During Year 11, everyone seems to only talk about GCSE examinations! Every teacher will be encouraging their students to revise and classroom friends will probably begin to panic. Even student’s parents may be worried! As a result, students can put too much pressure and stress on themselves. Now whether it’s exam stress or other factors not all students pass their GCSEs.
If you don’t pass your GCSEs, there is no need to worry. There are many job opportunities out there that require no qualifications at all.
You actually have access to a wide range of jobs which don’t really require you to have gained any GCSE qualifications. Check out this article if you want to find out what these jobs could be!
Can you get a job without any qualifications?
Every teacher at school will probably try and emphasise to you how important GCSEs are. It is true that your GCSE grades can affect what courses you are accepted into and affect what job prospects you have in the future.
However, they are not the be all and end all. If you really feel that you are unable to re-sit your GCSEs and can not even face another year in an academic environment, you may not have to. It is definitely possible to be employed without any GCSE qualifications.
Many of the jobs that require no qualifications have decent pay. However, you will probably be required to gain specific qualifications to the job, especially if you want a good wage.
For example, intermediate apprenticeships will take on students without a single GCSE qualification. The qualifications you will get from this are equivalent to GCSEs.
Apprenticeships can then lead to well paid jobs and the longer you stay with the company, the more likely you are to get promotions and be paid even more!
What jobs can you get without GCSEs?
Most jobs require you to have at least two GCSEs. Preferably, GCSE Maths and GCSE English language. However, you can do plenty of jobs without GCSEs. Some of them may really surprise you!
These jobs can pay quite well. However, just because they don’t require GCSEs, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t difficult!
Disclaimer: While we hope the list below helps provide you with a few ideas on where to start looking for work, this list is not a definitive answer to all the job and career opportunities you may have in the future.
1. Retail worker
Jobs in retail often pay extremely well and don’t require many qualifications. You may be required to have GCSE Maths and English qualifications, but not always.
However, other GCSEs are not essential. If you want to discover information about retail worker qualifications, check out this article from the Pearson website.
There are plenty of jobs offered in retail. For example, you could become a customer service assistant. This involves being responsible for taking calls from customers and placing orders.
You could also be a retail assistant, which involves helping and serving customers. You could also be involved in stocking shelves and operating tills.
The average wage for a retail worker is £8.19 an hour. However, this depends on your job and the company you work for. Therefore, it could be more or less. Check out this article from Pay Scale to check out the variation in pay.
You could earn even more if you progress to becoming a manager. Therefore, retail offers many job opportunities.
2. Supermarket cashier
Quite a simple job, you can do this with no experience or qualifications. All you need are some good people skills, and a small level of skill with numbers.
A cashier’s job is simple: you scan items, take in money, and give change. Sometimes you’re required to do more than that (like help with stocking the shelves and stuff).
It all depends on what employer you work for – smaller businesses will require you to do more, whereas larger businesses will have lots more staff.
Places such as Sainsburys offer up to £11.00 per hour. This is incredibly well paid, considering the simplicity of the job. Most retail jobs require basic maths and English skills, to deal with stock and customers respectively. More on Sainsburys pay can be found here.
Here’s a list of a few places that are on the lookout for cashiers, so check out these links regularly for jobs:
- Sainsbury’s Job Opportunities
- Tesco Job Opportunities
- Asda Job Opportunities
- Aldi Job Opportunities
- Lidl Job Opportunities
3. Call centre operator
This job involves answering enquiries from customers by different forms of communication. For example, you could be answering letters, phone calls and emails for the company you work for.
You do not actually need lots of GCSE qualifications for this job role. You may require an English language GCSE, however this depends on the company.
You will most likely be required to do a functional skills course if you have no GCSEs. You can access this career by doing a level 1 college course or even doing an apprenticeship.
However, there are essential skills you do need for this role. These include knowledge of how to use a computer and having the ability to work well with others.
As a new employee, you are likely to only get £15,000 a year. However, as you become experienced, you could earn up to £28,000! You could then even progress to become a manager or team leader and earn even more.
Check out this article from the National Careers Service to find out more.
You may be surprised to learn that to become a firefighter, you don’t actually need any GCSEs. Instead, you will be required to sit tests equivalent to these to become a firefighter.
You will also be tested on your mechanical reasoning ability and will be required to complete an apprenticeship. It is also important that you are physically fit if you want to become a firefighter.
This is because putting out fires and saving people from burning buildings can definitely be strenuous. If you want to discover how to become a firefighter, check out this article from UCAS.
As a trainee firefighter, you could earn up to £23,000 a year! However, the more experienced you become, the more money you will soon be earning.
In fact, a very experienced firefighter who has become an area manager can earn up to £58,000.
Check out this link to the Firefighter Recruitment page.
5. Police officer
To become a police officer, apprenticeships are a great option! This doesn’t require you to have any GCSEs. However, it does mean that as you begin your apprenticeship, you will be starting at a GCSE entry level.
Alternatively, you could do a two-year qualification programme called Police Now, which requires you to have an English language GCSE qualification. You can find out more about this on UCAS, if you click here.
As a police officer, you will be required to respond to incidents and investigate accidents and crimes. It can be quite a stressful job, so make sure that you are prepared!
The average starter salary for a police officer is £19,164. However, experienced police constables can earn up to £41,130. This career also allows an immense amount of progression.
For example, you could even become a detective! You can find out more about becoming a police officer on this article from the National Careers Service.
Here’s a link to the Police Cadet Enrolment page. Take a look if you’re thinking about being a police officer, or if you’re interested in the emergency services too.
For more information about how to become a police officer, check out this article from Think Student.
6. Train driver
To become a train driver, you only need to have a GCSE English language and GCSE Maths qualification for most companies. You do not need any other GCSEs apart from this! Some companies may not even require any GCSEs at all.
However, there are skills you need which are essential in order to become a train driver. For example, you need excellent concentration skills, patience and fantastic attention to detail.
You are also required to have good eyesight and will have to complete a train driving course. Train drivers definitely earn quite a bit of money! An apprentice train driver can earn £18,000 to £27,000.
However, an experienced train driver can earn more than £67,000! Check out this article from Career Boss if you want to discover more.
The links below will provide you with far more information about careers in the rail industry:
7. Construction worker
This job involves working on construction sites to help with building projects. It can be quite a challenging job, as it is physically exhausting. You will be involved in laying concrete, setting up road works and much more!
You will usually need 2 GCSEs. However, this is not compulsory for all companies and if you do an intermediate apprenticeship as a construction worker, you may not need GCSEs.
As a trainee or new construction worker, you are likely to earn £17,000 a year, However, as you gain more experience, the pay will increase. You could earn up to £32,000!
If you wanted to progress in your career, you could even become a qualified tradesperson or plant operator. You could even become a site supervisor. More information about this role can be found on the National Careers Service website, if you click here.
8. A fitness instructor
As with most of these careers, you will most likely require at least 2 GCSEs. However, there is a way to get around this and this is through functional skills courses in college.
You could then become a fitness instructor by going completing a college course or an apprenticeship. In this job role, you will be helping your clients reach their fitness goals and give advice on health and nutrition.
The lowest wage as a trainee fitness instructor is £14,000. However, an experienced instructor can earn up to £22,000.
To progress your career, you could study more specific aspects of fitness, such as yoga and even teach fitness classes. To find out more, check out this article from the National Careers Service.
Similarly to a fitness instructor, you are normally required to have two GCSEs to complete this role. However, with a functional skills course at college, you can join a beauty therapist college course without your GCSE qualifications.
You need this in order to study a level 2 course in health and beauty. As a beautician, you will be responsible for carrying out procedures such as manicures, skin improvement treatments and much more.
You can find out more about this career on this article from the National Careers Service. A trainee beautician is likely to earn around £16,000 a year. However, an experienced one can earn up to £25,000 a year.
With experience, you could even become a salon manager.
10. Animal carer
This job is great for all of the animal lovers out there! All you need to do is make sure that the animals you are looking after are well- fed and clean.
This can be a very rewarding job, especially if it is done for a charity. You could care for animals in a variety of places. For example, zoos, shelters and pet shops. Normally, the salary is around £19,000 a year.
However, this amount always depends on the company and what your exact job role is. It also depends on what animals you are actually looking after!
For example, looking after a house cat may be slightly easier than a tiger. You can check out which animal caretaker roles are available on the Indeed website, if you click here.
There are no specific qualifications to become a carpenter. However, most employers will expect you to have at least some carpentry experience!
If required, there are many carpentry courses you can take. As a carpenter, you will be responsible for construction involving wood. You will need to be able to know how to use machinery and install the things you create.
It will also be useful to be good at maths, as there are lots of calculations involved in construction. The average salary for a trainee carpenter is £17,000. However, an experienced one can earn up to £35,000!
You can find out more information about carpentry on this article from the Randstad website. You could progress to having a specialised role- maybe even helping construct film sets!
You will be happy to know that to apply to become a bartender, you don’t need any qualifications! Instead, the company you work for will probably ask you to complete a course for them.
This is because you will need to learn how to deal with customers and how to make complicated drinks. The only requirement that is essential to apply for this role is your age! You must be at least 18 to become a bartender because you are responsible for handling alcohol.
To find out more about becoming a bartender, check out this article from Eposnow. The average salary of a bartender in the UK is approximately £10.50 an hour!
However, this definitely depends on the area you work. You can discover more about this if you read this article from the European Bartender School website.
The more experience you get bartending, the more your wage will increase. This career is also very rewarding! You get to develop your people skills and will probably have immense fun doing so.
To pursue this career, you may be required to have two GCSEs. However, many companies do not actually mind if you don’t have any GCSEs!
This is because employers often focus on your personality when deciding whether you should become a waiter or waitress. This is because this job role requires you to deal with a large amount of people.
You need to be good at dealing with customers and coping with stress. Especially if there are a few angry customers!
The starting wage of a waiter or waitress is about £12,000 a year. However, if you become more experienced, you could earn up to £22,000.
If you want to earn more money but enjoy the field, you could specialise in fine dining. Alternatively, if you work hard enough, you could become head waiter or the manager of a restaurant.
For more information about this career, check out this article from the National Careers Service.
If you enjoy cleaning and keeping areas today, this job role may be perfect for you! You don’t need any academic qualifications to become a cleaner.
Instead, the company you are employed by will probably ask you to complete a cleaning course. This will make sure that you have all of the essential skills needed to complete your jobs thoroughly.
The average pay is around £19,573 a year. However, this depends on the company you are employed by. The industry is definitely growing, so there are plenty of jobs available.
You may think that this career offers no progression. However, this is very wrong! You could become a cleaning supervisor and with enough experience, even a cleaning manager.
If you want to find out more about becoming a cleaner, check out this article from the Blue Arrow website.
15. Games tester
This job sounds like a kid’s dream. Getting to play games all day doesn’t even sound like a job! To become a games tester, you don’t have to have any specific academic qualifications.
However, there are skills that are definitely required. For example, you need to have good attention to detail and not be afraid to voice your opinion.
This is because you will be required to test for any bugs or glitches in video games. You will also need to tell the companies whether you think the game is worthy of being bought.
There is no set pay for a video games tester. This is because it can vary a lot. As a result, you need to research individual companies yourself if you are considering this career.
This is a great job for people who enjoy playing games and are quite introverted. If you want to discover more about games testers, check out this article from the Profitable Venture website.
16. Factory worker
This job involves manufacturing goods for industries. For example, you may be responsible for manufacturing pharmaceuticals or food and drink.
Some companies may expect you to have GCSEs. However, work experience is likely to be more important for this role. For example, it may be useful to have a fork lift driving certificate!
For this job, you need to be prepared to work hard and work well as a team. An inexperienced factory worker is likely to earn £17,000 a year on average.
However, an experienced worker could earn up to £24,000! If you get enough experience, you could even progress to becoming a shift supervisor and earn even more money.
Check out this article from the National Careers Service website if you want to discover more about factory workers.
17. Warehouse worker
This job role may seem similar to a factory worker’s purpose. However, it is quite different! This career requires you to take delivery of goods and pack orders for dispatch.
Sometimes, you will need some GCSEs. However, most of the time, this is not an issue! This is because, again, this job values experience more than academic achievements.
You will need to have good communication and teamwork skills for this role. You may need to be physically fit too, as you may be required to walk around all day!
As a starter salary, you are likely to earn £16,000 a year. However, as an experienced worker, you could earn up to £24,000.
With more experience, you could become a shift supervisor, team leader or even a warehouse manager. Check out this article from the National Careers Service website if you want to find out more.
18. Taxi driver
Taxi drivers are responsible for driving people to the destinations they want to go to. If you choose this career, you are likely to meet a variety of different people and have many interesting conversations.
To become a taxi driver, it is likely that you will need at least two GCSEs. However, some companies don’t require you to have any!
Instead, companies require you to have qualifications specific to taxi driving. For example, a certificate in Road Passenger Vehicle Driving would be an essential qualification. Of course, you will also need a driving licence.
With more experience, you could become a supervisor or manager. Alternatively, you could form your own company and start private hiring. More information about taxi driving can be found on this article from The Taxi Insurer website.
According to Indeed, a normal taxi driver makes an average of £28,363 a year.
19. An army soldier
You don’t need any GCSEs at all to join the army! However, having GCSEs will open up a larger variety of careers in the army, rather than just being a soldier.
However, as a soldier with no GCSEs, you can still progress your career. This is because you will be learning on the job and gaining experience as you go.
You could even complete an apprenticeship to get an even better career in the army. This job also requires you to have a high level of fitness because you will be moving around a lot!
It is an honour to work for the army because you will be protecting the country. However, don’t apply if it doesn’t seem like the right job for you.
20. Royal Navy
We’ve all seen the advert, with people announcing they’re ‘made in the royal navy’. But what does that actually entail?
To join the royal navy, no GCSEs are required. There are other entry requirements, things to do with criminal convictions, tattoos, and medical needs. To check your eligibility for the royal navy, follow this link.
Being in the royal navy is no easy feat, however. Intense training and rigorous routines are enforced on you, testing both your mental and physical capabilities.
However, there are many different roles within the royal navy that you can do. You could be an engineer, a chef, a naval service reserve, or even a marine.
There are lots of jobs available to choose from, and they all give you training with no previous experience required. This is great for those with no GCSEs, as it can be a fresh start to prove you can do whatever it takes.
Here’s a link to the Royal Navy Enrolment site if you’re thinking about joining the royal navy.
21. Rubbish collector
To become a rubbish collector, it is unlikely that you will need to have any GCSEs. However, most companies require you to be at least over 18 years old.
In this job, you could work in a small team or be a driver, collecting and unloading waste. Therefore, to be successful at this job, you need to have quite a high level of fitness and work well as a team.
As you progress, you could become a rubbish collection supervisor or with further training, a waste management officer. To find out more information, check out this article from the In Put Youth website.
According to the Glassdoor website, you could earn up to £25,828 with this role.
22. Charity worker
Truthfully, companies prefer charity workers to have GCSEs and possibly even university degrees! However, this is mostly for people with jobs higher up in charities.
If you are just involved in fundraising, it is unlikely that you will need any GCSEs. In this job, you could be responsible for planning fundraising events and employing volunteers.
The starting salary for this job role is £20,000. However, if you get more qualifications and possibly a university degree, you could earn up to £36,000.
With experience, you could earn even more if you become a charity events manager. For more information, check out this article from the National Careers Service website.
If you are interested in helping charities but don’t want a proper job, volunteering would be a great option! Check out this article from Think Student to discover why volunteering is a great idea.
23. Shop worker
To work in a little corner shop, you probably won’t require any GCSEs. Instead, if you want to do this career, you will need to show employers that you are good with customers.
This is because the skills valued in this job include interacting well with others and working as a team. There is no average salary for this role.
This is because different shops pay their employees different amounts. If you get fed up of working for a shop, you could even progress to becoming a shop owner!
Hairdressers are responsible for caring for people’s hair. If you become a hairdresser, you will be trusted to cut, style and dye your customers’ hair.
To become a hairdresser, it is likely that you will need 2 GCSEs. This is because it lets them know that you will be able to work hard and gain a hairdressing qualification.
However, if you don’t have these GCSE qualifications, it is still worth contacting salons! This is because they could provide you with apprenticeships which will allow you to enter the role. You can find out more about this if you check out this article from the CPBA website.
Alternatively, you could become a hairdresser with no GCSEs, if you are self-employed. According to the Indeed website, a hairdresser earns £24,020 a year on average.
25. Fast-food server
A fast-food server is responsible for making and serving fast food. There are many different fast-food places. Some well-known ones include McDonalds and KFC.
You may require two GCSEs for this job role. However, many companies will not require you to have these qualifications.
Instead, you may have to take a course. However, you will mostly be learning on the job and it will be quite easy to pick up the different skills.
According to this article from Glassdoor, fast food workers can earn up to an average of £18,727 a year. However, this depends on each individual restaurant.
If you get enough experience, you could progress to becoming a manager of a fast food joint!
These are many fast-food chains you could apply to work for. A few are listed below with links to career pages:
To become a butcher, it is unlikely that you will require any GCSEs. This is because you will be taught all you need to know whilst on the job.
However, you will still need a good understanding of maths and English! This is because you will need to know how to calculate the correct amount of change and how to talk properly to customers.
Your job role will include ordering stock, preparing meat and serving customers. If you want to find out more about the role of butchers, check out this article from Reed.
The average butcher salary in the UK is £25,000 according to this article from Check a Salary. If you want to earn more, an apprenticeship would be a great idea!
You could then advance to a senior position in a butcher chain or even a supermarket.
As a florist, your job role involves creating flower arrangements for different events. For example, you could produce floral creations for funerals or weddings.
Being a florist requires many early starts and is actually quite a strenuous job. To discover what life would be like as a florist, check out this article from Stylist.
To become a florist, no GCSEs are required. However, it could be useful to take some courses tailored to this job role.
This is because your customers are likely to pay more if they see that you have experience and are capable of creating beautiful arrangements. According to Indeed, florists can earn up to £11.00 an hour.
If you wanted to earn even more, you could set up your own florist business and even supply private events with flower arrangements. If you want to discover more jobs that are seen as creative, check out this article from Think Student.
28. Care worker
If you enjoy looking after people and find fulfilment from this, becoming a care worker may be the right path for you! This job involves helping a range of different people with their physical and emotional needs.
You could be helping older people, children with learning disabilities and many more. Therefore, to be a care worker, you need to be patient, friendly and caring.
You don’t need any qualifications! However, you need to have first aid skills and after you are employed, you will need to complete a variety of courses.
When you first become a care worker, you are likely to earn £16,000 to £20,000 a year. However, with more experience, this will increase!
The pay will increase even more if you take a supervisory role. Check out this article from NCC if you want to find out more about this job role.
A social worker is a similar career to this. If you want to find out how to become a social worker, check out this article from Think Student.
29. Child minder
Anyone who knows a young child can do this job! If you like children and know you can easily get on with them, this job is a great way to earn money.
Ask your neighbours or family friends if they have children which you could help look after. No GCSEs are required for this job role.
It may not seem like a proper job, however the pennies will soon stack up. You will need to discuss with each individual parent how much you will be paid an hour.
This won’t be a proper job, however, if you want to find a quick way to make money, this is the way to go!
30. Sales executive
Sales executives are very good at what they do – selling products. No experience or GCSEs are required, but it does help to have charm and a winning smile.
To work as a sales executive, you need to be able to sell products efficiently to customers. This means doing your job even sometimes when you know the product is awful.
It can be tricky at times, whereby you’re expected to sell a certain amount and it’s hard to reach that goal. Lots of missed quotas can even lead to you being sacked.
It all comes with high risk, high reward. There is lots of room to improve in this job, and a high chance of promotion. Unfortunately, if you haven’t got charm, you won’t make it very far.
According to Totaljobs the average salary for a sales executive is £30,000 per year. So, it certainly earns its place on this list.
There are loads of receptionists wherever you go, for businesses, hotels, clinics etc. The job of a receptionist is to keep on top of business and make sure everything is organised.
Usually, the job has a nice working environment, with your own space to personalise (to a certain extent).
At times it can be stressful, but only when you don’t keep on top of your work. Being a receptionist requires little to no experience, and more importantly no GCSEs.
It will help your application process if you do have GCSEs, but not hugely. This is a good job to go for no matter your qualification status.
The average salary in the UK for a receptionist is £19,000.
It also looks great on your CV, as it shows that you are a hard worker, can stay on top of work, and are organised.
To be a journalist, you don’t necessarily need qualifications or experience. As long as you can write well and meet deadlines, you can have a great career in writing.
You can start by submitting articles for companies, building up your portfolio in the hopes of better employment.
Once you’ve got a solid portfolio going, you can start to look for better jobs – in publication, editing etc. These jobs will be higher paid than just submitting articles and can be a pathway into bigger and better things.
One good way of building up your portfolio is to write for newspapers. You can put it on your CV, and that way you’ll have physical evidence to show your employer.
If you’ve got good literacy skills and you think you’re up to it, check out these links and apply:
33. Home services employee
Confusing title, right? What this basically means, is that you work for somebody who can’t manage their house. This could be an elderly person, or even a rich person with a house that’s too big.
There are many different types of home service employee, and so lots of choice depending on your skills. Gardeners and cleaners are the most common, but they usually get paid the least.
Being a house manager (in charge of all the other house employees) can earn you big money depending on who you work for.
This job can be quite peaceful, but stressful at times if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why training is provided on the job, and all you need are some good people skills.
No GCSEs are required for this job, making it one of the highest paid jobs you can get with no qualifications. Remember though, the highest paid home services employees have the most experience, so it might take you a while to get the big bucks.
As you can see, there are many job roles you can do even without any GCSEs! All you need to do is research what you want to do and there will definitely be a perfect career out there for you.
However, GCSEs do open a range of opportunities for you. Therefore, it is recommended that you do everything you can to pass them!
Where can you find information about job opportunities?
After deciding which career you think would be the best for you, you then have to actually find a job! This can be hard, especially if you don’t know how.
There are plenty of job sites which can definitely be useful. For example, Indeed is a good choice. This website has a comprehensive search function with many filters, such as location and salary. You can start searching for jobs on Indeed if you click here.
Another useful website is Totaljobs. Not only does this website give you access to many vacancies, it also gives you useful career advice. You can start searching on Totaljobs, if you click here.
However, if you want to use a job site that bases it’s roles on specific companies, then Reed may be the best option for you! You can start using Reed to search for jobs if you click here.
There are definitely other ways you can find jobs. When businesses have vacancies, they tend to put up flyers in their windows. Therefore, if there is a specific café or shop that you want to work for, check this out and maybe even look at their individual websites.
Local corners shops sometimes have flyers for job vacancies too. Also, if you happen to read a newspaper, jobs are often advertised in there too.
Hopefully, with all of these tools, you will find the perfect job for you!