The average full-time employee in the UK earns £26,200 according to the latest figures from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings. We reveal five roles that pay around that, what it takes to get them and what kind of salary range to expect.
Building Control Officer: £26,990
Building control officers oversee the planning, construction (and sometimes demolition) phases of building projects. They work with architects, designers, builders and engineers on planning proposals and carry out regular inspections to ensure regulations are followed.
How to become one: Entry requirements vary from employer to employer, but most expect candidates to have a relevant qualification, such as a BTEC National Diploma, HNC or HND in a construction related subject or a degree in a relevant subject, such as a BSc (Hons) in Building Engineering. In many cases, employers offer additional on-the-job training and support you in gaining further qualifications. Find out more about qualifications and training from the Association of Building Engineers at: www.abe.org.uk.
Salary range: Salaries start from £21,000 – £26,000 a year and can rise to £38,000+ with experience.
Nurses care for people who are ill, injured or have physical disabilities. They work in hospitals, hospices, schools, doctors’ surgeries, private settings and in the community, visiting patients at home.
How to become one: In order to become an adult nurse, you will need to obtain a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)-approved degree or Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing. (From spring 2013 you will only be able to qualify as a nurse by studying for a degree.) In order to apply for an approved course, you will usually be asked for five GCSEs (A-C) including maths and English and may also need two or three A levels. You will also need to be of good health and character and pass a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. Once on the course, you will undertake supervised nursing shifts alongside university study.
Salary range: Salaries start around £21,176 – £27,534, rising to £30,460 – £40,157 for team leaders and managers.
Prison officer: £26,034
Prison officers supervise inmates in prisons, remand centres and young offenders’ institutions. Duties vary according to the type of prison, its security level and age of inmates.
How to become one: Entry requirements vary depending on which national prison service you apply to, but generally you need to be at least 18, a British or Commonwealth citizen and in good health and fitness. If you are selected, checks will be made on your character (you must declare any convictions), health and identity. No formal qualifications are required in England and Wales, but your maths and English skills and suitability for the role will be tested during the application process. Those who have previously worked in the police or armed forces or as a security or probation officer may have an advantage.
Salary range: Salaries start around £18,000 a year, rising to around £29,000 with experience.
Clothing designer: £26,625
Clothing designers work to a brief, predicting fashion trends, producing concept boards and developing basic shapes through patterns. They may also estimate costs for materials and manufacture, find suppliers and oversee the production of sample clothing.
How to become one: Usually, you will need a relevant degree that teaches both design and technical skills, such as those run by the London College of Fashion or Manchester Metropolitan University. Fashion is a highly competitive industry, so you will need to put together a portfolio of work that showcases your skills at course and job interviews and take along some completed garments you’ve produced. Most designers specialise in a particular area, such as men’s or sportswear, and any practical work experience you can gain in your chosen area will help you to progress in the career.
Salary range: Salaries start around £16,000, rising to £25,000+ with experience. Senior designers can earn considerably more, depending on the size and profile of the company.
Countryside ranger: £27,431
Countryside rangers look after the countryside, helping to protect and conserve animals, habitats and landscapes while managing public access and recreation. Duties include practical work (e.g., planting trees) and community education, such as giving talks.
How to become one: Entry requirements vary, but most employers would expect you to have a relevant qualification and considerable work experience – which can be obtained by volunteering with the National Trust, a Wildlife Trust or the Forestry Commission. Relevant qualifications include the BTEC Level 3 Certificate/Diploma in Countryside Management, a BTEC HNC/HND in Environmental Conservation, or a foundation degree in countryside management and conservation, rural environmental management or environmental studies.
Salary range: Salaries vary considerably. Those starting out in local authorities earn around £18,000, rising to around £25,000 with experience. Senior Rangers can earn £30,000+