Career of the month

Each month, we’ll be shining the spotlight on a different career. Whether you’re looking to find the next step when you leave Warrington Collegiate, or want to know more about the qualifications and skills you need for your dream career, we’re here to help.

For further advice on guidance on careers, speak to our onsite Careers Adviser, based in Learner Services. 

Career of the Month – June: Head Chef


How much can I earn?

Salaries start at around £16,000 to £18,000, and increase with experience. Highly experienced head chefs can earn around £50,000.

What skills do I need to become a head chef?

You’ll need excellent cooking skills, leadership and management skills, organisational skills, the ability to control a budget and work with figures, the ability to work under pressure and make quick decisions, and the ability to stay calm and overcome any food production problems.

What does a head chef do?

You’ll organise and manage the work of the kitchen staff, decide which tasks need to be done and share these among the team. You’ll also be involved in the some of the preparation and cooking of food.

Your day-to-day duties might include planning menus, making sure food is of the right quality and price, managing stock, ordering food from suppliers, controlling a budget and keeping accurate recording, recruiting, training and developing staff.

You’ll usually work shifts, involving early mornings and late nights, weekends and public holidays.

Working in a kitchen is hot and humid. You’ll be on your feet most of the time and working under pressure. You’ll also work at a desk when planning menus. 

What qualifications do I need?

You will need a passion for food, experience of running your own section in a professional kitchen and a qualification in food safety. 

Most head chefs work their way up from kitchen assistant to trainee chef, then section chef.

You could prepare for this role by taking a course in professional cookery that combines classroom-based study with practical experience and placements. 

Warrington Collegiate offers a fantastic range of hospitality & catering qualifications to help you on your way to that dream career. 


Career of the Month – May: Paramedic

What is a paramedic?

Paramedics deal with emergencies, giving people life-saving medical help.

How much can I earn?

Salaries start at around £22,000 for a qualified paramedic and can go as high as £35,250 for specialist paramedics and team leaders.

What skills do I need to become a paramedic?

You will need to develop a variety of skills including excellent driving skills, the ability to think and act quickly under pressure, practical skills and the ability to follow procedures, and excellent communication skills.

What does a paramedic do?

Most paramedics work for NHS ambulance services. You'll deal with a range of situations, from minor wounds and substance misuse to serious injuries from fires and major road, rail and industrial accidents.

Your day-to-day tasks could include checking a patient's condition to decide what action to take, using a defibrillator to resuscitate patients, carrying out surgical procedures like inserting a breathing tube, giving medicines and injections, dressing wounds and applying supports for broken bones.

What qualifications do I need?

You'll need a foundation degree, diploma of higher education (DipHE) or degree in paramedic science or paramedic practice. You could start as a student paramedic, a trainee technician or an emergency care assistant for an ambulance service.

Warrington Collegiate offers a fantastic Access to HE – Health Professionals course to help you on your way to that dream career. 


Career of the Month – April: Biologist

The north west is one of the best regions in the country for the fast-growing science and technology sector.


What is a biologist?

A biologist is a scientist who has specialised knowledge in the field of biology, the scientific study of life. Biologists attempt to explore and further explain the underlying mechanisms that govern the functioning of living matter.

You can specialise in a number of areas including: biotechnology, ecology, immunology, marine biology, microbiology and molecular biology.

How much can I earn?

Salaries start at around £14,000, increasing to between £23,000 and £45,000 for experienced biologists, with highly experienced biologists having the potential to earn up to £70,000 a year.

What skills do I need to become a biologist?

You will need to develop a variety of skills including practical scientific skills, problem-solving, accuracy, attention to detail, communication and IT.

What does a biologist do?

Biologists use their skills in a variety of ways, applying them to various industries to improve how things work. For example, in agriculture, biologists help to improve the productivity of livestock and crops. In the environment, biologists can use their knowledge to clean polluted rivers and to protect plants and animals.

Biologists also work with medical professionals to help to develop new methods to diagnose, monitor and treat illness or disease. Biologists also design and carry out experiments, make observations and publish scientific papers. Other possible career paths within biology include management, teaching, the media, administration and scientific journalism.

What qualifications do I need?

You will usually need a relevant degree and a master’s qualification in a biological science. Employers may also want you to have experience in your area of interest and, if you don’t already have one, be working towards a PhD. You may also be able to become a biologist through a higher apprenticeship.

Warrington Collegiate offers a fantastic applied science course to help you on your way to that dream career. 


Career of the Month – March: Engineer

There is currently a shortage of highly skilled engineers and women in the engineering sector across Warrington and the north west.


What is engineering?

Engineering is a branch of science and technology concerned with design and building, the use of engines, machines and structures. Engineers also diagnose and solve problems.

There are many different types of engineers working across various sectors, including mechanical, electrical and electronic engineers.

How much can I earn?

 Salaries range from £22,500 up to £52,000 a year for senior positions. Salaries depends on your qualification and experience.

What skills do I need to become an engineer?

You will need to develop a variety of skills including problem solving, calculating and designing. Communication skills are seen as an essential, with team work proving integral to finding solutions to problems and designs. The ability to use Computer Aided Design is also sometimes needed.

What qualifications do I need?

The qualifications you need will vary depending on the type of engineering you want to go in to.

Warrington Collegiate offers a range of engineering courses to help you on your way to that dream career including A-level equivalent, HNC/HND qualifications and apprenticeships.

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