Electrician Wk 22 (Mar)

This week we are looking at a career as an electrician: is it a good career? Does it pay well? How do you gain qualifications?

Image result for electrician

Electricians typically do the following:
  • Read blueprints or technical diagrams.
  • Install and maintain wiring, control, and lighting systems.
  • Inspect electrical components, such as transformers and circuit breakers.
  • Identify electrical problems using a variety of testing devices.

What do you need to be a qualified electrician?

You’ll need to have an industry recognised level 3 qualification, for example a level 3 diploma in electrotechnical services. Most people get into this career via an apprenticeship. It normally takes two to four years to become fully qualified. GCSEs grade 4 or above, including Maths and English, would be an advantage.

Is there a demand for electricians?

Trained electricians are in high demand as employment is projected to grow 14 percent around the country from 2014 to 2024. With that in mind, it’s expected that jobs for electricians will continue to increase in the future. Just look around you. You are relying on electricity in a number of ways.
Image result for things that electricians do

Related skills

  • Teamwork
  • Technical ability
  • Problem solving
  • Physical fitness
  • People management
  • Organisation
  • Numeracy
  • Communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Leadership
  • Ability to understand technical plans

Related subjects

  • Computer science
  • Design technology
  • Maths
  • Physics

Essential qualifications

  • Industry recognised level 3 qualification e.g level 3 diploma in electrotechnical services
  • Level 3 diploma in electrical installations if part of an apprenticeship

Becoming an electrician can be a very tempting prospect, especially if you don’t fancy being cooped up in an office all week. Electricians spend their working days out and about, travelling from one job to the next, fixing people’s electrical problems and helping them to get their appliances up and running again.

If this sounds like a pretty rewarding way to make a living, well, it is! Here’s a closer look at why electrical work may be a good career for you to pursue:

How much do electricians make?

According to the Office of National Statistics, the median salary for a UK electrician in 2016 was £30,765 per year. This was slightly higher than the figure for the previous year (which means that electricians’ salaries are going up over time).

The same ONS survey found that electricians are the best-paid tradespeople of all, earning more on average than other professionals such as plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers and plasterers.

For more information on apprenticeships or college courses, see Miss Berry (top office) at any time.

Further education and skills: Apprenticeships – GOV.UK


Careers using Maths – Week 21 (Mar)


Do you have a strength in numbers?!

If you’re a numerical person, looking for a career that combines your love of numbers with a rewarding profession can seem like a challenge. However, it needn’t be as difficult as you imagine to figure out the right formula.

To help you make sure everything adds up (maths, see), here are some of the top jobs for maths lovers:

Image result for accountant


Keeping a record of accounts is essential for any business, regardless of industry. And by essential, we mean essential by law.

Not only does this fact make Accountants absolutely vital for a modern business to function, it also means that good ones are in high demand.

Basic duties will include tracking and examining company income and expenditure, running payroll, conducting audits and identifying financial risks. So if you have a passion for mathematics and a methodical approach to your work, this could be the perfect career for you.

Will I need a degree? This is not a pre-requisite for entry level positions.  An AAT level qualification will help you get there.

Perfect for: People who like to make sure the numbers add up.

Avoid if: You have a completely irrational fear of calculators.

Jobs for maths lovers


Actuaries use their maths skills to analyse a range of data, in order to calculate the probability of something happening. They then use their findings to evaluate the eventual cost to a business, and how savings could be made should that scenario happen. To put it simply, they’re professional risk-assessors.

Although traditionally seen as dealing with insurance and pension schemes, more and more businesses are now turning to actuaries to help prepare for every eventuality.

Advanced maths skills are absolutely essential for those looking to become successful in this industry, as are excellent analysis skills and the ability to evaluate and convey complex information.

(N.B. A cautious approach to your work may also help with this one)

Will I need a degree? Most employers will expect a degree, although it may not necessarily have to be within mathematics.

Perfect for: People who like to take risks (just as long as they know the pros and cons)

Avoid if: You can’t stand contingency.


Maths and architecture go hand-in-hand like… well, two things which go surprisingly well together.

OK, while that may not be a compelling argument, it’s almost impossible to separate the two disciplines, and mathematical proportions have been used to shape buildings for thousands of years.

Just think of some of the world’s most famous buildings (the Great Pyramids at Giza, the Pantheon, the Gherkin, Blackpool Tower …) and without the precision and exact mathematical proportions employed, they would be impossible to have been built. At the very least, they’d be lopsided.

Aside from maths skills, problem-solving and creative vision are definite necessities. What’s more, with the right level of training and some experience in the industry, Architecture can become one of the most lucrative mathematical careers there are.

Image result for fancy buildings

Will I need a degree? You’ll need five years training at university.

Perfect for: People who have grand designs.

Avoid if: You feel out of your depth in Ikea

Financial Analyst

Were you secretly worried whenever someone asked ‘When are we ever going to use this?’ in relation to your favourite subject? Talk to an Analyst.

While an Accountant’s skills could be seen as indispensable for a business to function day-to-day, having a great Analyst could be the key to completely changing a company’s future.

It’s an Analysts job to collect, evaluate and analyse financial information, and use the findings to make recommendations back to the business. This could range from where they could cut costs, right through to how they should be spending millions of pounds.

(N.B. Ability to deal with high-pressure situations may help with this one)

Will I need a degree? Most employers will expect a degree in a mathematic discipline.

Perfect for: People who over-analyse everything.

Avoid if: Decision making isn’t really your thing…


If you’ve got a good head for figures, work well under pressure and have a real drive to succeed, this could be the mathematical career path for you.

As a Stockbroker it would be your job to buy and sell stocks and shares on behalf of your clients, whether they’re private individuals or multinational corporations. There are a number of areas you could choose to specialise in, but the goal remains the same: ensuring maximum returns for your clients.

If you’re not scared to take risks for big rewards, this could be the right role for you. However, contrary to what you see portrayed in the media, you don’t need to be completely ruthless to succeed in this industry (see also: suits with braces).

Will I need a degree? A degree is preferred, but experience in a similar financial capacity could work as an entry-level requirement.

Perfect for: People who like to buy low and sell high.

To sum up (oh dear …)

What kind of salary can you expect in a maths-based career? Well – the numbers really stack up! An average salary for an actuary is £32,000, for an architect £77,000, accountants are looking at around £55,000, financial analysts about £42,000 and stockbrokers cash in with £45,000! However, depending on whereabouts you work – the sky really is the limit if you are good at maths. Get that GCSE revision done now ….

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National Careers Week – Week 20 (Mar)

Career of the Week has been replaced by a celebration of National Careers Week.

During the week, various video clips will be shown, highlighting apprenticeships and jobs in different sectors. Staff will be revealing the jobs they held prior to being at Parklands – and the skills they developed doing these jobs.  I’m sure pupils will be surprised to find that teachers and support staff haven’t always done what they are doing now, but have had lots of fascinating jobs and careers previously!

The first focus will be on apprenticeships and the myths surrounding them. Many people think they are for the less academic pupils – absolutely not! Apprenticeships are available right up to degree level, meaning you can be paid at the same time as gaining a degree. Or that it is just for trades: hairdressing or plumbing – definitely not! There are apprenticeships available in hundreds of different areas, from accountancy and butchery to veterinary nursing and youth work!


Click the link below to see the infographic on apprenticeships.


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Pupils will be asked what they want to be in the future – I am hoping for some really creative ideas! Many jobs that we are familiar with now will not exist in the years to come – pupils need to be equipped with the skills to adapt to changing job roles and new technology.

Hospitality – Week 19 (Feb)

The hospitality industry needs 133,700 managers and directors by 2020. Will you be one of them? Catering assistants, bar team members and room attendants can all progress to general managers and beyond! Hospitality is more than just a job, it can offer a rewarding career and there are fantastic opportunities for passionate, hard-working people.

The average salary for Hospitality jobs is £25,000. However, many people can earn considerably more!

Image result for picture of the hospitality industry

Working in the industry

With a total of 180,000 hospitality businesses in the UK, the industry is a workforce that offers variety.  You could start a career in a multi-million pound business that employs thousands of people nationwide, find yourself in an intimate family run business, or travel the world – the possibilities are endless.

If you’ve got great customer service skills and want to start work in an industry with plenty of entry-level opportunities and the chance of rapid progression, a career in hospitality and travel could be just what you’re looking for. The industry is tremendously varied and employers range in size from international household-name restaurant, hotel and travel groups to small family-run businesses. There’s also scope to set up your own business, though would-be entrepreneurs are likely to be best off working in the industry to gain experience and understanding before striking out on their own.

This is an industry that offers opportunities to school leavers at both 16 and 18 as well as to graduates and those with postgraduate qualifications. Whether you want to start earning or work your way up or pursue higher education and relevant further study, you should be able to find a route into employment that will suit you.

  • Hotel management. Big hotel groups often employ staff who specialise in areas such as finance, marketing and human resources, and rapid progression to higher managerial roles is often possible.There are overseas opportunities ranging from ski resorts to Caribbean island retreats, and accommodation may be provided as part of the job.
  • Restaurants. Responsibilities for restaurant managers include planning shifts, overseeing standards of food, implementing health and safety procedures, and maintaining good service. Large restaurant chains are more likely to recruit staff into specialised roles. Some managers start as waiting or kitchen staff while others join after their A levels. Some big employers have structured training programmes that you can enter at different levels and that offer career progression from waiting roles to shift manager and assistant manager positions. If you want to join a management training scheme, you may need further or higher education qualifications in a relevant subject.
  • Events and conferences. There are many different kinds of event that you could get involved in, from trade shows and careers fairs to research conferences and exhibitions. You could start work in a support role on the ground and progress to a senior event management role that calls for organisation and planning.  Your employer could be a company or venue with its own event management team or a specialised agency, and you could be responsible for tasks such as booking venues, arranging accommodation and organising material for attendees to take away with them.

The most popular hospitality and travel employers for graduates

The Guardian UK 300 2016/17 lists the most popular graduate employers in a range of industries, and is based on a survey of more than 52,000 UK undergraduates carried out by trendence, the research partner organisation of TARGETcareers. These are the top ten employers in hospitality, leisure and tourism:

  • Marriott International. This hospitality company has more than 6,000 properties around the world under numerous different brands, ranging from boutique hotels to luxury resorts.
  • Hilton Worldwide. The global hospitality company has more than 4,900 properties and 14 brands.
  • Thomas Cook. The travel agency employs nearly 22,000 people worldwide and serves millions of customers each year. It provides services online as well as operating hundreds of stores across the UK.
  • InterContinental Hotels Group. This international hotel operator’s brands include Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza.
  • Center Parcs. The short-break holiday company runs five holiday villages in the UK.
  • TUI. TUI Group is a leisure and tourism group that owns hotels, cruise lines, airlines and tour operators, including the UK-based tour operator Thomson (this is also one of the most popular hospitality and travel employers for school leavers).
  • P&O offers a range of job opportunities both on shore and on board the ships it operates, in areas such as finance, marketing and technical maintenance.
  • Merlin Entertainments is the international operator of visitor attractions such as LEGOLAND, Chessington World of Adventures, Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds.
  • Camp America is a US-based provider of summer camps.
  • Radisson Blu Edwardian is a group of luxury hotels in Manchester and London.Image result for picture of the hospitality industry

Translator – Week 18 (Jan)


Salary range £18,000 – £40,000 depending on experience/responsibility.

You’ll need to be educated to degree level, and will usually need a postgraduate qualification in translation. You must be fluent in one or more languages as well as English, and have knowledge of the culture in the relevant country, usually gained by living and working there.Relevant degree subjects include:

  • languages – courses which specialise in linguistics or translation may give you an advantage but are not essential
  • combined degrees which include a subject like law or science with languages

An MA or MSc in translation or translation studies, or the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) Diploma in Translation, could increase your chances of employment, especially with international organisations.

If you’re already fluent in a second language, you may find it useful to have qualifications in a subject which would allow you to take on specialised translating work.

If you have a degree, and can translate two EU official languages into English, you may be able to apply for a paid translation traineeship with the European Commission.

The Association of Translation Companies (ATC) has more information on how to become a translator.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the ability to to adapt to different styles and cultures
  • a flair for research
  • discretion and respect for confidentiality
  • the ability to remain neutral and free of bias
  • good IT skills, particularly word processing

3. What you’ll do

You could work on a number of subjects and projects, or specialise in a particular area, like:

  • scientific, technical or commercial material
  • legal documents
  • literary work
  • media work
  • educational resources
  • online content

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • reproducing the text clearly, accurately and in the style intended by the author
  • using specialist knowledge, like technical terminology
  • researching legal, technical or scientific terms and consulting with experts to make sure the translation is accurate
  • matching the culture of the target audience

In some large companies you may revise and edit a rough machine translation, created using a computer program.

You may also use other software like translation memory, together with a dedicated computer assisted translation tool.

Example jobs – French
Example jobs – Spanish
Example jobs – German
Day in the life of a translator – article
Operator Technical Intelligence – Translating for the Army

Pathologist – Week 17 (Jan)

COTW3Salary range £26,000 – £105,000 depending on experience/responsibility

If you’re keen to learn about the science behind disease, a career as a pathologist could be for you

A pathologist is a doctor who interprets and diagnoses the changes caused by disease in the body’s cells and tissues.

There are varying amounts of laboratory work involved in pathology, depending on the specialty and the role itself. Some pathologists don’t tend to have any patient contact, whereas others combine lab work with clinical, direct patient care.

It’s a myth that pathologists only deal with dead bodies – this is only the case with forensic histopathology, a sub-specialty of histopathology. Pathology is involved in over 70% of all diagnoses in ‘live’ patients.

Types of pathology

There are four distinct specialties within pathology:

  • Chemical pathology/metabolic medicine – you’ll combine laboratory and clinical skills, using biochemical tests to diagnose and treat patients. With metabolic medicine, a sub-specialty of chemical pathology, you’ll treat patients where the chemical processes in the body do not function properly.
  • Haematology – you’ll diagnose and treat disorders of the blood and bone marrow and provide clinical support for the haematology diagnostic laboratory, which includes the blood bank.
  • Histopathology – you’ll diagnose and study disease by medical interpretation of cells and tissue samples. Your role is integral to cancer management through the staging and grading of tumours. You’ll also perform autopsies to determine cause of death.
  • Medical microbiology and virology – you’ll diagnose, treat and manage prevention of infection in hospitals and the community. You’ll oversee the medical laboratory and provide a bridge between the lab and clinicians.

There are also options to sub-specialise, for example in paediatric pathology or neuropathology.


As a pathologist, you’ll work within the medical laboratory of a hospital. You may provide clinical support for the lab or oversee its management. In histopathology, you will be mostly lab-based.

Although specific tasks vary according to your specialty, there are some responsibilities common to all specialities and you’ll typically need to:

  • examine and talk to a range of patients, using diagnostic skills to determine what tests need to be carried out
  • support and advise clinical staff to help them choose the correct tests
  • work alongside healthcare scientists while they complete laboratory tests
  • educate colleagues in the use and limitations of each diagnostic investigation
  • provide advice and interpretation of test results and the appropriateness of further investigations
  • conduct ward rounds and outpatient clinics (as a histopathologist patient contact is limited, unless you’re undertaking a specific role such as taking fine-needle aspiration cytology specimens in breast clinics)
  • undertake managerial responsibilities, such as planning the workload and staffing of the department, especially at more senior levels
  • supervise and teach junior medical staff (depending on your post)
  • carry out research and keep up to date with new information relevant to your field.


  • The basic starting salary for junior hospital doctor trainees at foundation level is £26,614 in the first year, rising to £30,805 in the second year. As a trainee at specialty level you can earn between £36,100 and £45,750.
  • Salaries for specialty doctors (staff grade) range from £37,923 to £70,018.
  • The salary for newly qualified consultants starts at £76,761, rising to £103,490 depending on the length of service.

Website and Local Links

Day in the life – Forensic Pathologist (Aus) 

Its not about the dead body (USA)

Rashmi, Consultant histopathologist (UK)

Meet Andrew, a haematologist (UK)

21 Institutions offering Pathology Degrees

How to become a Pathologist (UCAS Progress)

Carpenter – Week 16 (Jan)


Salary Range:  £16,000 – £40,000 per year

Carpenters work with all things wood and can be involved in projects that sculpt and manipulate wood to create magnificent wooden structures to the more day-to-day tasks of laying floor boards or fitting door frames.  Your place of work could be anything from a building site to a timber frame in the local park.

Depending on where you work, your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • discussing plans and following instructions
  • cutting and shaping timber for floorboards, doors, skirting boards and window frames
  • making and fitting wooden structures like staircases, door frames, roof timbers and partition walls
  • making and assembling fitted and free-standing furniture
  • installing kitchens, cupboards and shelving
  • building temporary wooden supports to hold setting concrete in place (shuttering)
  • making and fitting interiors in shops, bars, restaurants, offices and public buildings
  • constructing stage sets for theatre, film and TV productions

Work Patterns

You’ll usually work 39 to 45 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may need to work some weekends or evenings to meet construction deadlines.

This is a physically active job. You could work outdoors in all weathers, up ladders and on scaffolding or roofs. You could also work indoors where conditions could be dusty or cramped. You’ll use protective equipment and clothing on all jobs.

Career and Progression

With experience, you could become a team leader or project manager.

You could also move into construction estimating and contracts management, or specialise in areas like stage sets.

You could also start your own business or move into training.

Further Links

How to become a carpenter

Apprenticeship Advice