How To Become a Life Coach

The idea of becoming a life coach is becoming increasingly popular. It is an interesting job that is both flexible and if successful one that can be highly rewarding both financially and personally. The majority of life coaches are self employed working on a freelance basis and usually supporting themselves through working for a small number of clients. The career offers a lot of freedom as many life coaches work from home via the telephone and internet.

The essential role of a life coach is to offer support and motivation to people who are either going through challenging periods in their lives or just not fulfilling their potential. Such support and motivation can be offered both on a regular basis and through one on one consultations. The areas that life coaches focus on vary widely from personal to career issues, from time management to stress management.

Educational Requirements

Perhaps one of the many reasons for the recent levels of interest in becoming a life coach is that in order to call yourself a life coach, there are actually no official qualifications required. Being a life coach or at least being a successful one really just requires the right personality. In saying this however, the majority of successful life coaches have had some form of management training. It is also worth noting that to be a life coach you will obviously require clients that are willing to pay for your services. Such clients are far more likely to request your services if you have some form of qualification that can act as a testament to your abilities.

The Importance of the Right Personality

Self discipline and motivation as well as strong networking skills are all highly important. Though there are examples of people who just happen to be good at motivating people, a strong desire to positively change other peoples lives is of course a massive advantage. It is also important to be able to challenge people. A successful life coach will not be afraid to ask their clients tough questions as such questions are often the key to helping clients to improve their life.

Communication skills are of course paramount. A large part of the job is not only offering positive advice but also realistic advice. You need to be trust worthy and show empathy if you are going to tell somebody that they need to change what they are currently doing. This is one of the areas of life coaching that simply make it a career that not every body can do. Almost everybody can compliment but not everybody can positively critique somebody’s life and have them pay for the privilege. The other key aspect of being a life coach that greatly limits those suitable to the job, is that a life coach needs to be able to inspire.

Beware

Due to the increase in the popularity of the idea of becoming a life coach, there are many companies offering qualifications in the area. Many are cheap courses, around the five hundred pound mark and are completely unaccredited and hold no association with a respected educational institution. Ads for such services try to give the illusion that anybody can become a life coach provided they pay for said course. This is completely unfounded due both to the need for skills that a course simply cannot provide and the fact that should you have those skills, no such course is required.

Did you know?

  • Specialist life coaches coaching top end business executives in the UK can earn over £10,000 per day.
  • Some cabinet ministers in the UK use £250 per hour life coaches to “deal with the pressures of government.
  • Life coaching is currently the fastest growing area of the self improvement industry which is estimated to be worth £15 billion in the UK alone.

How to Become a Business Analyst

The role of a business analyst is one of those roles that people don’t particularly understand. Everyone has heard of business analysts however if you are one and are asked what you do, your response will likely be met simply with relatively blank nods of approval. One of the reasons that people don’t entirely get the role is that it is an incredibly varied profession. You are likely to even find that what one business analyst does for a living can be entirely different to what another does despite having the same title.

The essential task of any business analyst however is to evaluate an overall structure and subsequently assess how to improve it. This can be the structure of an entire business or simply a portion thereof. Should it be an entire business, the job will consist of analyzing it’s sales and marketing departments, accounting, systems management, labor, data warehousing and even its facilities. Through this activity the business analyst will evaluate the level of efficiency offered by the current structure and if found lacking will suggest alternatives. This is done with the intention of increasing overall business efficiency, stability and of course productivity and corresponding profitability.

There is also the misconception that business analysts work primarily in the IT sector but this is not the case. Though there are many IT business analysts, there are also business analysts working in marketing, accounting and various other financial capacities. The primary reason that this misconception exists is because a very high proportion of business analysts do indeed work in IT but this is solely because this is where there is currently the most demand for their services.

A Career Full of Variety

Business Analysts can of course be found in IT but also in finance, banking, telecommunication, insurance and a wealth of others. The reason that somebody with experience as a business analyst can move between industries so easily is that they generally take a very abstract view of businesses when they are analyzing and evaluating them. Therefore the analysis and evaluation of two completely different companies in completely different industries can essentially require an identical skill set.

Many people choose this career specifically for this reason. Such choice means not only a lot of freedom to move between industries should you find yourself tired of the one that you are currently in but also by being qualified to work in many different industries your career becomes pretty recession proof as you can always hop into an industry that is currently experiencing growth.

There is also the fact that even within an individual industry, the role is by no means fixed. The role is not even pre defined in many situations and in one company a business analyst may primarily be involved in strategy devising and sales planning, while when he goes to work at another company, he may be involved in analyzing the developmental process for example.

Educational Requirements

Due to the extent of the variation present within this career path, there exist no particular educational requirements to take on the role. However due to the fact that a business analyst is essentially tasked with improving the overall efficiency of a business, some demonstration of an ability to not only do so but to do so better than the existing management is of course required. Therefore many of those that end up working as business analysts enter the role after having acquired a lot of experience in either technical matters such as programming or engineering or within more general business roles.

There are still some qualifications that can be gained and though not a requirement they will definitely increase your chances of obtaining employment as a business analyst. They include but are not limited to the Certified Business Analyst Professional certification offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis. There are also a few consulting companies that offer training courses in this area.

Career Outlook

For many years now there has been a surge in positions for analysts of all kinds. Unlike many career paths, the recession has done little if anything to slow this down and may even have done the opposite, as companies are now fully aware of the costs of not maximizing the overall efficiency of their operations.

Should you find yourself in this career, you can expect to earn between 48,000 and 73,000 dollars per annum depending on both the size of the company that you work for and the amount of experience that you have amassed. There are also multiple possible contract vacancies across many industries and therefore freelancing is not only possible but also potentially incredibly lucrative.

Becoming A Life Coach – The Requirements

The idea of becoming a life coach is becoming increasingly popular. It is an interesting job that is both flexible and if successful one that can be highly rewarding both financially and personally. The majority of life coaches are self employed working on a freelance basis and usually supporting themselves through working for a small number of clients. The career offers a lot of freedom as many life coaches work from home via the telephone and internet.

The essential role of a life coach is to offer support and motivation to people who are either going through challenging periods in their lives or just not fulfilling their potential. Such support and motivation can be offered both on a regular basis and through one on one consultations. The areas that life coaches focus on vary widely from personal to career issues, from time management to stress management.

Educational Requirements

Perhaps one of the many reasons for the recent levels of interest in becoming a life coach is that in order to call yourself a life coach, there are actually no official qualifications required. Being a life coach or at least being a successful one really just requires the right personality. In saying this however, the majority of successful life coaches have had some form of management training. It is also worth noting that to be a life coach you will obviously require clients that are willing to pay for your services. Such clients are far more likely to request your services if you have some form of qualification that can act as a testament to your abilities.

The Importance of the Right Personality

Self discipline and motivation as well as strong networking skills are all highly important. Though there are examples of people who just happen to be good at motivating people, a strong desire to positively change other peoples lives is of course a massive advantage. It is also important to be able to challenge people. A successful life coach will not be afraid to ask their clients tough questions as such questions are often the key to helping clients to improve their life.

Communication skills are of course paramount. A large part of the job is not only offering positive advice but also realistic advice. You need to be trust worthy and show empathy if you are going to tell somebody that they need to change what they are currently doing. This is one of the areas of life coaching that simply make it a career that not every body can do. Almost everybody can compliment but not everybody can positively critique somebody’s life and have them pay for the privilege. The other key aspect of being a life coach that greatly limits those suitable to the job, is that a life coach needs to be able to inspire.

Did you know?

  • Specialist life coaches coaching top end business executives in the UK can earn over £10,000 per day.
  • Some cabinet ministers in the UK use £250 per hour life coaches to “deal with the pressures of government.
  • Life coaching is currently the fastest growing area of the self improvement industry which is estimated to be worth £15 billion in the UK alone.

Beware

Due to the increase in the popularity of the idea of becoming a life coach, there are many companies offering qualifications in the area. Many are cheap courses, around the five hundred pound mark and are completely unaccredited and hold no association with a respected educational institution. Ads for such services try to give the illusion that anybody can become a life coach provided they pay for said course. This is completely unfounded due both to the need for skills that a course simply cannot provide and the fact that should you have those skills, no such course is required.

 

Becoming a Chef Without Formal Training

Well, the first step obviously is that you need to learn how to cook. Because of this having an interest in cooking can be a pretty big advantage. A good palette can be important but isn’t necessarily required. The primary characteristic is just that you love food and are passionate enough about it to take pride in the food that you create. Should you do this, finding some level of success as a chef is relatively straight forward. Unlike most career routes however, there are two decidedly different routes into the industry. Each offers advantages over the other and which is best is debatable as I will now outline.

Skip Culinary School and Start at the Bottom

The Advantages

Before culinary schools became such a common thing, the majority of chefs would simply learn their craft by working. Of course without going to culinary school, you do need to start at the bottom but it means that straight away you are getting hands on experience of the pressures and fast pace of working behind closed doors in a restaurant.

This experience can be a better thing to have on a resume than completion of culinary school, as somebody that owns a restaurant will see that you can handle the pressure of a kitchen as opposed to somebody with a fancy qualification but no experience. There is also the rather massive advantage that you start getting paid immediately and you avoid expensive culinary school tuition fees.

The Disadvantages

The primary problem with this route is that the purpose of the kitchen is to prepare fine meals for the customers. The head chef has this as his primary concern and teaching you all about the dishes, why they work and their history is unlikely to be something that he has time for. As a result of this, you miss out on all of this type of information which you would have learned at culinary school. There is also the fact that you obviously start a lot lower both responsibility and pay wise than if you had chosen culinary school, of course you also start a lot younger.

Go to Culinary School

The Advantages

As mentioned in the disadvantage of on the job training there is truly a wealth of knowledge that can be obtained by going to culinary school. Provided effort is put in and a lot of people don’t put in this effort, you can learn all about not only what dishes taste good but why, as well where the dishes originated and the various techniques that can be used to cook them For example, a head chef will show you to cook something well, but he is not going to show you five different ways of doing it.

The subjects studied will obviously depend on both the culinary school that you choose and the specific courses but most include additional subjects such as nutrition, pastry and management, all things that you are unlikely to learn with on the job training. There is also the fact that while you won’t quite experience working in a real kitchen you will gain important experience of working as part of a team. Then obviously there is the primary advantage that you come out of it with a qualification. The fact that everyone gets to eat what they cook during their lunch breaks could be considered either an advantage or a disadvantage depending upon how far through the course you are.

The Disadvantages

The primary problem with culinary school is that everything that you are learning is theoretical. While the knowledge acquired is important, it is unlikely to impress a restaurant owner as much as practical experience as it does not at all demonstrate that you are capable of handling the stressful kitchen environment of a busy restaurant complete with a screaming chef. Another reason that culinary school is not as respected as on the job training is that there is an unfortunately high number of students who love culinary school only to go on to quit chefing when they realise that they cannot handle the pressure.

There is also the matter of cost. Not only are you not getting paid as you are going through culinary school unlike on the job training, the cost of the courses can also be pretty expensive. There are also a lot of extras such as books and cooking tools. Therefore your bank account will be in a completely different state upon completion than had you just started working at a restaurant.

How To Become a CNA

If you fancy working in a hospital but skipping med school, becoming a CNA could be a very good choice for you. It is the fastest route into nursing as without any experience or education, you could still become a certified nursing assistant within just a few months. And just because certification as a nursing assistant can be obtained so fast, that does not mean there aren’t real benefits to the choice. For a start, such skills are greatly in demand at the moment so you won’t have too much trouble finding a job which is obviously a pretty rare situation to be in at the moment. Also though the pay isn’t fantastic, it certainly is above minimum wage and if you have intentions of studying more many employers of certified nursing assistants are more than happy to cover expense of such education. Therefore becoming a certified nursing assistant could be a stepping stone into an entirely new career. The work required to get a job as a CNA is relatively straight forward which I will now outline.

First of course you need to find a place to take the classes. Opportunities to study to be a CNA are plentiful with many local hospitals and community colleges offering the service. They can even be taken at regional branches of the Red Cross. Upon finding a class, it is important to work hard. Many people take them assuming that they will be easy but then go on to fail the exam. All the usual things apply such as taking notes and revising hard, they are actually intensive and relatively difficult courses.

Then you eventually take the Certified Nursing Assistant Exam. The exam needs to be taken within the actual state that you intend on practicing in and the exact standards and topics covered varies mildly from state to state. Wherever you have been taking classes is sure to have plenty of sample papers for you to practice on. Once you have passed the exam all that you have to do is make up a professional resume showing your newly acquired credentials and you are ready to start a new career.

Should you make it this far, you can expect to start to earn between twenty and thirty grand per year depending on where you work. It is worth noting that opportunities exist for certified nursing assistants in far more places than just hospitals. Certified nursing assistants are also commonly found in nursing homes, both short and long term rehabilitation facilities and at the homes of elderly people that seek round the clock care.

How to Become a Virtual Assistant

What is a Virtual Assistant?

The title probably gives away the fact that it stands for virtual assistant and the role of a virtual assistant is as the name implies, you do everything that somebody’s assistant could be asked to do but you do so from a remote location. The essential idea is that each employer has a particular skill set and should they need something done that they do not have the skills, they will request a VA to do it for them.

In practice however, a lot of jobs performed by a VA could easily be done by the employer such as proof reading or internet research but they would simply prefer to pay somebody to do it for them. The typical work that can be done by a VA varies widely. Internet research and proof reading are particularly common but being asked to compose emails and letters, make reservations, write reports, handle enquiries made by customers of the employer are all also common place.

The Advantages of being a Virtual Assistant

Becoming a Virtual Assistant is becoming increasingly popular due to many reasons. While the current financial climate is meaning that a lot of people have to think outside of the box in order to find employment, there are many unique characteristics about the job that make it attractive. For a start it is incredibly flexible. Due to the fact that you primarily work on short term contracts, you can choose how much or how little you want to work and if you can afford it you can take a holiday whenever you want to. Also due to the fact that all of the work is done online, you are completely mobile. You can work anywhere from your favourite cafe to Mexico. A lot of people also find that because of the wide variety of different services that a VA can provide, it is possible to avoid repetition by alternating the types of projects that you take on.

How to Become a Virtual Assistant

The first thing to remember is that there is no requirement to hold any particular form of education or experience and that it is therefore very easy to become a VA. There are numerous sites available online which act as marketplaces for those providing and hoping to find VA services. One of the best websites is Elance. You simply visit their site, register and set up a profile. You’re profile will include your skills, experience, qualifications and the rate that you are willing to work for. Then you simply wait for somebody to request your services.

In the same way that you can advertise your services, those looking for a service can do likewise and you can therefore apply for jobs on the site as well. There are also tests that you can take which will offer proof of your skills and as you take on projects, those that hire you can leave feedback which will allow you to build up your reputation provided you do quality work. Upon completion of a job, you can then accept payment through Paypal.

How Much Can You Expect to Earn?

The pay rate per hour for a VA varies widely depending upon your skills, experience and specialisation. A general VA is likely to earn around ten dollars per hour while a more experienced VA, perhaps with specialised knowledge and talent can earn up to eighty dollars per hour. It is also important to remember that working as a VA online means that you are encountering an international market. As such some VA jobs will be very low paying as they are being offered to lowest bidder and thus go to workers from poorer countries. A native English speaking VA with reasonable computer skills will very rarely work for less than ten dollars an hour.

Though charging an hourly rate is the most common, many VA’s charge a flat fee to carry out a particular project. Whether this is right for you essentially just depends on whether you can work at particular tasks faster or slower than others and of course whether you can accurately predict how long it will take to do a project. Charging a flat fee can enable you to earn more than ten dollars per hour pretty early on in your career but you can also find yourself half way through a project and realise you are going to make far less than that.

How to Become a Travel Agent

As anyone who has attempted to travel independently will know, travel can be a complicated affair. In order to get both good deals and quality service, a great deal of knowledge about the industry is required. Many people do not have said knowledge or the inclination to acquire it and that is where the job of a travel agent comes in. The travel agent uses his/her knowledge of the industry, connections and time to provide customers with travel arrangements that suit their needs and their budgets.

Clients range from individual tourists to large companies and though many travel agents are independent some will also work in conjunction with travel groups and hotels and cruise ship companies. The activities performed by a travel agent on a day to day basis varies but will usually involve offering information to clients about various destinations and then planning flights and accommodation for them according to their expressed preferences. It can also involve recommending additional services such as travel insurance, excursions and places to eat. Helping with arranging visa, vaccinations and even currency exchange are also a common aspect to the job.

A travel agent will establish his/her knowledge through a variety of resources from books to the internet. Though not a requirement of the job, many travel agents are themselves frequent travellers and are hence capable of issuing personal recommendations and genuine information about potential destinations.

An Industry in Decline

As more and more people are using the internet for their travelling needs, independent travel without using the services of a travel agent is greatly increasing. This is largely due to the fact that information that the general public used to rely on travel agents to acquire is now simply too widely available online. This is in conjunction with a large increase in the ease of making reservations online, with most companies in the travel industry now offering online booking as standard. Another element of the travel agency industry in the past that is no longer true is that the majority of airlines now refuse to pay travel agents commission. This decline is leading to far fewer vacancies for such work and hence far greater educational requirements that need to be met by potential candidates.

Requirements

While the minimum requirement is just a high school diploma, increasing competition for places and an increase in the amount of courses now available that are designed for travel agency work, combine to mean that just a high school diploma is unlikely to be enough. Such courses are generally less than a year in length however some colleges do offer bachelors degrees in travel hospitality. Such a bachelor’s degree or one in a subject related to the industry such as geography, communications or foreign language would put a candidate ahead of other applicants.

Those wishing to employ a travel agent will also look for particular characteristics from potential candidates. Being extensively travelled is a big plus, as clients always enjoy being given personal, as opposed to researched, recommendations. Due to the amount of time spent dealing with clients, good communication skills are obviously important. In order to make suitable itineraries for clients, research skills are required and it is important that candidates are detail-oriented.

Agent or Agency?

Many travel agents are not part of a larger company and instead work for themselves. Most who do this will have previous experience but there are exceptions. In order for a travel agency to be set up, approval must be granted by country specific agencies and most countries require that there is at least one experienced travel agent on staff. Many people choose to set up their own agency through the possibility of increased salaries. However it should be noted that a key factor in the profit levels of an agency is the size of the agencies clientele, this can take time to establish and hence the rewards are neither guaranteed nor swift.

Did you know?

  • The internet was used by over 90 million Americans last year to plan some form of trip.
  • 2.7% of US GDP is attributed to travel and tourism.
  • $22,300 is spent every second in the US by resident and international travelers.
  • 99.5% of companies in the travel sector have less than 500 employees.

How to Become a Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist is responsible for teaching patients about the importance of dental hygiene, professionally cleaning teeth and performing minor preventive dental care. Day to day tasks will include doing x rays of patients’ mouths, giving fissure sealants, preparing laboratory tests and removing plaque and stains from teeth. Depending on the laws of the country in which the dental hygienist works in, additional tasks such as filling patients’ teeth and putting patients under anesthesia may also be performed.

A large part of a dental hygienists job is to educate his/her patients. Such education covers the importance of proper dental care including what the best toothbrush for an individual is and how to correctly use it and floss to prevent plaque build up. One of the unique aspects of the job of a dental hygienist is that it is one of the easiest careers to work on a part time basis due to the fact that many dentists only hire dental hygienists for a couple of days a week.

Educational Requirements

The educational requirements to become a dental hygienist are relatively light compared to the grueling educational requirements of becoming a dentist. In order to be licensed as a dental hygienist, a candidate must pass a written and practical test and graduate from a dental hygiene school.

The majority of dental hygiene schools award associate degrees and these are all that is required to work in a private dental practice. Some offer bachelors degrees and these are required should you wish to teach or do research in dental hygiene.

Some of the dental hygiene schools in the US prefer candidates to have completed one year of college prior to entry, however this is not the case for all. While at dental hygiene school, typical subjects will include physiology, radiography, pathology and pharmacology together with the more obvious subjects of clinical dental hygiene and gum diseases.

Demand for your skills

In 2012, dental hygiene is expected to be one of the highest growing employment fields in the US. It is expected than demand overall for dental care will continue to increase and also that dental hygienists will begin to provide more treatments that were originally reserved for dentists.

The increase in demand for dental care is put down to both the increase in the population and the increase in the number of people keeping their natural teeth as dental care continues to improve. It is also expected that the newer dentists that are replacing the high number of older dentists that are set to retire soon will be more likely to hire dental hygienists than their predecessors.

Did you know?

  • Almost 75% of Americans suffer from some form of gum disease without being aware of it.
  •  According to the ADA, a person’s smile outranks their eyes, body and hair as their most important physical feature.
  • Tooth decay is the most common and the most preventable disease in American children and more than fifty one million school hours are lost each year because of dental related illness.

How to Become a PC Programmer

The exact responsibility of employees termed computer programmers will vary from company to company. In their simplest form they are those that develop both the instructions that computers use to operate and the languages that those instructions are written in. A computer program allows a computer to perform a particular operation and a programmer writes the code that said program is made of. They do this by taking the designs that have been developed by software engineers and writing code that causes a program to execute according to those designs.

Computer programmers can roughly be divided into applications programmers and system programmers. Applications programmers develop specific applications and programs. They work with other computer experts such as software engineers to create various types of software such as games and accounting programs. Systems programmers on the other hand work in a far broader field developing entire operating and network systems. Applications programmers are currently the most common type of programmers.

Creating programs can involve the use of multiple different programming languages. As a result of this the majority of computer programmers will know more than one language. The creation of a particular type of software will generally require far more skills than just programming and as such it is common for computer programmers to work as part of a multi disciplinary team. It is a common misconception that programmers work alone on front of a computer but this is actually very rarely the case and as such strong communication skills are essential.

Almost all industries employ computer programmers but the most are found in the software publishing and system design industries. Though this varies from country to country, there are a very high percentage of computer programmers that work on a freelance basis. It is common for a company to require a computer programmer just for an individual task that could last anywhere from a week to a year. It is simply more economical for them to hire someone on a short term contract and hence demand for independent contractors and consultants in this field is always high. Because of this many computer programmers go on to set up small computer programming companies that cater to this demand after gaining just a few years of experience.

Educational Requirements

There are no set educational requirements to be a computer programmer. Many employers value candidates with practical experience in programming over graduates. Therefore a degree is not strictly necessary. Despite of this however the majority of those employed as computer programmers do indeed have one and twenty percent have studied at a postgraduate level also.

As well as high demand for candidates with practical programming experience, many jobs require specific skills. As more and more programming languages emerge, knowledge of said languages puts an applicant at a distinct advantage, particularly languages with advanced technical features. Possessing other skills such as business or management skills is also highly valued.

If a candidate does not have practical experience, there are many ways that said experience can be gained. For a start, there is an endless amount of opportunities to contribute to open source projects online. There is also very few types of practical experience that can beat a particularly impressive portfolio of personal projects. Becoming a computer programmer is essentially all about showing a potential employer your skills.

Employment Outlook

The growth in the demand for computer programmers over the next decade is expected to be in line with other industries. However this growth is expected to encompass a decrease in the demand for programmers without specialist knowledge. . Programming that does not require specialist knowledge or design skills is expected to be increasingly out-sourced to countries where it can be done at a lower price. This is expected to be offset however with an increase in the demand for programmers with either design skills or knowledge of new and emerging specialist programming languages.

Did you know?

  • The size of the worldwide software industry in 2008 was estimated to be $303.8 billion which illustrates a 6.7% increase over 2007.
  • The size of the worldwide software industry is expected to increase by over 50% in between 2008 and 2013 to $457 billion.
  • To buy a share in Microsoft in 1986 you needed to shell out twenty six dollars.
  • To buy the same share in Microsoft now would cost you over six thousand dollars.

How to Become a Doctor

Hospital doctors use vast amounts of medical knowledge to diagnose and manage disease; they also of course help to prevent it. Work is primarily performed in wards as well as out-patient clinics. Most hospital doctors work for the NHS but there are also many hospital doctors working in the private sector. As well as the treatment of the patients that they are in contact with they act as a point of reference for other healthcare professionals within the hospital such as nurses and pharmacists.

Within this career, there is a wide range of specialties; these include surgery, pediatrics, anesthetics and emergency medicine.

Average Workday Activities

Though the activities undertaken will obviously greatly depend upon the specialty chosen, there are a number of activities that all doctors working in a hostel will undertake regardless of the specialty.

  • monitoring and offering general care to patients on hospital
  • admitting patients that need investigations and treatment
  • examining patients in an attempt to establish their illness
  • performing set procedures through utilizing acquired knowledge
  • documenting treatments to comply with legal requirements.
  • conversing with other doctors as well as non medical professionals
  • promoting a healthy lifestyle
  • mentoring less experienced doctors that work at the same hospital

Education and Experience Requirements

Due to the importance of the work performed by a Doctor, qualification takes a long time and a lot of hard work. In order to become a doctor you need to graduate with a degree in medicine that is recognized by the General Medical Council The first thing that is required is very high A levels. Competition for entry into medical school is always very fierce and even with the highest A level grades some relevant work experience may be required. Personality traits that medical schools are looking for are:

  • a genuine sense of caring about peoples well being.
  • to be accepting of personal responsibility
  • to be able to work independently as well as part of a team.
  • to have a realistic idea of what the work involves and its challenges
  • an ability to communicate clearly and to convey empathy
  • obviously, a high level of intelligence

As well as the difficulty of medical school and the difficulty of actually getting into medical school, there is also the matter of financing it. Many students at medical school find that due to the course hours as well as the excessive course work, there is often not sufficient time to work even on a part time basis. As a result of this, the majority of medical students that graduate do so in heavy debt.

The Road to Becoming a Consultant

Most doctors aim for the level of consultant which has the highest salary as well as the most responsibility. The road to this level is quite long however. After successful completion of a Foundation Program which lasts two years, it is then only after qualifying in a particular specialty can the role of consultant be considered. Upon reaching the level of consultant, the doctor is in charge of his own work and for supervising other doctors. In the UK, Reaching the consultant level is technically possible eight years after graduating from medical school. However for a competitive post, far more experience is usually required.

Salary

Considering this mountain of debt, it would obviously be hoped that the salary would be high and the answer that it is, but not straight away, therefore a medical school graduate can expect to be heavily in debt for quite a few years. A junior doctor that is completing the postgraduate foundation training will make a minimum of 22,000 for the first year and 27,500 pounds for the second. During the following specialty training, the typical salary rises to between 29,000 and 44,000 pounds per year.

On average, five years after graduating from medical school, you could be expecting to earn between 35,000 and 50,000 per year. It is important to remember that most doctors will reach consultant level and this is when the expensive medical school years will really pay off with salaries generally being between 75,000 and 100,000 pounds per year.

Conditions

Being a doctor is by no means a nine to five job. You can expect hours to be long and highly unsocial with weekends, evenings and nights being a frequent occurrence as most doctors work on a rota basis. A recent law will make life easier for junior doctors however as it dictates that such a doctor cannot work more than 48 hours per week. The location and hence the conditions of work will vary according to specialty. For example, some doctors will primarily work in hospital wards while others will be mainly laboratory based. Self employment, freelance work and career breaks all become more and more possible as experience is gained.

Work is available in most cities in the UK but to work in a specific specialty it is not uncommon to have to move to a particular place. It should also be noted that it is a highly demanding job. It is necessary to continue studying long after graduation in order to gain specialist qualifications and both the long and unsocial hours as well as being responsible for people’s lives can take its toll.