Charities School Leaver Jobs - Careers Guide

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Working in charities involves caring and sharing. Is there an issue that you're really passionate about, like helping kids, animals, the environment or people in other countries who don't have much food or money? A career working in the third sector could be the perfect way for you to use your compassion and caring.Charities

Like any major organisation, charities have plenty of different roles to offer school leavers. However, the aim is always the same – to raise money for the chosen charity.

What’s it all about?TOP ^

Charity workers come from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences. School leavers are just as likely to get a career with a charity as a degree graduate. However, the more voluntary experience or job specific knowledge you have, the better your chances of securing a permanent position. For instance, if you've done some work in PR, you can help a charity with fundraising or coordinating volunteers. If you know about managing a business, you can help a charity keep its accounts and operations in order.

People who work for a charity usually earn less money than they would if they had the same job at a private company. The rewards can be pretty high though, especially if the charity you work for supports a cause you're passionate about. Because charities operate on the funds they receive from grants or donations, they may only be able to give you jobs for a few months at a time. But, this can also be good if you're looking to build up experience to get you something permanent in another company.

What will I earn? TOP ^

The average salary for someone who works in a charity is £15,000-£20,000, depending on the charity. If you manage a charity shop, you’ll probably earn around £15,000.

Where can I work? TOP ^

Charity jobs are extremely competitive, but there are lots of different areas you can work in. You could become a fundraiser, work on campaigns, manage marketing or work in a charity shop. Most school leavers work for major charity organisations like Oxfam or Save the Children.

It is likely that you will need a degree if you want to move into management or more senior positions with charities. However, the more voluntary experience you have, the better your chances of securing a job as a school leaver.

What skills will I need in a charity job? TOP ^

You'll need to be organised and self-motivated, good with people and a helpful team member. If your school leaver job involves promoting or fundraising for your charity, you’ll need to be confident in approaching different people to ask for money or other kinds of support. Above all, you need to have an open mind and willing spirit so you’ll be committed to your charity’s goals, and helpful to the people who benefit from it.

There are a number of generic skills that you will need to work in the charity sector. They include:

Having a knowledge of politics and the wider impact of charity work on communities are also extremely important for careers in the charity sector, whichever job you work in. Depending on your role, a basic knowledge of economics is also likely to be beneficial. 

What entry level jobs can I do with charities? TOP ^

Charity work has always been a popular area for young people to get involved in and luckily there is plenty of variety of roles in the sector.
Some options for school leavers looking to work in the charity sector include:

  • Administrator
  • Office assistant
  • Research assistant
  • Policy assistant
  • Campaigns assistant
  • Street fundraiser
Browse all Charities jobs for this guide