The Complete Guide to Choosing an Industry That’s Right for You


We spend a large part of our adult life at work, and it can significantly affect our well-being, both physically and mentally. This is why choosing a career is something that you shouldn’t take lightly. It’s important to explore all the options available to you before you make a final decision as this will help ensure your future professional happiness.

Taking our free career interest test is a great way to get started moving in the right direction. The test is made up of six different parts which will allow you to find the perfect career. The first part, the Career Interests Test, is designed to help you identify the industry you are best suited to.

Identifying the right industry helps you zero in on the ideal career which minimises the risk of making a wrong decision. By looking at the industries, rather than individual professions, you can also identify the fastest growing industries in the UK which can help you find a job easier, while it can also help you choose a career based on how lucrative a sector is expected to be.



Of course, to make an informed decision, you need to explore all the industries available in the job market and find out more about each and every one of them. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of all the job sectors in the UK with details on Industry Requirements and salary data that will make deciding much easier.

1. Accountancy, Banking and Finance

accountancy banking industry

Apart from professional qualifications, you need the disposition to work in these industries as well. Work can be rather monotonous, and you need to be able to embrace the routine of it all to become successful.

2. Business & Management

business management

Creative arts don’t just include fine art and fashion, but rather they have expanded to include different professions which require a sense of creativity. These include jobs in advertising, arts and culture, as well interior design. Your role could either be more practical –i.e. being an artist, or it could be more administrative –i.e. being a museum curator. As the digital era is upon us, roles in creative arts have begun overlapping with the media and information industries as the goal is now to produce content for different digital projects.

Salary Data

Unfortunately, professions in creative arts are not as well paid as they should be. In spite of the rise in their popularity, they remain as low-paid as ever. It’s especially hard for graduates to get started in this industry as long-term unpaid internships are standard. What’s more, working on a project by project basis as a freelancer is also quite common. But, should you manage to make a name for yourself, you’ll quickly start setting your own rates (if you work on a freelance basis) which could quickly turn into a well pai job.

Popular Professions

  • Actor
  • Animator
  • Art Therapist
  • Dancer
  • Exhibition Designer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Fine Artist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Interior Designer
  • Jeweller
  • Makeup Artist
  • Multimedia Artist
  • Musician
  • Painter
  • Photographer
  • Product Designer


For some of the professions in this line of business, getting a degree is not required, for others, such as graphic designer, a degree is essential to help you get a job. What can be especially helpful in your job search is a strong portfolio so make sure you build a website with a sample of your work. To succeed you also need to show passion for your subject and to keep up with industry trends. You should also be able to work effectively on your own and be proactive.

5. Environmental Care

environmental care

Pursuing a career in healthcare is not for the faint-hearted and as such you need to ensure that you are truly interested in a role that makes a difference to people’s health and well-being before you decide to go down this path.

Although the NHS employs more than one million people, it is not your only option when it comes to getting a job in this sector. Opportunities are also available in the private healthcare sector, as well as in the voluntary or not-for-profit organisations.  You should note that there’s a good chance that you’ll be expected to do shift work, with unsociable and often long hours. It’s also important to remember that most work in this sector is extremely stressful and emotionally draining.

Salary Data

As this is an extremely broad sector that encompasses each and every aspect of patient care, there’s no single salary to discuss. A nurse, for example, can start at £28,000 and reach £40,000, while a dentist starts at £30,000 and can eaen more than £100,000. Most, if not all, of the salaries in this sector are defined by the NHS and as such a lot of these salaries start just slightly above the £20,000 mark in Band 6.

Popular Professions

  • Chiropractor
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Dental Technician
  • Dentist
  • Dietician
  • Epidemiologist
  • General Practitioner
  • Health Service Manager
  • Health Visitor
  • Healthcare Scientist
  • Medical
  • Medical Practitioner
  • Microbiologist
  • Midwife
  • Nurse
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Optician
  • Paramedic
  • Pharmacist
  • Physicist
  • Physiologist
  • Podiatrist
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Sports Therapist

Industry Requirements

As a sector, healthcare demands its professionals to be extremely skilled. It’s therefore essential to gain a relevant degree before you even consider applying for a job in the sector, while it’s also important to make the most of the work placement undergraduate and postgraduate courses offer as it will help you gain valuable work experience. Apart from qualifications, it’s important for professionals to also gain soft skills that will allow them to excel in this sector. These skills include empathy and caring which are essential for bedside manners, while team-working skills and excellent communication skills will also be useful.

8. Hospitality

hospitality industry

Information technology is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK job market. Due to the rapid expansion of technology, there is a great shortage of developers with the right skills and this means that there are lots of chances of finding a job faster than you would in other industries.

Although the entire sector is highly sought after, mobile application developers and designers, as well as cyber security specialists are in high demand as these are relatively new concepts and there aren’t many people with the right qualifications for these types of roles.

Salary Data

The truth is that despite the shortage of qualified professionals in this line of business, it’s not an industry that has many amazingly well-paying jobs. Graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in this sector should expect an average salary. Of course, your salary will also depend on the organisation you work for, but the standard starting salary is £30,000.

Popular Professions

  • Information Systems Officer
  • IT Consultant
  • IT Sales Professional
  • IT Technical Support Officer
  • SEO Specialist
  • Software Developer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Systems Developer
  • Technical Author
  • Video Game Designer
  • Web Administrator
  • Web Developer


To do well in this industry you need to have a curious mind and be genuinely interested in technology. You’ll be expected to come up with practical solutions to complex problems on a daily basis so you should have great reasoning skills as well.

Qualifications will also go a long way to help you get a job with one of the big organizations in the sector, so look for courses that are new and focus on the aspect of the trade that you are interested in.

10. Law

law industry

According to studies more than 15 million people in the UK play sports on a weekly basis which means that this trade is only going to grow in the future. Leisure includes roles in betting and gambling, for example casinos and horseracing, as well as more roles in museums and entertainment, like cinemas and theme parks. Roles in sport include coaching and performance analysis, as well as roles in sport and leisure centre management.

The majority of the major organisations in this industry require professionals from different industries such as IT, sales and marketing, so if you have a background in something else you can combine it with your passion for leisure and sport and seek a job that you are passionate about.

Salary Data

If you are interested in pursuing a career within this sector, then you should expect a rather low salary as most organisations don’t pay that well and establishing your presence requires quite some time. If you are hoping to get a job in the world of fitness, you should know that it is conventional for instructors to get hired on a part-time basis and be paid hourly. Hourly pay ranges between £10 and £20, while the average starting salary for other roles in this industry is between £14,000-20,000.

Popular Professions

  • Fitness centre manager
  • Outdoor activities/education manager
  • Sport and exercise psychologist
  • Sports administrator
  • Sports coach
  • Theme park manager

Industry Requirements

Depending on the role you are interested in pursuing different skills and qualifications will be required. If you are interested in becoming a sports coach, you should get a degree. To help people avoid getting hurt you should also have a deep understanding of the human body. Learning how to effectively support others is also essential in this field, while identifying an individual’s or a team’s strengths and needs will go a long way in helping you become more successful.


20 percent discount
20 percent discount


12. Marketing and Advertising

marketing advertising

An immensely multidisciplinary industry, media includes areas such as filmmaking, scriptwriting, advertising and journalism. Just like marketing, this trade has too exploded with the rapid technological advancements of the last two decades and is quickly becoming an extremely interesting sector.

Employment opportunities are available with both larger firms, such as newspapers and magazines, but you can also get a job with smaller independent companies. But, most professionals work on freelance and short-term contracts which can be less than ideal if you are looking for stability.

Salary Data

One of the most popular routes into this business is through internships, and these can be unpaid so it’s important to understand that you need to be extremely dedicated to this industry to persevere. Entry level salaries can be as low as £12,000. With enough experience, the salary can go up to £40,000, but people who work in this sector do it because they believe in the cause rather than for the money.

Popular Professions

  • Editor
  • Filmmaker
  • Journalist
  • Media Researcher
  • Printmaker
  • Proof-reader
  • Radio Producer
  • Reporter
  • Social Media Manager
  • Sports Commentator
  • Video Editor
  • Web Content Manager
  • Writer

Industry Requirements

Although a degree in media is not essential to get started in this industry, it’s always recommended to have some kind of humanities background. Bear in mind that analytical thinking and great observation skills will definitely help you do well in this sector, while excellent communication skills are vital.

14. Office Administration and Public Services

office administration

There’s a wide variety of career opportunities in this sector that is vital to the UK’s economy. In retail alone there are over three million employees, while there’s a huge number of people hired in sales related roles as well.

The work environment is extremely varied, but generally speaking, it’s extremely high-pressure. You should also note that a lot of the roles in this industry involve shift-work, as well as work on weekends, which can make your social life difficult. Also, entry-level positions generally involve part-time work which might make a liveable salary almost impossible.

Salary Data

Salaries in this industry are dependable on the position, location and employer. As such, working for a SME and having a more central role to the business will generally yield a better salary than if you work for a larger organisation at an entry level position. Generally speaking, most of these jobs offer a basic salary with a chance to earn a lot more in commission, so if you have a knack for this industry you might be able to make a high salary.

Popular Professions

  • Call Centre Operator
  • Customer Service Manager
  • Logistics and Distribution Manager
  • Personal Shopper
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Retail Merchandiser
  • Retail Salesperson
  • Sales Assistant
  • Sales Manager
  • Sales Promotion Officer
  • Warehouse Manager

Industry Requirements

As this sector is growing, it now requires people with technical skills as well. Developers for example may easily find work opportunities in this industry as more and more organizations are looking into website and mobile applications development. Of course, more traditional roles require people to have excellent communication skills, while if you are interested in getting started you may want to look into customer service as this part of the sector is rapidly expanding.

16. Science and Research

science research

If you are considering the security sector, then you are probably interested in a role that will pump your adrenaline and put you in harms way. Roles in this industry include emergency services and the armed forces and according to psychometric tests, people interested in this line of work are usually interested in careers that provide them with authority and prestige.

Salary Data

Salaries in this industry vary depending on the role you will take on. If you are interested in a career in law enforcement you should know that the starting salary for police constables is £19,000 to £22,000. But a senior police inspector can make up to £50,000.

Popular Professions

  • Military Officer
  • Emergency Planning/Management Officer
  • Firefighter
  • Police Officer
  • Prison Officer

Industry Requirements

University qualifications are not essential for this sector, although you may need to sit through tests. What’s important is that you have the appetite for such a role as most of these professions include a risk factor, and require people to be fearless.

18. Social Work

social work

Should you decide to work in education, you should ensure that you have the energy for it. Whereas other industries are inevitably monotonous and routine, there’s nothing monotonous or routine about education. You’ll be required to work with different people on a daily basis, and as people’s needs vary and change you’ll be expected to adapt to cater to those needs.

Although most roles in education include teaching, not all of them will have you standing in front of a whiteboard. Roles in this industry also include educational psychologists and learning mentor, so what binds this sector together is that you need to be passionate about helping others reach their full potential.

Salary Data

As a field, education is highly varied and this means that salaries are extremely varied as well. A teaching assistant, for example, could make anything between £11,000 and £15,000 as a starting salary, whereas a qualified teacher could get double that salary. Of course, the difference is that to be a teaching assistant no special qualifications are required, whereas to be a teacher you need a QTS. Of course, apart from qualifications, your salary will depend heavily on where you work, your class size and how experienced you are.

Popular Professions

  • Early Years Teacher
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Foreign Language Teacher
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Learning Mentor
  • School Teacher
  • Special Educational Needs Teacher
  • Teacher Assistant

Industry Requirements

To enter the Education sector one needs to have excellent communication skills. A deep knowledge of his or her chosen subject is also essential as to help others gain knowledge; you need to understand it at a deeper level. Skills such as an excellent sense of humour and an energetic presence will also go a long way in helping students love you, but to teach one also needs qualifications. The Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for example is essential for a teacher to be hired, while the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is also recommended for anyone who aspires to have a successful career in Education.



Selecting an industry that matches your interests can be crucial to your professional happiness. By ensuring that you have an appetite for the sector you are entering, you are ensuring that you’ll remain happy and passionate about your job throughout your working life. What’s more, selecting an industry before choosing a profession minimises the risk of making a career mistake; if for example you realise that you’ve chosen the wrong profession five years down your career, making a lateral move in the trade is not that hard.

But even if you are certain that you are not making any sort of career mistake, taking an interest in the industry of your chosen profession could help you remain more current as it will allow you to keep up with trends and know what to anticipate.

Have you already chosen your industry? What drew you to it? Let us know in the comment section below and if you are still uncertain of what industry matches your interests make sure to take our career interests test to find out!

See Also: Pros and Cons of Aptitude Testing