Not everyone is cut out to be a prison officer, funeral director or pest control officer – but could you be? If your job search is running out of steam, it could be time to take a second look at those jobs which are easy to dismiss. To get you started, we reveal five jobs that you may not have considered before, what they pay and how to get into them.
1. Prison officer
You might think you know what life inside a prison is like from watching TV and films but the reality is often very different. As the website of the HM Prison Service puts it: ‘Until you’ve worked in a prison, built trust, exercised authority without throwing your weight around, and ultimately changed people’s lives for the better, you’ve no real idea what a difference prison life can make to offenders, society and to you.’
Salary: The national starting salary for Prison Officers is £18,720 (inclusive of base pay and 17% addition for unsocial hours working) for working a 37 hour week.
How to become one: If your application passes eligibility checks you may be asked to take an online Prison Officer Selection Test (POST). If successful, you will be invited to attend the recruitment assessment day. Here, you’ll take part in role-playing scenarios designed to assess your personal attributes and character and will be required to take a fitness test. Visit www.justice.gov.uk to find out more.
2. Dental hygienist
For some, there’s nothing worse than a trip to the dentists. If the sound of a dentist’s drill or the smell of pink mouthwash doesn’t bring you out in a cold sweat, the role of dental hygienist could be worth exploring. As well as promoting good oral health are to adults and children, dental hygienists carry out treatments, such as scaling and polishing teeth and applying topical fluoride and fissure sealants.
Salary: Dental hygienists are usually on AfC band 5 in the NHS, earning £21,388 and £27,901.
How to become one: To work as a dental hygienist, you need to have taken an appropriate course approved by the General Dental Council (GDC). Courses last two years on a full-time basis and include anatomy and physiology, preventive dentistry, dental health education, dental pathology and the management and care of patients. Entry requirements for most courses are five GCSEs (A-C) and two A-levels, or a recognised dental nurse qualification.
3. Funeral Director
Death is something most of us don’t like to think about unless we have to. Yet as long as there are people to bury (or cremate) there will be jobs available in the funeral industry. If you are practical and kind and can deal sensitively with distressing situations, knowing you’ve helped families through a very difficult time can be hugely rewarding.
Salary: Funeral directors can earn from around £15,000 to over £30,000 a year.
How to become one: While qualifications aren’t necessary (many funeral directors start as funeral arrangers or serve as an apprentice), there are courses available. If you’re not already working in the funeral service, you can take the Funeral Service Awareness Online Training course, which is designed to give an introduction to the funeral service industry. If you’ve worked in the funeral service for six months, you can apply to take the NAFD’s Diploma in Funeral Arranging and Administration.
4. Refuse collector
Dealing with rubbish may not be everyone’s first career choice, but if you enjoy working outdoors, like an early start and want a job that keeps you physically fit, don’t bin the idea just yet. Refuse collectors are required across the UK and there tends to be a good number of opportunities, either through temping agencies, private companies, or local councils.
Salary: Refuse collectors earn around £17,000 to £18,000 a year.
How to become one: There are no formal qualifications required to become a refuse loader. Most organisations only employ those aged 18 or over for health, safety and insurance reasons. As this is a physically demanding job, potential employers will want to know that you’re fit and healthy.
5. Pest control technician
Most of us would run a mile (or possibly stand on a chair and scream) if faced with a rat or cockroach infestation, but not pest control technicians. For them, the sight and smell of decaying animals, rat droppings and toxic chemicals is all in a day’s work. Unsurprisingly, a ‘strong stomach’ features highly on the ‘person specification’ list for the job.
Salary: Starting salaries can be between £13,000 and £16,000 a year.
How to become one: While qualifications aren’t necessarily required, there are courses you can take. Most people learn on the job but some of the bigger companies run their own in-house training schemes. The main training course providers are the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), British Pest Control Association (BPCA) and the National Pest Technicians’ Association (NPTA). A typical entry-level qualification for the job is the RSPH/BPCA Level 2 Award/Certificate in Pest Management.
Image: © Ale-ks, iStockphoto.com