office skills or administration, or a business-related foundation degree, HND or degree could all help you find a job.

Foreign language qualifications may also be useful if you plan to work in an organisation that deals with overseas visitors and clients. Having extra skills like shorthand and audio typing can also help you get in.

Temporary work (temping) can be a good way of getting administration experience and can lead to a permanent job.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Example Job advert: Bolton PA

Example Job advert: Liverpool PA

Career advice on becoming a personal assistant (Youtube)


Arborist (Tree surgeon) – Week 6 (Oct)

Image result for tree surgeonImage result for tree surgeon

Salary range £16,000 – £30,000 (depending on experience, potentially more if you start a company)

Tree surgeons carry out all kinds of tree work including planting, felling, care and maintenance, and hazard assessments.

There are no set requirements but many tree surgeons gain experience in a closely related job like ground worker. Ground workers support tree surgeons and learn how to use chainsaws, ropes, ladders and harnesses.

Experience is highly valued. You can approach conservation organisations, horticulture groups, the National Trust or the Woodland Trust to find voluntary work.

You’ll need:

  • the ability to use ropes, harnesses and equipment
  • the ability to understand plans and maps

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • assessing hazards posed by trees
  • assessing tree health and treatment
  • pruning or removing branches
  • planting and felling trees

Related links:

UCAS – How to become a tree surgeon

Extreme life of a tree surgeon – youtube

Local contact – Cornthwaite Tree Care (Chorley)

Radiation Protection Practitioner – Week 5 (Oct)

Image result for geiger counter

If you’re interested in science or engineering and have been gifted with a technical mind, you could embark on a career in radiation protection

Radiation protection practitioners use scientific techniques and equipment to measure and monitor radiation, assess risks and ensure the safety of the workplace, the general public and the environment, working within both nuclear and non-nuclear industries.

They give advice and guidance about the possible hazards of ionising radiation, such as x-rays, as well as radioactive materials and waste. This can include advising about legal requirements and making recommendations for design improvements. Some practitioners also advise on non-ionising matters, such as radar, mobile phone mast, laser and ultraviolet light radiation.

You may work within a particular area, such as:

  • industry (radiography)
  • medicine (diagnosis and treatment)
  • research
  • teaching.


As a radiation protection practitioner, you’ll need to:

  • ensure that radiation safety regulations are observed
  • visit companies to provide radiation protection consultancy and write reports based on these visits
  • draw up and implement radiation protection policies and procedures
  • monitor and maintain records of radiological and environmental conditions
  • develop and review radiation protection systems and inspect their operation
  • apply basic principles of health and safety to comply with relevant regulations
  • liaise with management and the workforce (including plant managers, designers, engineers, laboratory staff, academics, accountants and other health and safety professionals) on matters of radiation safety and legislation
  • provide a dosimetry service and measuring radiation, using both basic and complex scientific equipment
  • assess radiation risks in the workplace and advising on the design of plant, equipment and waste disposal to ensure safety
  • assess the impact of releasing radioactive material on the environment
  • advise on the safe transport of radioactive materials
  • prepare emergency plans for responding to radiation incidents
  • lead and coordinate enquiries into accidents or incidents
  • liaise with inspectorate and other bodies
  • identify training needs and lecture and/or train other staff.


  • Salaries for radiation protection practitioners generally range from £22,000 to £30,000.
  • Healthcare science practitioners working for the NHS earn £22,128 to £28,746.
  • Radiation protection advisers (RPAs) can expect to earn between £35,000 and £65,000 and healthcare scientists working for the NHS earn between £31,696 and £41,787.

Case study – Health Physicist

RPAs are shown inspecting a steam generator and checking for radioactive dust, called loose contamination.

Radiation Protection Advisor/Radioactive Waste Advisor – Job advert

Airline Pilot – Week 4 (Sept)

Image result for easyjet female airline pilot

As an airline pilot, you’ll fly passengers or cargo on long or short-haul flights for leisure, business or commercial purposes. The aircraft is typically operated by two pilots; one will be the captain who is the pilot in command, while the other will be the supporting first officer. Pilots usually take turns to fly the plane to avoid fatigue, with one operating the controls, while the other speaks to air traffic control and completes the paperwork.

Pilot training is expensive and highly competitive, but with the demand for pilots set to increase you could enjoy a career full of responsibility while travelling the world. As a qualified pilot you’ll need to:

  • make sure all information on the route, weather, passengers and aircraft is received.
  • use that information to create a flight plan, which details the altitude for the flight, route to be taken and amount of fuel required.
  • ensure the fuel levels balance safety with economy and supervise the loading and fueling of the aircraft.
  • make sure all safety systems are working properly.
  • brief the cabin crew before the flight and maintain regular contact throughout the flight.
  • carry out pre-flight checks on the navigation and operating systems.
  • communicate with air traffic control before take-off and during flight and landing.
  • ensure noise regulations are followed during take-off and landing.
  • understand and interpret data from instruments and controls.
  • make regular checks on the aircraft’s technical performance and position, on weather conditions and air traffic during flight.
  • communicate with passengers using the public address system.
  • react quickly and appropriately to environmental changes and emergencies.
  • update the aircraft logbook and write a report at the end of the flight noting any incidents or problems with the aircraft.

Typical salaries range from £25,000 for new pilots, up to as much as £150,000 for experienced pilots. Some airline operators will offer training schemes and loan training costs to applicants on the return of a period of fixed employment, others will expect candidates to ‘buy in’ to training at a cost of £100,000 to £150,000.

Case study – Liam

Video – Easyjet pilot training program.

British Airways – Future Pilot Scheme (Reach Higher) site and video

How to become a pilot with the FTA