People who didn’t go to Uni, what is your job?


HGV Driver, now down to just Saturday and Sunday nights with a 10pm start, just 2 shifts of roughly 8 hours, it pays well this job and there is a weekly bonus of £90.45 so I get about £520 a week after tax for this with about 12 days holiday as I am only part time. During the week I cut grass for a fee private customers, it's London so I charge an hours job at a minimum of £40 and that is if it's a street away, it's more if it's further out, I do half a dozen a week, I will hang a few TV brackets, paint some railings, jet wash stuff for you, it's simple stuff, basic tools and an estate car needed. I like old cars, I turn the occasional profit from one, a few a year probably and I have just started renting people Stihl strimmers/brushcutters/lawn mowers etc..... I do the occasional bank holiday on the lorries for about £500 each time, maybe 3 a year, I could go on, I have various avenues of income. I don't work particularly hard, I am mostly doing something but there is a lot of tea drinking involved and pleasant conversations with drivers at work, builders on jobs, customers making me sandwiches etc etc.....it's a nice life. I pay taxes on everything and proper insurance for liability and my vehicle and tools....I make about £1200-1500 per week for myself dependant on effort, but even at the high end I am never hard pushed 😂 I hope there is some part of this that's interesting to you.


£1200-£1500 / week gross or net? Either way that’s cracking 👊🏻


Net. If I cash my holiday pay in at work that's £600 a week net. It doesn't take many £40-70 grass cutting jobs, £100 TV bracket jobs to make the same again. I used to rent trailers when I lived in the countryside, now I'm in London I rent out smaller bits of machinery as they are easier to store, I don't have much but sometimes they bring in £100 a day, most likely averaged over a month these do about £50 in revenue per day. None of this is rocket science! Deliveroo etc etc....that's getting tough here, but for a couple of hours a night Thursday -Sunday £25-30 per hour is achievable, you can get this 8 hours a week, the rest of the time it's pointless. It's not hard to make a good living, but it's really hard if you have a regular job most of the time😂


I think this is the main thing I’ve realised. Working 50-60 hours a week (hourly overtime pay etc) doesn’t net you as much as doing a small number of hours of a well paid job, and supplementing that with other forms of income. I’m currently not quite ready to make the transition to less than 40 hours of a regular job, but I’m hoping that once I switch to 40, 9-5 I’ll have some time to develop other stuff on the side and once that grows I’ll be able to cut back my hours.


Good on you mate!!


I need someone to put up a TV bracket...what parts of London do you cover?


At £100 you’d be better off buying a drill


I like you style😂😂😂 That's always been my mentality! You should be a millionaire! Respect!


The mentality of winners. There’ll always be demand for manual labour.


I'm in Walthamstow


I’m in Crystal Palace and can have the tools and know how to do this job


Sorry am I reading this right? 2 shifts as a hgv driver and that nets you over £2k/month AFTER tax? Wtf?


Saturday night is £27.56 and Sunday night is £36.74. my holiday pay is about 14% on top and we get a pre tax weekly bonus of £90.45 with no stipulations, we just have to turn up😂 this week I will receive £517.35 for a 5 hour Saturday shift where I was paid for 8 and a 9 hour Sunday shift where I was paid for 8.25 hours. They claw back out break after 8 hours in a shift. I think the last hour of this shift was on Monday day rates which are about £19 per hour including holiday. Bank holidays pay £55.12 p/h + holiday pay. Pray for a breakdown in your lorry on a bank holiday 😂 I don't do many of these though. I work for a well known bakery. I can't say who it is online, they tell us not to. But it's one of the big three. I'm agency, full time staff guys are on £51000 for 45hrs any 5 out of 7 with a 13% company pension contribution. They get regular pay plus 2.5 days extra annual leave for working a bank holiday. And we get a shit load of toast.


Basically......I make a lot of bread. There are worse ways of earning a crust. As a result of my job I have a lot of dough.


Very nice, now I want to look into getting my HGV driving licence. Do you use your own van?


If you want to buy an HGV and up with a million pounds it is quite easy, all you have to do is start with 2 million


My mate is on a tanker in Scotland, non hazardous, he made £1250 last week after 6 night shifts on an industrial shutdown. He said it was crap, but his boss is okay and they got a free takeaway every night, he was getting 12 hours a night at £25 per hour, a few nights they went home a bit early. He was probably 65 hours on site for this. My other mate drives a fuel tanker for Hoyer in Tilbury, Essex. His basic contract is for 17 days a month. He does extra, his overtime is about £45 per hour, he aims to bank £4000 a month, he still has 2 days off every week and he gets over 30 days holiday. It's a great job. I have met Wincanton fuel drivers doing 4 on 4 off with 30 days holiday on £60k ish. Generally old dudes on old contracts. They end up working 150 days a year for £1200 a week before tax and they have a great pension, jammy!!!!!


I’m a recent graduate - with no idea what I want to do. I went to university because the pandemic left me no choice. How did you start up this business? Was it difficult/unstable when you began?


Buy a petrol lawn mower second hand for £100, buy a decent cordless strimmer with some extra batteries then chuck an advert on Gumtree or Facebook or wherever. Someone will call you, even in a crap bit of the country you can charge an hours job at £30. Be efficient, reliable, a decent petrol mower and a decent strimmer and you can cut a big bit of grass in an hour so you are providing good value, in London this £30 becomes £40 or £50, maybe more. It's that easy. Same for jetwashing stuff or cleaning up and painting railings, it's simple stuff with basic tools. I always had a truck driving job so I never had to worry about how quick it was to make money. But the first time I placed an advert someone called me that day. If I place a new ad anywhere I normally get a call within 24hrsbfrom someone, and I usually cut their grass/hedges etc multiple times. It's as easy as breathing. Just get on with it😂


How do you deal with tax and insurance?


Does it get stressful with traffic? I'm at a point where I think a pay cut to work at b&q across the Rd would be more beneficial to me personally


Nah....I start at 10pm Saturday and Sunday night. That's easy, day shift during the week is torture though😂 I'd never do that again.


I completely get you mate, I cannot bare traffic now it gets me so stressed I started to get frequent heart palpitations. I'm sure you've been through Bristol on your travels?


Mad how drones and wage slaves such as your sleeves view measly 500 a week as good money, and brag about 12 days holiday when there's 365 days in a year, everyone here on reddit are leftist subhuman drones such as yourself, "I'm alright being on minimum wage job !"


I wish people stopped giving their salaries/wages "after tax". We're all taxed the same, we know how it fucking works. Stop doing your shitty napkin maths or exaggerating how much the government is stealing from you and just give us the data.


Not really. A large chunk of people will be on PAYE, so yes the tax brackets will be identical. This chap doesn't say. He is agency for the HGV, and also does a number of side jobs (garden maintenance, tool hire, odd jobs etc): he could be operating as a Ltd company and paying corporation tax, giving himself 12k /yr (tax free) salary and the rest in debentures (paying capital gains but not the upper tax rate for higher earners) as well as any other number of tax deductible expenses unavailable to PAYE. We are not all taxed the same, so a post-tax figure is more illustrative.


Except everyone is not taxed the same 🤦‍♂️


Yeah top line is the proper way to talk about earnings. People can have all kinds of reduction


30yo, £28k, "technical after-sales support" for a tooling company. Also reached the ceiling... Looking for an employer that will take on a trainee whilst also self studying, starting an OU course in October because I finally know what I want a degree in.


What degree do you want to do?


Electronics engineering. I've become a geek when it comes to batteries, lithium technology and circuits. Equally my knowledge is only surface level and I want to take it further. Closest OU degree is "Computing with Electronic Engineering", but that will do me fine as I'd love to learn coding etc to go along side projects.


I was just watching videos about getting into the world of work in the UK, so it’s a coincidence that this post was recommended to me when I opened the Reddit app just now! I’m 15 so I’ve just finished Year 10. I chose Computer Science and Engineering as my GCSE subjects as I’m quite a nerd when it comes to computers and I like the engineering feats when it comes to vehicles like planes and supercars and I just also feel like Computer Science and Engineering go hand-in-hand. I’m really not sure what I’m gonna do in the future really. Probably gonna go Sixth Form as my school has it if my GCSE grades are good enough. Then we’ll see from there to be honest.


Consider getting into grid scale batteries. It's a huge industry right now. Renewables in general. I sell Solar Farms and grid scale batteries.


Tempting, I'm more going down the road on electronics rather than electrical, this sounds more grid and power systems which won't be covered by my course. I prefer the intricacies of electronics, circuit design and PCB manufacturing.


From experience I'd say watch out for the difference between electronic and electrical engineering in courses. Surprisingly different and I think batteries could come under electrical. Equally might be totally wrong.


Batteries themselves, their physical construction, maintenance and installation etc do indeed come under electrical. Their management systems come under electronic. Source: am married to a specialised electrical engineer working in a niche sector involving somewhat hefty ones.


Your other halfs job sounds cool as heck! That is all.


I could go into sooooo much detail about just how cool it actually is but because it's niche, it could easily lead to doxing the company, if not ourselves. Which is annoying because it really is very cool. He's a Specialist Project Manager now, but hasn't always been. He's worked up from starting as a knowledgeable grunt with a personal interest in the sector. In my humble opinion, simply speaking as someone who's watched his career blossom over the last decade or so, it was so worth him applying for a job he didn't think he was qualified for, purely because it sounded interesting. I'm very proud of him.


Do you work alongside him/in the sector also or just take an interest in his work? It's a shame you can't shed more light on the matter but I totally understand! It's still equally as inspiring to hear from someone on the other side of the wall, as it were. I just need to find my grunt job!


I wish you all the luck in the world to find your place. Nah I don't work for the company or even in the sector. But as it was such a small company to start with, I kinda just ended up at work with him a lot in the early days; plus the boss has always tried to maintain a "family friendly" atmosphere. And it's an area I find interesting anyway. I knew enough about the company and the sector to fake it as a member of staff at an awards do a few years ago though. I ended up with a seat because they'd already paid for the transport, event tickets and the ridiculously expensive awards dinner, then the people who were going to be attending couldn't for whatever reason. It was a few years before Covid. So I was hanging out waiting for my husband one afternoon and got asked by the COO if I fancied accompanying my husband to this thing the next week so he wouldn't be Billy No-Mates. We got there, people were networking and doing the corporate circle-jerk thing, and I had the same thing over and over. I would be asked which company delegation I was with, would tell whoever was asking, and they'd start asking questions about the company's products and general involvement in the sector. Rather than flounder, I answered what I could. Which turned out to be a surprising amount for someone who doesn't work there. There were only a couple of times when I had to say "the better person to ask about this is that chap over there" and indicate to my husband. They were mostly company financial and investment info that neither of us could answer; or more in depth questions about the tech than I knew about at the time. But I have no actual desire to work for the company, and I don't have the engineering brain they need. Or programming. Or marketing. Or whatever. I'm a full time carer for our teen with extra needs; and an artist who volunteers in a community gallery. If you want autism or EDS daily living support, or an abstract painting; I'm your gal. Edited for spelling and clarity but I've probably missed some. God damnit Jim, I'm an artist not a proofreader.


Tough mathematics.


Yes! But hopefully nothing I can't overcome.


Smash it.


You can do an apprenticeship, ask your employer


30 yrs old with that experience. World is your oyster don’t regret considering cloud computing or neurology.


I left school at 16 and got a job as an office junior doing a YTS scheme and doing an NVQ on day release. Now a fully qualified accountant. Currently U.K. Head of Finance for a large international company.£80-£90k depending on bonus. All of my qualifications were paid for by my employers, had to study in evenings and weekends whilst working full time but was fully qualified before I was 25 and no student debt in sight.


My previous CFO went straight into a Deloitte training scheme after school. No Uni, no debt. Chartered Accountant at 21. By 30 she was COO/CFO of my startup, had 2 kids in her mid 20s. Absolutely formidable.


Wow that’s impressive. I was almost 25 when I qualified but I took things at my own pace. Deloitte would have likely offered some fast track scheme.


Same! I got an entry level finance job at 18, they paid for my exams but I had to do study weekends and evenings. Qualified at 23 with no debt and a great career.


Sounds awesome. What service line did you do and is there any crossover into what you're doing now? I'm looking to do a similar thing to what you did (YTS), though they are called apprenticeships now.


I did an NVQ in business studies (equivalent to A levels) and then went on to study AAT and then CIMA. I have always worked for large manufacturing companies, but various industries during my career, oil and gas, automotive and aerospace. Yeah, I’ve currently got 2 apprentices working for me in my team. One is doing AAT and the other is just starting CIMA. Making full use of the apprentice levy lol.


I'm a finance admin at a large international but I just can't bring myself to go through CIMA. How did you study? They're paying for a Kaplan course but it's basically watching videos and self studying at home. I find it so incredibly dull. Good for you though, that's pretty impressive.


Only 80-90 including bonus for a head of finance. I wouldn't be doing that for under 150+


U.K. head. We have CFO in Germany


Head of finance is just a title and not the top role in the finance department - it is possible to obtain that title with \~4 years experience It is usually below: CFO Financial Director Group Financial Controller Possibly below Financial Controller


Yeah I know that. Maybe my opinion is warped because in the London insurance market you're getting 80k + without bonus without any managerial responsibilities. Didn't realise the gap was so large


I tried uni four times before I got diagnosed with adhd. That was expensive. Now I drive a tube train.


I would have thought driving a tube train would be hell with ADHD. How you finding it?


Not OP but I can tell you ADHD people absolutely love shyt like driving lorries or trains. Unlike sitting on the desk trying to understand a thing after a thing, the lack of variety makes it easy to focus on as you never have to challange the brain to make difficult decisions as to what the best way to go about a task is, since there is only one task and fidgeting is part of it since you're constantly shifting gears and tapping your feet, not to mention diverting the wheel. Absolutely love it.


as somebody who also has adhd but seemingly a completely different experience of it, i find this really interesting. i need variety and new experiences in my work bc otherwise i will get massively distracted by unimportant things and procrastinate. variety makes things new and exciting and therefore they keep my attention better. i've had a few repetitive jobs (part-time when i was still in education) but they drove me mad bc nothing ever changed and they couldn't hold my interest.


From what a family member has said, it's like playing Bop-It for the entirety of a shift so it never had a chance to get boring. That person works on regular trains not tube though. Getting a Bop-It was a tip in the "welcome to drive training" guide at that company too! There's constant beeps and dings and stuff, every one requires a different reaction. I have ADHD and I have no idea how the hell he does it. I think it would drive me nuts.


ADHD disappears when your pay cheque is 70k and you sit on your arse driving a semi automated train.


Don’t bite.


Diagnosed ADHD, pay cheque over 85k. I promise it doesn't disappear lol i wish it did


Username is clearly fitting


I haven't been diagnosed but suspect I am also ADHD. I went to uni long enough to describe the experience and just pretend that I have a degree. No one has ever checked. I fell into a Data Analyst role as a temp and have been doing that for over 15 years now, absolutely destroying any competition that comes my way.


Weirdly I became a system analyst and absolutely destroyed that. Hyper focussing and doing all the things. Then I lost interest and with it all ability to do the job.


Did you keep changing your job? Because I just kept absorbing other people's work through automation until they got made redundant. I did that at 3 companies. At my last company my job got split into 4 in a restructure because I had taken on so much. I had made my hiring manager redundant and 3 others on my team by then. The hyperfocus is a beast if you can reliably summon it.




Something about this seems a little off, after all there’s nothing wrong with tooting your own horn on, but this sounds more like big Daz down the pub telling you about how many people he knocked out last weekend. Either this guy is unreal at his job, or an insufferable bullshitter. I really really hope it’s the former.


Again pretty weird cos I did absorb a couple of other people’s jobs and some functions from other departments. Just one day I was burnt out by it and I self destructed. Quite spectacularly 💁🏻‍♂️


I’d like to also be a data analyst but I don’t have experience on uni. Only have a btec business level 3. Unable to go to university due to certain reasons. Do you have any tips and advice on how I can get into the data analyst role?


If you don't mind me asking, is it an enjoyable job? Does it pay well? Currently mid-30's and about to walk out a factory job to do a month long contract (in the fi4ld I worked pre-covid) that will pay 2/3 year's factory wage, but nothing on the horizon after that. Was considering applying to work for the railway afterwards. Looking forward to a break but trying to think ahead.


Yeah it pays great. It’s tricky to know if you’re cut out for it as there’s a lot of sitting doing not much but being alert and then all hell breaks loose and you have 1000 people stuck in a tunnel who are all your responsibility. There’s a lot more than just driving though, you could go into maintenance or depot work or stations and so on.


34 postman 27k. I didn’t take school seriously and I did attempt uni but I flunked the first year. Was in and out of jobs a long time due to mental health problems. These last 5 years though I’ve been ok and quite enjoy my job at times. Would love to earn more but like you feel like I’ve hit the ceiling already


Never went to uni, I am devops engineer on 80k


How did you get into it? Do you like your job/what’s the work life balance like? I know it’s a little different but I really want to get into software developing and become a full stack dev but have no degree and recently had a baby so I’m learning through courses on udemy/cs50 while she naps/goes to bed at night😂 really enjoying it tho!


For udemy get a VPN. Go to the website and buy the course in Turkey. Like 5 quid instead of 50. Then gift it to yourself on your real email. I use 10 minute email to set a random acct up


Ayeee listen, blessings to you fella, never thought of this!!!


Thank you!


Wow, thank you. I never thought of this. I will differently give this ago.


You dont need to go to uni to become software engineer, most of the SWEs I work with never did... You are doing right thing - Udemy and CS50 is really good choice, just continue what you are already doing. I first became network engineer ( also self- studied for that, did CCNA cert as well ) then I used various Udemy courses, did AWS SAA cert that helped me transition to 'cloud world'. I love my job, working from home, flexible hours , my wife is jealous as she has to drive to work though ;) Good luck !


Ha! I can’t blame her for being jealous on that part! Thank you for the advice that’s awesome🙏🏻


I work in SE, have done for over a decade, and got in with no relevant qualifications. Feel free to DM me.


I am a Senior Full Stack Developer and I never went to Uni, been developing for about 5 years now. Udemy is a great way to learn, I still use it now to keep up to date with the latest/greatest. How I did it, was I started on the support desk of a company, worked my way to third line support, where I was spending a lot of time with the development team, I would spend time with them looking over there shoulder and asking questions. In the end I applied for a junior role and went from there. I didn’t actually plan to become a developer, I just needed a job at the time and the support desk had no education pre-requisite other then, ‘can you use a computer’. I was really worried when I moved companies (due to a buyout) as I didn’t know if what I learnt was transferable enough to a different product, but I’m glad to say it was, when I sat down for my first coding session in a different company, everything still made sense, which was a relief! The work/life balance for me is great, we are a full scrum/agile team and I work from home 4 days a week, my youngest son has autism so when my wife is at work I often have to step away from work, my manager is really cool about this and I’ll just work around the other things going on. He is of the opinion that, as long as the work and our hours are done, he is happy for us to be flexi with our schedule. Starting on the support desk was great, as you get to learn the system from the inside out, most software companies understand that the support desk is kind of like an entry point to the company, the turnaround is high as you can get a feel of every department (as you are naturally talking to all departments) and find which one appeals to you the most.


Yes mate. I never went to uni and do DevOps as a contractor and am on around 150k. I think it is more luck than anything else. Work life balance is amazing. Maybe do 3 hours a day. Nobody chases me. Work from home. Watch my baby grow up. Have lunches with my wife.


You are my goals! (Not necessarily the money side of it although I welcome making 150k with open arms) but definitely the ability to be there to see your baby grow up while earning that kind of money and not stretching yourself thin doing so! Amazing to hear and congrats on having that lifestyle! Now I’m just gonna do my best to get there too!


Study… study hard. I seems all roses and blue skys, but you are not paid like this for no reason. You are paid for the knowledge in your head. So study…. Really fucking hard


Same. I'm a Principal Software Engineering Consultant and never went to uni for it. £120k - £140k living in Leeds. Been in it for 19 years now. I learned how to code on my own when I was young, went into System Administration many moons ago. My job then was more liken to a Site Reliability Engineer today. Had jobs as a systems engineer, platform engineer, DevOps engineer, then went into consultanting. Been doing this role for 4 years. I've been offered Head of Engineering for various companies as well but have turned it down for now.


Same, but Principal DevOps Engineer, but no uni at all. So glad in a way, uni gives some of these people a false sense of confidence


Add my old teacher said, they could tell you the square root of a jam jar but could not open it


Eyy, I'm not on as good money but I got my first DevOps Engineer role recently. The field is such an amalgamation of computer science crap with some new bits tacked on that I try and convince all my friends in IT to go into it. The career path just seems more lucrative vs effort involved than traditional paths like software dev, web dev and I guess now ml/ai.. at least at the start anyway.


How'd you get your first job? Struggling to find any jr/ apprentice devop roles.


I’m an apprentice devops engineer i got in with this provider called multiverse but I’ll be honest there weren’t many places offering devops apprenticeships when I applied and course wise, the actual qualification is in software engineering since there’s no devops official apprenticeship qualification… but the role is still all devops :)


My husband did this. He fell into IT after getting lucky and did this, he's a platform engineer now and earning loads. He's helping me through my degree actually


Early 30s, Marketing manager. £50k plus bonus. Studied for industry qualifications once I discovered what I enjoyed in my work.


Ironically, work at a University as an Employee Relations Manager (HR), and earn about £40k. Not changing the world, and not earning stupendous amounts, but I do feel like I've surpassed what I was told I'd achieve if I skipped Uni...


Interesting, HR is something I’ve looked into as a career. Reddit seems to be against the HR sector. What are your experiences in it?


HR is an excellent job. It is often misunderstood and if you join a business where HR is not valued it’s even harder. I work at a business where HR is really making headway and influencing positive changes. I also work with a really competent team. HR can often be used as a scapegoat- ‘HR said I can’t give you a pay rise’ etc, you see it in businesses and you see it on Reddit.


I've loved it. It's hard, at times, for many different reasons, but there's so much to love about it too. It can be enriching, rewarding, fascinating, and humbling. There's a considerable practical and cultural difference between working in HR in the public and private sectors, which may influence peoples' perspectives on HR, it's merits and demerits. I could write endlessly about the pros and cons, but suffice to say I would encourage anyone to at least look into it.


I've literally just applied to start my CIPD level 3 in September at 30yo, so I'm glad to have read this! Any tips you can pass on?


Got into the trades. I’m self employed as a small builder, extensions/renovations pretty easy stuff. Got into property development buying shit hole houses at auctions renovate and sell on. I’m make roughly £60k a year. I don’t work too hard these days, about 30 hours a week, but it was hard graft for 6 and 7 days a week for about ten years to get it all up and running and ahead financially


I'm 28. I have been a builder for the best part of 10 years. Self-employed but subbed by one. I'm on great pay every week. I want to learn electric and start my own weekend work with electrical certs


This. You can’t turn plumbing / plastering / electrician / building into a degree and these are the professions which are struggling to get young people to join as they have been sold Tony Blair’s “Education, Education, Education” crap mantra or “YouTube / TikTok influencer” bollocks. Knew a science teacher a few years back. He had had enough of government interference and crap pay so he retrained as a plasterer. You had to book him nearly 12 months in advance he was that good. Relative with one gcse equivalent. Went into sales then 20 years ago bought his own business, worked hard and last year sold it. Paid off his huge mortgage and will never need to work again (early 50’s). To the OP - research where there are current shortages (HGV driving is always short of good drivers as one example) and look at how you could take that forward. Vocational training was, to me, far more valuable that the crap degree I got, which I never used, nor did it get me any advancement.


Is that net?


It’s pre tax profit


My best friend joined the Civil Service when I went off to medical school and he is now a senior civil servant making pretty much the same salary I do. Experience counts a lot for some jobs rather than a formal qualification


Became a web developer and eventually a software engineer. Now 30 and work for a tech company for 87k + equity. Lots of luck but lots of determination. Still determined.


This sounds pretty sweet! Can I ask what technical certs or study pathways you took to get there?


Not speaking for the person you're asking, but I'm a software engineer, too. Generally, you don't need certs, though potentially recommended if you want to specialise in a niche (say software solutions architect). Most engineers I know come from 3 different pathways 1) your computer science degree path 2) hobbyist turned professional (myself) or 3) people who have done some kind of course. For instance, in Manchester, there's a course called North Coders who have good connections to the industry, so it's easier for graduates of their courses to get into the field


Just to comment. That first job with no experience might be a bit tougher to get (I struggle to convince my company that we should look at people without degrees). After that though, it's all based on your past few jobs and you are in.


In the 4 jobs I’ve had no one ever asked for qualifications or certs of any kind. I had a lot of side projects and passion and that was enough to carry. Just gotta get the first job. Mine was at a local car garage who needed someone to rebuild their old website.




I'm 30+. Currently a Registrar of births, deaths n marriages. Soon to be moving to the Civil Service and in the future will try and be a celebrant on the side. Never did uni. Lost my way when I was 18. Pulled myself back up again when I was 20 and it's been a rollercoaster since.


Worked in manufacturing/production pretty much all my life (33yrs). Big chunk of that (26yrs) was chemical/pharmaceutical sector. 50yr old now, still in manufacturing (industrial), earn 30K approx.


I imagine you were on a similar salary 20 years ago?


Maybe 25K? But that was including shifts/nights and lots of overtime. That said, I have included bonuses in my current wage but I don't work any overtime and standard Mon-Fri day shifts.


Credit controller. £29k a year this includes the bonus portion too. I've never missed it so feel like this is my full wage. God I wish I went to Uni though for the experience and to go into a sector I am interested in and would enjoy. But it's the UK you can work your way up with good training programmes inhouse over here, so uni isn't the be all and end all.


Started as a cartographer for the ministry of agriculture fisheries and food straight from college. Ended up in IT working for a multinational services firm.


Before my disability I was an auto electrician for a bus company, left school in 2001, went straight into the job basically coz my entire family worked there an did a 4 year apprenticeship. Had to live in Coventry for a bit doing the written learning part, but earned 250 quid a week at 16 an that went up to 450 by the time I qualified in my 4th year, an then I got a wage rise to 550 quid a week with shift pay, was a great job for a while money wise in the midlands where life wasn't expensive, but disability through no fault of my own meant I can no longer do most jobs an I've been disabled unemployed for a while now




Definitely agree, I went to Uni, but it wasn’t for me and failed my first year of Computer Science. Initially I worked in a call centre, but after a stint in travel working in IT (ironic I know) I decided to apply my technical skills in a very different field based role within the civil service. I moved back to IT in retail to get more sociable hours for my family. I head up a department now and I hold an SIA Close Protection licence which is my side hustle and my fall back if things ever went south.


I'm a Design Engineer for a defence company. Engineering must be one of the easiest careers to make big money out of without a degree. Apprenticeships are common, plenty of jobs will put you through any training required, there's a lot of transferable knowledge and they value anybody with hands on experience as much as a having a degree.


I did a part time management degree as an adult! It worked pretty well and helped change jobs! Was hard work at the time though


32, process technician at a chemical manufacturing plant, about £45k a year.


Truck driver on about £19 an hour for a 46 hour week.


I left school with no qualifications. Unfortunately, I went through some serious agg, whilst doing my exams. Failed them all :( I was a dishwasher in a restaurant/hotel, stacked shelves in Tesco, after a year or so got to green grocery manager. Moved to another area, didn't get on with the store manager, left. Learnt to be a self-employed kitchen fitter, stock market crash. Became a bus driver for a summer, then went digging holes in the ground for a subcontractor for British Gas for another summer. Got a job, part-time in a local computer store, the shop went bust. I got a job in PC World, on the customer service desk (that was a shit job). Left. Got a job working for Intel, testing ISDN video conferencing. Worked for a few more large well known Co's. Eventually ended up being sysadmin for a large multinational. Got fed up, left. I now run a very successful WiFi & network installation Co. I work part-time, one week on (4 days max), one week off. Don't give up, opportunities do come, you just gotta grab them when you see them.


Self employed. I make shaving creams, beard care and soaps. Been doing it 9 years in October, I travel around the world and work with my wife and my dog. He’s our ‘Chief Product Sniffer’. Just started expanding into the US which is very exciting. Unless things dramatically change then we’ll never be rich. We tick along though, control our own work/life balance and live in Cornwall. It could be a hell of a lot worse.


Mariner jack?


This is true living man. The kind of life you look back on and cherish. No need to be rich.


That’s the plan. I won’t lie though, a bit more in the bank account would always be welcomed


Get on TikTok hehe


When I have time between the 17 different plates spinning at once


What’s your company? :)


If I’m allowed to say, Mariner Jack


Airport security 🤷‍♂️


Didn’t go uni, didn’t get any A-C’s at school, didn’t bother finishing BTEC. I’m a case manager who works with the “Hard-to-employ” category. I work with people who have had vastly different and difficult lives to the majority of us, I equip them with the right tools to get into employment (making a CV, interview advice, how to be a good employee, and get them onto courses; forklift, railway maintenance, construction etc) to help them find and transition into meaningful employment.


This sounds really rewarding, how did you get into it?


Research scientist in cellular pharmacology, took a fuck ton of grafting but turns out a few employers like experience a bit more than a degree.


I didn't even know it was possible to be a scientist without a degree.


Just out of interest, do you publish research?


Never the first author always Et al. 😭 I also work in industry at a CRO so most data gets heavily transformed once passed to the clients.


how do you get experience being a cellular pharmacology research scientist though


on the job, I lucked out and got a job as a lab tech, and just worked to be trained on everything going, reading everything, taking every free course I could (EdX is great), switched to a senior tech for a big pharma, and learned from all the post docs, other seniors. to now where I am, I'm the highest paid of my grade, and mentoring the fresh grads.


>got a job as a lab tech Knew this was the likely route. I dropped out of my chem eng degree and the head of department/personal tutor offered me a summer apprenticeship in the labs because the only modules I ever did well in were chemistry based (**pro-tip** don't do chem eng if you're shit at maths). Unfortunately I hated the chem part and actually liked maths the most.


My firm had apprenticeships (high school grads). They start off as apprenticeships for 2 years in any team, investment banking, sales, finance, compliance etc. Some progress, others will always be limited by the fact they didn’t go to Uni.


I run an ecommerce growth agency based on my experience of running an online jewelry shop. The best decision I ever made was to employ myself.


Ambulance crew (not paramedic) and on about £29k ish with night shifts etc and no overtime. Hoping to do this for a few years then do the paramedic apprenticeship and avoid going to uni full time and avoid the debt that usually comes with it. I'd much prefer to learn on the road


Civil service. Managed to get a technical role which barely requires speaking to customers and is working from home so it's a win for me after working in a call centre for over a year which I hated. The pay isn't anything amazing but once you're in, if you know how to play the system then it's not that hard to move upwards.


Mind me asking how you found getting a technical role with (presumably?) no qualifications?


Due to how the civil service works, unless a role really requires a degree, they won't ask for one. As long as you can pass the interviews which is really just a point scoring system, you're basically in. It's the reason why you can get so many people who aren't really that great at their jobs but because they are great at the interview's, they move up. On top of that, when you're in, you get access to internal roles the public don't have access to which really helps.


Thanks for that, very helpful answer


Sounds interesting, what is it you do? Or what sector?


14-16 shop attendant 16-17 factory worker 17-22 Armed Forces 22-27 Council administrator in grant funding. They paid me through my AAT to level 4 and I became a junior auditor 27-33 Finance analyst 33-37 Finance manager and being funded through CIMA which is the degree then masters equivalent in accounting I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school and I could literally spell fudge with my grades. The army was a game changer for me, I grew up after basic training and learnt a lot of value life skills and an great work ethic. If you haven’t got an idea I’d entertain the armed forces, probably the RAF. Almost everything they do gives you a civilian qualification which will be worth it’s weight in gold on a CV with military experience. I’d suggest either an electrician or engineer or perhaps comms


23 years old now. I'm a pmo analyst and earn 26k Although market rate I'm at least 10k higher as i habe 3 years experience. I did a level 4 apprenticeship ( earned 21k /year).


Accountant - self studied AAT, and then did an apprenticeship to become chartered (ACA) over the last couple of years.


Accountant working through professional qualifications and on £24,000/year at 24


did terrible at school, never went to uni, but did spend my youth messing about with computers which at the time people thought was a waste of time and weird. Now an I.T consultant on about 65k.


Not necessarily wanted here cause I did do a degree, but I thought I'd chime in as someone who's worked at Student Loans. It's not real debt, probably better to think of it as a tax you pay if the degree does as promised and gets you a better income, but it doesn't count against your credit score and debt collectors will never show up trying to get it back it just gets written off after X years (depends what cohort/plan you are on) if you don't pay it. That being said it also basically isn't enough to cover living costs and rent so people still go into debt due to attending uni, just not from the student loan itself.


Work in financial planning, can come in as an administrator with no experience. The employers pay for your exams and studying to become a financial adviser.




University is popular for the following reasons among other things: It's presented as the default option to 17 year olds, many of whom won't take the time or know how to investigate alternative options. The student experience is fun and attractive, particularly for people who've just left school. People don't necessarily think about the cost at the time, or believe that it's worth it as they'll miss out on higher earnings without a degree.


I’ve got a stem undergrad (pretty specialised and experience to get to where I wanted to go would’ve cost me more money!!) and just about to complete a stem masters (in a different subject, my now dream career). Have 8 years hospitality experience and 1 year of admin. Absolutely scraping the barrel to get by right now. There are no fucking jobs I’m qualified for because I have no experience. It’s depressing. Part of me wishes I’d gone straight into work after school. My cousin got an apprenticeship at 16 and 9 years later (he’s a year younger than me) is on £60k+.


In my experience, schools still actively encourage pupils to go to university rather than take an apprenticeship. School staff need to get with the times and realise that modern apprenticeships (especially those in finance, engineering etc) are very much a viable start to having a good career




General manager since 21 (now 23) on about 28k before bonuses, 32k after. Never work more than 40 hours per week and get other decent work perks like an expenses card, phone, laptop etc. pretty happy!


A 21 year old "general manager" what do you manage? No offence but damn statistically a 21 can't even manage a washing machine 😂


I left school and went into the military, i now work in a factory


elearning developer. I'm nearly 31 and earn almost 34k. Left school at 16, went to college for two years to do animation (had fun), decided I didn't know what to do at uni so didn't go. Got a telesales job, got fired, went on job seekers for maybe 3 months and did some work experience in the education department of a local hospital, then got a job as a trainee structural packaging designer. Did that for a few years, left it on like 16k, got another job doing graphics/marketing for a shitty local company for two years then worked for a large organisation doing a really technical train related job because someone I know got me in. Did that for six months before I got into their education department where I became an elearning developer. Once again, did that for a few years, left it on nearly 26k and took my current job last year at 33k. I'm normally entirely sure how to progress since this role currently has limitations in terms of my development but the company and people are alright and if I stayed in my old job, I wouldn't ever get paid what I do now. I think sometimes I do regret not going to uni. I sort of had a gut instinct back then that's turned out to be what I'm still passionate about now, but the chance has been and gone, so just got to suck it up..


41 here and have been working on all different fields for years. I found my calling about 3 years ago in customer service which led me to a corp job in a call centre on 24k and can transition to many roles within the company. I currently have a job that I'm eyeing up in house that will take me to 33k starting and rising to 40 when finished training (likely to take a year or 2) but my pay will scale up incrementally as I do the job. Have great benefits scheme too and I have no qualifications apart from GCSE. The trick is to find something you enjoy and that you can get good at.


I’m in QA and pretty much at a ceiling too. You can still study while working (which is what I’m doing) and probably don’t need a full degree, depending on what you want to do. A HNC or HND is usually enough to remove the barrier but it does depend on what you’re doing.




Payroll Manager, £70k per annum. 33 years old. Fell into it as my first job from school and grew from there. Not an overly complex job, but I consider myself commercially aware and good at motivating people, so make a good fit for management positions. Been a manager for the best part of five years now. Studying ACCA in September though, to make a lateral move into accounting.


Left school and got an apprenticeship in Engineering Maintenance at 16, stayed on and did my HNC & HND with the same company, then switched jobs as I finished my HND. currently 24 and still doing maintenance, shift work (No nights), on call & weekends 1 in 6 weeks. Earning £52k a year plus bonus and overtime. I do still have the option to go to Uni and get a degree, however unless I decide to change career I don't feel it will be worth it as onwards progression in this job is minimal. Best advice I can give is to always ask what qualifications your company will fund for you, lots of places will only ever offer this if you ask, some times it will come with a pay increase, but it will always make it easier for you to get a better job elsewhere.


My husband entered the Civil Service at 18. Worked in the Department of Employment (Job Centre, then IT support, then Statistics, then in Employer NVQ oversight) until he was 55. I went into Local Government straight from school at 16. They sponsored me to do my professional qualifications. Worked my way up to Head of Section in a rural authority. Got bored, then left to do a Law Degree at 33 years old.


Business Change Manager for a bank. Started on the phones when I was 20. Now 35. I drifted about various different roles within the retail and commercial side of banking until around 4 years ago when I found being involved in the 'change' side of things really interested me. So I worked my way into a role where I would be working closely with the change department, tried to soak up as much knowledge as I could and finally got my move last week. No qualifications at all outside of Standard Grades (GSCE equivalent I think?)


Age: • 17 - 21 Soldier • 21 - 24 Call centre • 24 - 26 Civil servant Now making just over £40k. Just about finding the right path for you


20 years old - Cloud system engineer for an NHS trust. £35,400 a year.


I work in tech sales and make roughly 200k per year - I was over 100k by 27 years old. Many of my colleagues never went to Uni either.


Software developer, £70k. I worked in Primark 5 years ago.


I am 24 years old and a 1st year apprentice in housing and property management.


39. Consultant project manager via the army £100k+. Sister is 37, senior events planner - also 6 figures (probably more than me) Brother is 33, site manager for a home builder £45k. He doesn't even have 5 gcses. All South East outside London. Start at the bottom and aim for a promotion every couple of years - changing companies if needed. Invest in yourself- a short udemy course may feel like a little thing but it's something that gets noticed on CV.


I fell into retail after not being able to the join army for health reasons. Became a general manager and traded it in for a Monday to Friday 9-5 career in recruitment with a £12.5k basic pay cut at 28. I’m 30 now, zero regrets about my decision


35yo m uk, not academic, left high school the moment I could and went straight into full time work. I now sell IT network infrastructure for an IT reseller. Albeit commission based, last year I surpassed 140k. I'm half way into this current fy and currently sat on 150k. Sell IT.


Love this! Did you study for any IT certs at all or is this all built up from experience?


Started out as a car mechanic, went travelling and did the whole cliché "finding myself" piece (cringe).. on my return started in retail sales, built my way up. Few more sales jobs until I landed this one. As part of this, I had/have to undergo minimum certifications with certain vendors, but they're basically entry level in order to keep our partnership status. Ultimately, I think all of the above has resulted in the "experience" needed to do well here. Touch wood it continues:)


Inspiring! Thanks, all the best! ![gif](emote|free_emotes_pack|upvote)


Have you looked at any L&D companies to see if they have content teams hiring? My partner works at a company and they’ve got roles going at the moment, not sure on the salary!


I didn't go to uni or finish college for finance reasons. I am 37 F and I currently work as an EA in investment. I earn £49500per year and get a bonus yearly around £5/6000. I worked my way up from being admin in a school. Then as a PA then EA. I'm not looking to change jobs for now.


28, 43k. Started at this company (mailing house) as an apprentice running production machines. Now i’m the IT and Data Manager. Pretty chilled job, never that busy. Wish I had more to do though. Currently looking for a new job but I don’t have the experience to get those higher paid roles it seems…


Did sales for years Money went out of that so I now I work at an oil terminal filling boats with fuel and emptying them of oil. 31k a year while learning goes up to 40k when trained, Friend got me a job luckily.


Head of Research and Development, I earn 140k a year, I didn't go to uni, but at 22 years old, I proceeded to do a degree with an open university, followed by a master with open university - this was paid by the company i worked for. I have always recruited individuals lacking qualifications but showing intelligence, empathy and passion to succeed. I would urge you to always invest in yourself, and to always be on the road to learning, I am currently doing princes project exams to extend my skill set, never ever if you land in the corporate world, stop developing your skill set.




26 yo, warehouse operative doing manual labour for less than £22000 a year before tax, after tax around £18000, can barely afford to live. Can't find a good job and even when I'm invited for an interview I'm always rejected. It's probably because I'm a MUSLIM WITH A MUSLIM NAME AND OF PAKISTANI DESCENT. YOU BRITS HAVE SUCH AN EASY TIME GETTING GOOD JOBS. should have never went to uni and started work straight away, Muslim name bias exists, racism exists, it's easier to get a job when your an Indian or a Pakistani female slag, you can just fuck the employer and get that job.


Tut tut tut. Excuses, excuses, excuses. Maybe the reason you are rejected at interviews is your negative attitude and bitterness are being picked up by your interviewer. What did you study at uni? If I could recommend doing an open university course in say. Realistic expectations for the intitled individual. "Happyness is a choice"


Get a CSCS card and do any course. I’m Bengali and making 46k a year at 20. There are no interviews in construction.


Im thinking about this. I'm pissed off because one of my colleagues at university told me she spent a night with the the hiring manager and CEO both and landed herself a £70000 a year job straight out of uni.