Author: careeroftheweek

Surgeon – Week 12 (Dec)


Salary Range:  £36,350 to £102,500

If you watch a lot of Holby City or Casualty you may have certain ideas about what a surgeon does.  In reality it is no where near as exciting.  A surgeon does operate on people and perform complex medical procedures but they also:

  • Go on wards rounds to see their patients
  • Run outpatient clinics, meeting patients to discuss treatment options or recovery.
  • Complete tests to check a patients health
  • Complete a LOT of paper work, keep accurate records of surgery.
  • Liaise with other doctors
  • Teaching, surgery is a specialist skill so every surgeon has to teach the next generation.

What type of surgeon could you be?

  • General Surgery – emergency situations and abdominal
  • Cardio thoracic – heart and lungs
  • Neurosurgery – brain, central nervous system and spinal chord
  • Otorhinolaryngology – ear, throat and nose
  • Paediatric – children
  • Plastic surgery – reconstructive
  • Trauma and orthopedic – bones and joints
  • Urology – kidneys, bladder and prostate
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery – face and mouth
  • Vascular – veins and arteries.

Working hours and patterns

You’ll work long hours including nights and weekends. You’ll also be part of an out-of-hours rota system.

You’ll spend time in a variety of settings such as consulting rooms, wards, operating theatres and special units like accident and emergency

Further information

Medic Maverics for all things medical

General Medical Council



RSPCA Inspector – Week 11 (Nov)

RSPCA Inspector

Salary Range:  £19,250 – £30,000 per year.  An RSPCA Inspectors sole aim is to ensure the well being of all animals.  Duties will range from advising pet owners about animal care to inspecting kennels and breeding facilities to rescuing injured wild animals.

You will need to be able to handle animals confidently and sometimes may find yourself in confrontational situations.

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • advising owners on proper care and issuing warnings
  • rescuing animals and arranging medical treatment
  • putting animals down humanely
  • taking a case to court
  • inspecting kennels, pet shops and agricultural shows
  • working with local authorities to rescue injured deer or foxes
  • writing reports
  • giving talks to educate the public

To rescue animals, you may need to climb cliffs or trees.

Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 35 hours a week. You’ll work shifts including nights, weekends and bank holidays.

You’ll work indoors and outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to chief inspector then regional superintendent.

You could move into management or training roles at the RSPCA headquarters.

Links to find out more

Becoming an RSPCA Inspector

RSPCA Career Profile


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)