School Leaver Career Options

When you leave school with just GCSEs to your name, whether your grades are not good enough for college or you simply do not want to go, in the past you have not been left with a lot of options. Not everybody is academically gifted and the academic route is not suitable for some roles. Today, there are more school leaver career options than ever before. Here is just a small selection away from the unimaginative suggestions of retail and admin that usually come up.

Public Services

Surprisingly, the Police Service doesn’t require a basketful of qualifications and if you are the right type of person, you can enter straight from school. It is a tough career choice though and not everybody will make it through training. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a degree to become an Inspector, though graduates certainly will move up the ranks quicker; what they are really looking for is someone with the right leadership skills. The format for entry and promotion is very similar for the Fire Service too, making these public services amongst the best school leaver career options.


Have you always been sporty and active? Is the academic route not for you but you’d like to learn about the human body? There are some sports and fitness companies out there looking to train the next generation of gym instructors, gym managers and personal trainers and are offering paid internships and apprenticeships for the right people. It is a massive growth industry as people seek to fight their sedentary working lifestyle.


There are many skilled roles that do not require foreknowledge of the industry, and hairdressing is one of the school leaver career options that will guarantee you work for the rest of your life and earning a very good salary with it. It may take a long time to work your way up and you’ll start by doing the menial tasks for the qualified hairdressers; it is a highly skilled job that doesn’t require qualifications even if some colleges are now offering hairdressing as an NVQ.

Computer Games Tester

Parents often complain that their son or daughter spends too much time on the console and argue that it won’t give them life skills or get them a job. Every teenagers dream would be to get paid work playing video games… and now they can. One of the most unusual school leaver career options, and one you may not consider, but gaming is big business and developers need people to test the games and give feedback on playability, but especially bugs and glitches. A buggy game can kill its sales so testers are vital to the survival of the developer – and you don’t need to leave your bedroom.


Tinkering with a car still seems to be a hobby of the younger generation even in these days when electronics are taking over so becoming a mechanic remains one of the most popular school leaver career options. With more cars on the road every year and more things that can go wrong with them, there will always be openings in this industry. You may even find within a few years that you are able to open your own garage.


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