Choosing the right career is going to be one of the most difficult decisions that you will ever face. It’s a long term plan, which means that you need to be sure pretty early on in your life about what you want to do.
Although most people are well aware of the higher paying jobs, such as doctors and lawyers, it may surprise you that there are plenty of careers that do not require the expensive and intensive training that some of these fields do.
That’s not to say you won’t be working hard, but here are a few high paying careers you might want to consider. Interesting, kids who say they want to be firefighters or train drivers may actually be onto something, and should be encouraged!
Please note: The stated salary figures are an approximate median, based on time and experience.
Lift Mechanic – Est. Salary £45,500
Although this might seem like a strange job to be talking about, the simple fact is that everyone uses lifts. From apartment blocks to business headquarters, lifts make life easier, and due to their constant use, they need to be maintained properly.
Enter the lift mechanic. This person requires only high school training, followed by around four years of classwork and on-the-job training. Once completed, you can expect the salary to go upwards of £40,000 when a few years of experience are under your belt.
Remember, it’s not only restricted to lift maintenance. The job includes mechanical expertise through a variety of machines, including escalators, stair lifts, airport moving walkways and even hotel dumbwaiters; basically anything with a pulley system.
Over the next few years, the employment rate within this type of job is expected to grow by a further 11%.
Air Traffic Controller – Est. Salary £91,000
An interesting job certainly. But did you know it’s also exceedingly well paid once you’ve put the time in? Although the first year of college training isn’t particularly high paying, you do get an array of benefits, including pension scheme, family-friend policies and additional voluntary benefit schemes.
Responsible for ensuring the management of aircraft through all levels of their flight, a traffic controller will make sure they use communications and surveillance equipment to instruct pilots on safe landing, take off and course correction procedures.
Obviously, this is a job that, although very rewarding, carries extreme risk to others, so intensive training is required.Once the college training has ended, you’ll be looking at approximately £20,000 per year. And once the fully training has finished, you’ll be looking at £30,000 on average.
The interesting part is that after validation and a third joining anniversary, you can be earning £45,000+. This includes shift pay of around £5000.
If this is a career you’re serious about, then senior controllers can expect to be earning over £91,000 at larger airports like Heathrow.
Soil Conservationist – Est. Salary £40,300
If you choose this as a career then you’ll be comfortable being outside. A soil conservationist will help farmers and landowners in the best practice of using their land whilst minimising the damage or harm done to the surrounding environment. This includes such ecological threats like soil erosion and chemical usage.
This career will usually require a the minimum of a bachelor’s degree (and usually in a related field like agriculture, environmental studies or an appropriate discipline of science. However, it’s a career that has a very real and directive-driven agenda.
The planet is a finite resource and soil conservationists actively work to ensure a sustainable strategy is implemented. The pay also certainly helps.
Train Driver – Est Salary £49,500
According to the cliché, every little boy wants to be a train driver. But with the well-publicised industrial action of recent months, you would be forgiven for thinking that this is a poorly-paid profession. Yet with average salaries approaching £50,000 per year, this could be a great way to fulfil a childhood dream and earn some serious money.
There are no set academic requirements, and some decent GCSE grades will put you in good stead with most employers. More important is a calm and responsible attitude, an ability to think quickly and good powers of concentration. Some mechanical or electrical knowledge would definitely be a bonus too.
You will usually need to be over 21 to work on the national railways, but even if you are younger, there is the possibility to start work as a trainee in yards and depots.
Firefighter – Est Salary £47,500
What could be more exciting or heroic than the role of a firefighter? As well as actively fighting fires and saving lives, firefighters spend a lot of their time giving fire safety advice to prevent fires from breaking out in the first place.
Many firefighters start out as volunteers and then advance to a professional level. A senior firefighter can expect to earn up to £50,000 per year.
Needless to say, you need to be physically fit, with high levels of stamina, and the ability to remain calm in dangerous situations is a must. You will also need to display excellent teamwork skills and be able to write clear and accurate reports.
Academically, you just need some good GCSEs, including English and Maths. There are then a series of physical and written tests, plus a medical and an interview. Firefighters also tend to retire early on a good pension.
Teacher – Est Salary £52,100
Few careers can be as rewarding as teaching, and an increasing number of people are considering this as a second career, having become disillusioned with the corporate world.
There are various routes into teaching, depending on the type of teacher you want to be and also on your level of education and experience.
For example, if you have a degree, you can train through a postgraduate teacher training course. Here, there are two main routes: school-led and university-led. Both provide the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills you need, but are delivered differently.
If you do not have a degree, you can still qualify as a teacher by taking a specific course that awards qualified teacher status (QTS).
There is a current shortage of teachers, so finding a job is unlikely to be a problem, and financial support is available to help you through your training.