Meteorologist (Wk 34)

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As the weather is currently such a ‘hot’ topic!

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need a degree in a related subject like:

  • physics
  • maths
  • environmental studies
  • geography
  • computer science

You might also need a postgraduate qualification.

 

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Some Met Office support roles may not need a degree, but you must have:

  • 2 A levels at grade C or above in maths or physics
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English

The Met Office offers some summer placements, work experience positions, and has more information about becoming a meteorologist.

The Royal Meteorological Society also lists degree courses and postgraduate courses that can help you get into this career.

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2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the ability to analyse and present complex data
  • excellent mathematical and computing skills
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills

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3. What you’ll do

You’ll specialise in forecasting or research.

As a forecaster you’ll:

  • collect data from satellite images, radar, remote sensors and weather stations
  • measure air pressure, wind, temperature and humidity
  • predict the weather by analysing information and using computer programmes
  • give weather information and reports to customers

As a researcher you’ll:

  • study weather patterns and climate change
  • improve computer predictions
  • use research to predict floods
  • study how the weather affects the spread of pollution or disease

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4. Salary

Starter: £20,000

Experienced: £25,00 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £60,000 and over (manager)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

As a forecaster or observer you’ll work 30 to 40 hours a week, including shifts and at weekends.

As a researcher you’ll work 30 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday.

You’ll work in an office, but may sometimes have to travel to remote places, or to attend conferences in the UK and overseas.

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6. Career path and progression

With experience you could manage a team of weather forecasters. You could also move into teaching and train future forecasters and scientists.

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Army officer (Week 33 – June)

Army officers command, manage and motivate teams of soldiers.

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1. Entry requirements

You’ll need to:

  • be aged between 18 and 28 years and 11 months
  • meet the British army nationality and residency rules
  • get a GP’s medical report and pass a full army medical

You’ll also usually need:

  • 7 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and a science or foreign language
  • 2 A levels (or equivalent) with 72 UCAS Tariff points

All officer roles are open to all genders, apart from Infantry, which will be open to women towards the end of 2018.

The recruitment process involves an interview and going to the Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB).

You’ll also need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and a security check.

You could become a volunteer part-time officer with your local Army Reserve unit. You’ll need to be between 17 years and 9 months, and 48 years and 9 months.

If you’re between 12 and 18 you could join the Army Cadet Force which will help you understand the roles and responsibilities of an officer in the armed forces.

 

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2. Skills required

To be an army officer, you’ll need:

  • excellent communication skills
  • the ability to lead and motivate others
  • the ability to act quickly and make decisions under pressure
  • teamworking skills
  • organisational skills
  • IT skills

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3. What you’ll do

Your duties will depend on the section you work in and the type of job you do.

You might work in a combat role as:

  • an infantry platoon commander leading a team of 30 trained soldiers on operations
  • a helicopter pilot officer with responsibility for your crew and supporting ground troops
  • a tank troop officer in charge of 12 men and their vehicles
  • an artillery troop officer leading a team of 30 soldiers and in charge of weaponry

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You might work in medicine and healthcare as:

  • an adult heath nurse caring for injured soldiers in demanding situations
  • a medical support officer or dental officer looking after the health of army personnel and their families
  • a veterinary officer working with military animals

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You could also work in:

  • transport and Logistics as a logistic troop commander
  • engineering and maintenance as an engineering troop commander
  • intelligence, communications and IT as an intelligence officer
  • support and HR as a military police officer of a chaplain

You’ll be responsible for the operational effectiveness, training, discipline, welfare and career development of the soldiers under your command.

4. Salary

Starter: £26,000 (during training) to £31,000 (2nd Lieutenant)

Experienced: £40,000 (Captain)

Highly Experienced: £102,000 (Brigadier)

Your pay will depend on your rank and how long you’ve served.

You may receive extra pay if you work in a specialist role, like parachutist, diver, or in the Special Forces.

Medical and dental care is free. You’ll also get help towards the cost of food and housing. If you live in army accommodation, the rent is taken from your salary.

You’ll get allowances if you work overseas.

These figures are a guide.

 

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5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your working hours will depend on which part of the armed forces you work in. During exercises and operations you may work long and irregular hours.

You could be posted in the UK or overseas, and may be away from your family for long periods of time.

Depending on your role and regiment, you may be based in an office, engineering workshop or field hospital.

 

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6. Career path and progression

With training and experience, you could move up through the ranks from Lieutenant to Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel and beyond.

You could move into a wide range of careers once you leave the army. The Officer’s Association gives advice and support to officers on finding a career outside the army.

The Career Transition Partnership and Quest also have information on careers outside the armed forces.

 

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Footballer (Wk. 32 – June)

Football player, professional football player … well, it is the World Cup after all!

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1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but you’ll need football playing talent and physical fitness.

From the age of 9 years you’re eligible to join an academy run by a league club. If you’re under 12, you must live within an hour’s travelling distance. If you’re aged between 13 and 16, you must be able to travel within 90 minutes.

When an academy takes you on, they’ll ask you to sign schoolboy forms which may be renewed every 1 to 2 years.

At age 16, the club will decide whether to put you on its Youth Training Scheme. There are a few scholarships available. You’ll be expected to continue with your education at this point.

You could be on this scheme for up to 3 years. If you’re making progress, you could be put in the Reserves.

Another option, if you’re 16 to 19, is to get a place on the SkillsActive Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE).

At age 19 you may be offered a contract to play for the club, or you may be released into a central pool for other clubs to make you an offer. These may be lower-ranking than the one you’ve trained with.

 

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2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • exceptional footwork and technical skills
  • the ability to cope with the stress of top matches

3. What you’ll do

The level you’ll play at depends on which league your club is in. This can change from year to year.

Your day-to-day activities may include:

  • training hard to improve your skills and fitness
  • discussing tactics and mental attitudes
  • watching videos of matches to analyse your strengths and weaknesses
  • getting fitness advice from physiotherapists and coaches
  • taking advice from nutritionists about general diet and match-day food
  • playing matches against teams in your league

You may also give interviews to the media or do charity work.

 

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4. Salary

Your salary will vary widely depending on your reputation as a player, and on the club’s finances. You may earn extras like appearance fees, sponsorship and bonuses based on performances and results.

 

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5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll train most days. Match fixtures are usually evenings and weekends. You’ll travel with your club or team to matches all over the UK or abroad, so you may spend time away from home.

6. Career path and progression

You could progress by transferring to a club higher up in the football leagues.

You could move into related careers like coaching, fitness instruction, refereeing, management, sports development or journalism.

 

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Quantity surveyor (Wk 31 – June)

Quantity surveyors oversee construction projects, managing risks and controlling costs.

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1. Entry requirements

You’ll need a degree or professional qualification accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This can be a quantity surveying degree or a postgraduate conversion course from any degree. Useful subjects are construction, structural or civil engineering, mathematics, geography, economics or land studies.

You could also start work as a junior or trainee quantity surveyor, a surveying technician or surveying assistant, then study to become a quantity surveyor.

You could also get into this job with an apprenticeship.

You’ll need to be a member of RICS (MRICS) to become a fully qualified chartered surveyor. For this you’ll need to complete the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC).

 

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2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • budgeting skills
  • excellent IT and maths skills
  • organisational and planning skills
  • negotiation and leadership skills

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3. What you’ll do

You could work in the public sector for a local authority, housing association or government department.

You could also work in the private sector for a building contractor, property company, civil engineering or architecture firm.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • finding out a client’s needs and assessing if their plans are feasible
  • working out quantities and costs of materials, time and labour for tenders
  • negotiating contracts and work schedules
  • advising on legal matters, including risks and disputes
  • monitoring sub-contractors and stages of construction
  • writing regular reports on costs and preparing accounts for payment
  • keeping up to date with construction methods and materials
  • following health and safety and building regulations

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4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £50,000

Highly Experienced: £50,000 to £80,000 (senior)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm. You may work evenings or weekends. Hours may be longer if you work on-site as a contractor.

You’ll spend time in an office and visiting building sites.

You’ll usually need a full driving licence.

 

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6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a senior quantity surveyor or move into senior project management, supply chain management, consultancy work or self-employment.

You could specialise in areas like planning, risk assessment or contract disputes.

Another option is to move into lecturing at a university or college.

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Optometrist (Wk. 30, May)

Optometrists test vision, identify eye health problems, prescribe glasses and fit contact lenses.

 

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1. Entry requirements

You’ll need:

  • a degree in optometry
  • 1 year’s paid, supervised work experience with a registered optometrist
  • registration with the General Optical Council (GOC)

If you’re already working as a dispensing optician, you’ll need to complete an optometry degree and pre-registration year.

 

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2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • maths and scientific skills
  • organisational and administration skills

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3. What you’ll do

You’ll use your knowledge of eye diseases to detect abnormalities.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • using a range of precision instruments
  • using vision measuring and testing tools
  • diagnosing and giving advice
  • prescribing, fitting and supplying glasses or contact lenses
  • discuss the suitability and shape of glasses frames
  • referring clients to specialists or ophthalmologists (eye surgeons)

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4. Salary

Starter: around £26,000

Experienced: £31,500 to £41,500

Highly Experienced: £60,000 to £82,500

These figures are a guide. Salaries may vary depending on whether you work in the NHS or private practice.

 

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5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll work 35 to 40 hours a week. This may include some evening shifts.

You’ll usually work in a treatment room or hospital laboratory. You may also travel to local health centres and community clinics.

 

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6. Career path and progression

You could specialise in an area like paediatrics (working with children), contact lenses, sports vision or low vision

You could study for an MSc in optometry or train further in contact lens practice, therapeutics (prescribing drugs for certain eye problems) or specific conditions like diabetes and glaucoma.

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Fashion Designer (Wk 29 – May)

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1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need a relevant higher education qualification, like a foundation degree, HND or degree. Taking a course which teaches design and technical skills at a British Fashion Council member college could be helpful when looking for work.

You’ll often start as a design assistant before working your way up to a full designer role.

You’ll need a portfolio of your work that you can take to course and job interviews. Your portfolio should include mood boards, designs and technical drawings. An employer or college may also ask you to take along actual garments that you have produced.

Making industry contacts through work experience or internships can help you find employment.

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2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • a good eye for colour, texture and shape
  • technical skills like pattern cutting and sewing
  • the ability to spot and develop trends
  • drawing skills
  • the ability to use computer design packages
  • the ability to solve problems

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3. What you’ll do

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • working to design instructions (a ‘brief’)
  • analysing or predicting trends in fabrics, colours and shapes
  • producing concept and mood boards (a collection of items to capture a mood, like photos, fabric pieces or colour samples)
  • producing designs by hand or by using computer-aided design (CAD)
  • developing basic shapes (‘blocks’) through patterns
  • estimating costs for materials and manufacture
  • finding suppliers
  • supervising the making up of sample clothing items
  • making in-house presentations, for example to finance departments and merchandisers

You’ll often work closely with garment technologists and sample machinists. You could also work with manufacturers (often based overseas) to make sure that designs are reproduced accurately.

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4. Salary

Starter: £20,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £40,000

Highly Experienced: £80,000

As a freelance designer you’ll set your own rates, and may charge per design or per collection.

These figures are a guide.

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5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll often work long hours and weekends to meet deadlines, like at the launch of a new collection.

You’ll be based in a studio or workshop, but may travel to visit manufacturers, often overseas.

You may also go on research visits to places like art galleries, trade shows or to particular places or countries that are linked to a design theme.

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6. Career path and progression

With experience you could progress to senior designer, head of a department (like head of women’s wear design) or design director.

You could also go freelance or start your own company.

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Solicitor (Week 28, May)

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1. Entry requirements

You could get in through an apprenticeship, on-the-job legal training or a degree.

Apprenticeships are available at all levels.

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) Law School has details of training with law firms while gaining qualifications.

You could apply for one of the Trailblazer apprenticeships. There are 3 kinds that will enable you to qualify as a solicitor, legal executive or paralegal, while working and earning a salary. The Law Society has more information.

If you follow the academic route, you could do a law degree (called an LLB or Bachelor of Laws) then take the Legal Practice Course (LPC).

Another option is to do a non-law degree, then take the Common Professional Examination (CPE) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) conversion course followed by the LPC.

You’ll need to complete a period of recognised training while doing the LPC or after it. You’ll also need to take the Professional Skills Course (PSC) at the same time. The Law Society has a number of Getting started guides in the Careers section under Becoming a solicitor.

Before being accepted as a solicitor, you’ll need to undergo pre-admission applicant training run by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. This includes clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

 

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2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent communication skills with people at all levels
  • the ability to understand and interpret complex language
  • research and analysis skills
  • strong ability with figures and IT
  • the ability to manage your time, prioritise and delegate work to others

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3. What you’ll do

You could work in different areas, including:

Private practice

  • providing legal services like conveyancing, probate, civil and family law, litigation, personal injury and criminal law
  • advising businesses and corporate clients in areas like contract law, tax, employment law and company sales and mergers
  • advising on insurance, patents, shipping, banking, the media or entertainment

Commerce and industry

  • providing in-house legal advice for companies

Local and central government

  • providing advice in areas like education, planning and social services
  • advising government ministers
  • prosecuting people who break rules

Court services

  • working for the Crown Prosecution Service
  • advising the police on prosecutions
  • advising magistrates in local courts

Law centres, charities and the armed forces

  • advising the not-for-profit sector

Depending on your role, you may be:

  • advising and representing clients in court
  • instructing barristers or advocates to act for clients
  • drafting confidential letters and contracts
  • researching legal records and case law
  • attending meetings and negotiations
  • managing finances and preparing papers for court
  • using plain English to explaining complex legal matters to clients
  • keeping up to date with changes in the law

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4. Salary

Starter: £25,000 to £40,000

Experienced: £40,000 to £90,000

Highly Experienced: £100,000 or more

Law salaries vary greatly depending on the type of work you do and where you work.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work a minimum of 37 hours a week, but longer hours are common.

You’ll work in an office, but could travel to clients and meetings.

If you specialise in criminal law, you’ll spend a lot of time in court. You may be on call at weekends and bank holidays and may need to attend police stations at any time of the day or night.

 

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6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a partner in a private practice firm of solicitors. As a commercial solicitor, you could manage an in-house legal department.

As a member of The Law Society, you’ll have access to training and events.

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Last updated: 18 April 2018

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