Whether you are looking for a career change or want to add an extra dimension to your CV and experience, vocational courses are proving more and more popular with employers who appreciate the practical and applicable skills imparted by vocation-driven qualifications.

Here are eight vocational courses landing the top jobs in the UK.

Future Pilot

There is a common misconception that all commercial airline pilots are former RAF jet pilots from gentrified families. However students fresh from college can train to become a pilot with British Airways’ Future Pilot course. All that is required is a handful of GCSEs and A-Levels for entrants to apply for a place on the course and train up to become a commercial pilot with BA.

With average wages of up to £60,000, training to be a pilot could be an ideal option for a professionals looking to change career paths to a more monetised profession.

Airliner 1 (PD)


Working in tandem with the pilots are air traffic controllers, organising the routes in the air, ensuring the safe take offs, flights and landings of airplanes. NATS offer a vocational course for aspiring air traffic controllers, requiring only 5 GCSEs for entry.

Jobs in air traffic control can come with their share of stress thanks to the incredible importance of accuracy, but they are subsequently well remunerated. Entrants on the course can become fully qualified and eligible for air traffic control jobs within a year, making them ideal for those looking for a swift career change.


Being ACCA-certified can open a lot of doors for accountants with many employers actively seeking out candidates with the skills provided by the ACCA course. Kaplan Financial offer comprehensive training, guidelines and support for applicants training to become ACCA-certified.

The part-time option for the ACCA course makes it possible for entrants to continue their job whilst completing the training in their own time.

Fire Service Training

Firefighting positions are available for both full time professionals and part-time volunteers looking to help out in emergencies. A strict training regime is carried out by the UK Fire Service to accurately identify suitable applicants to these vital roles.

The training course selection process is strict, choosing only applicants who are physically fit and mentally adept. The 12 week course can lead to a swift career change, but a strong body and mind is necessary to succeed.

Building Surveying BTEC

A building surveying BTEC is a great boon for would-be surveyors and individuals working in estate agents. Edexcel are running a 3 level BTEC course detailing all the responsibilities of a building surveyor and the route to a professional status. Level three of the course trains entrants in equipment use, professional techniques and full procedures required of a building surveyor.

NHS Dental Therapy

The NHS continually trains dental therapists to join the health service. A dental therapist carries out a range of procedures on patients including polishing teeth, oral assessments, taking radiographs, providing education and placing patient’s crowns.

Entry on the course requires just a two A-Levels, making it hugely popular with college-leavers who are unsure about university. The qualification also gives the individual a good base to progress in the dentistry industry.

Adobe Photoshop

Whilst Photoshop is recognised mostly for the hilarious doctoring of pictures of celebrities, it is one of the main tools of the graphic designer. With thousands of features and applications, it is hard to be self-taught in every Photoshop discipline, necessitating additional training.

XchangeTraining offer 2 day courses in Adobe Photoshop, sharpening the skills of graphic designers and would-be graphic designers alike. With many roles comprising of a little Photoshop usage, it can be hugely beneficial to a wide range of professionals.

Gambling Operations

The advent of online betting has made gambling a multi-million, all-encompassing industry. It is now necessary for all gambling industry staff to hold an NVQ in Gambling Operations.

This incredibly competitive industry is hiring some of the finest minds in the UK to help deliver odds to attract customers but favour the bookmaker – subsequently wage packets of key personnel are growing exponentially.

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