If you enjoy helping people, here are five jobs you might want to consider.
1. Family mediator
Divorce is one of the most challenging and upsetting experiences people will go through in their lives. Family mediators help divorcing or separating couples communicate with each other and agree on important issues, such as child residency, property and money, without having to go to court. To become a family mediator, you need to remain impartial and have excellent communication skills.
Qualifications required: You will need to complete training approved by the Family Mediation Council to become a qualified family mediator. Many people taking the course come from family law, social science or therapy/counselling professions. Whatever your background, you will normally need to be educated to degree level and have substantial paid or voluntary experience of working with families.
Salary: Salaries for qualified family mediators range from £20,000 to £30,000 a year.
2. Police community support officer
If you want to help people on the front line, you might want to consider becoming a police community support officer (PCSO). Working alongside the police, PCSOs patrol the local area, providing a visible and reassuring presence on the streets and tackling the menace of anti-social behaviour. To become a PCSO you need to have good communication skills, a calm but assertive approach, and must be physically fit.
Qualifications required: Personal qualities are more important than formal qualifications. Local police forces set their own entry requirements, but you should expect to take written tests, participate in role-play exercises and pass a fitness and medical test as part of the selection process. Read more about the assessment process. In all cases, you need the right to live and work in the UK without restriction and must pass background security checks.
Salary: Salaries start around £18,000. With experience and shift allowances, this can increase to £23,000. In London, salaries can range from £20,000 to £25,000 a year.
3. Careers advisor
If the idea of helping others reach their full potential appeals, a job as a careers advisor could be for you. To become a careers advisor, you will need to have good listening and questioning skills and be able to develop good working relationships with a wide variety of people. You also need to be able to research information and explain it clearly, and be confident speaking in groups.
Qualifications required: Most employers expect candidates to have a Qualification in Careers Guidance (QCG)/Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance. To get on the course (one-year full-time or two-years part-time) you will need a degree or several years’ relevant experience. Some careers advisors work their way up from assistant level to careers guidance professional, and study over time to gain the Level 4 Diploma in Career Information and Advice and Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development.
Salary: Salaries start at around £18,000 to £22,000 a year. With experience, pay can go up to around £23,000 and £27,000. Careers team managers can earn £35,000 a year.
4. Trade union official
Lots of people experience problems at work, and union members can turn to their trade union official for help. Representing the interests of union members, trade union officials negotiate with employers on a range of issues, such as pay and working conditions, so must have good communication and negotiation skills. The ability to see things from others’ perspectives, think clearly under pressure, and get on with people from all backgrounds are must-have qualities.
Qualifications required: Some people gain experience as an unpaid local representative or shop steward before finding employment at a union’s branch or regional office, where they receive training on the job. Most national head office roles require degree-level qualifications and/or extensive experience in a specialist area of work, such as employment law, media or education and training. In all cases, it can help to have experience in advice work, welfare, campaigning or local politics.
Salary: Starting salaries range from £20,000 to £25,000. With experience, regional or national officials can earn £30,000 to £50,000. Senior positions can pay as much as £80,000.
Physiotherapists help people in a ‘hands on’ way: treating spine and joint problems after an operation, accident, sports injury or stroke, working with children who have mental or physical disabilities, and helping older people become more mobile. A growing number of physiotherapists are employed by GPs, and they are just as likely to work in the community (in patients’ homes, nursing homes, and health centres), as in hospitals. To become a physiotherapist, you need to be practical and have good communication skills, as well as being compassionate, patient, and sensitive towards patients.
Qualifications required: You need a physiotherapy degree or postgraduate award approved by the Health and Care Professions Council to become a qualified physiotherapist.
Salary: Physiotherapists employed by the NHS at band 5 earn £21,478 to £27,901. Specialists at band 6 can earn up to £34,530. Advanced physiotherapists and team managers at band 7 can earn up to £40,558. Pay rates in the private sector are usually comparable to the NHS.