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7 jobs that pay the UK average salary (£26,500) and how to get them

If you’re starting your job search, here are seven jobs that pay around that amount, and what it takes to get them

Are you happy with your pay-packet? The average UK salary is £26,500 per year. If you're starting your job search, here are seven jobs that pay around that amount, and what it takes to get them.

1. Metal machining setters and setter-operators £26,976

Metal machining setters and setter-operators set up, operate and tend machines used to drill, bore, grind, cut, mill and shape metal. A knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair and maintenance, and an interest in production and processing is useful. Those who know how to operate multiple machines have the best employment opportunities.

Qualifications required: There are no formal academic entry requirements but some employers may prefer candidates to have GCSEs or equivalent qualifications. Training mainly involves practical experience, which is usually provided on the job. SVQs and NVQs and are available at level 2 and 3.

2. Speech and language therapists £26,765

Speech and language therapists (SLT) assess and treat speech, language and communication problems in adults and children. Working in hospitals, community health centres, mainstream and special schools, and clients' homes, they help people who have difficulty producing and using speech and those with a stammer or voice problem.

Qualifications required: A degree or post-graduate qualification in speech and language therapy. Undergraduate degrees last three to four years full-time and cover theory and clinical practice. You will need three A-levels or equivalent to be accepted on the course, though entry requirements vary.

3. Prison service officers (below principal officer) £26,496

Prison officers supervise inmates in prisons, remand centres and young offenders' institutions. To succeed in the role, you must be able to stay calm and in control in pressurised situations and have the authority to deal with prisoners who are abusive and possibly violent. Experience working in the police or armed forces, or as a security officer or probation officer, can help you get a job.

Qualifications required: You need to be 18 or over and a UK or Commonwealth citizen to apply. If you pass the Prison Officer Selection Test (POST), which checks your maths and literacy skills, you will be invited to an assessment day to determine whether you have the right personal qualities for the job. You will also need to pass medical and fitness tests and have had no previous convictions.

4. Chemical and related process operatives £26,456

Chemical plant operatives check and control the instruments and equipment used to produce chemical products, such as paints, plastics, cosmetics and toiletries. Typical duties include setting up and preparing machinery for the production run, loading raw materials into machines, checking instrument readings and carrying out minor maintenance work.

Qualifications required: Most chemical plant operatives work their way up through the ranks. There are no set qualification requirements, although you may be required to sit a maths or other aptitude tests as part of the interview process. Some employers may ask for GCSEs in maths, English and science subjects, or equivalent qualifications. Forklift training is beneficial for some jobs. Apprenticeships are sometimes available.

5. Dental technicians £26,440

Dental technicians or dental technologists make dentures, crowns, bridges and dental braces to a dentist's or doctor's prescription. They use a variety of materials, from porcelain and plastic to gold, to design and produce appliances to meet each patient's needs. Some work in hospitals as maxillo-facial technicians, helping to reconstruct the faces of people damaged by accident or disease.

Qualifications required: You must be registered with the General Dental Council and have completed an approved course, such as the BTEC National Diploma in Dental Technology, (you will need at least four GCSEs at grade C or above), a foundation degree (for which you'll normally need to be employed in a trainee dental technician role) or a BSc Hons degree in Dental Technology (for which you need A' levels or equivalent).

6. Occupational therapists £26,037

Occupational therapists help adults and children who have physical, mental or social disabilities to carry out everyday tasks and live as independently as possible. They assess each individual's needs and create a personalised treatment programme, working closing with other medical professionals to determine and deliver the best outcome for each person.

Qualifications required: To work as an occupational therapist in the UK you must be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council and have completed an approved degree or postgraduate qualification in occupational therapy.

7. Large goods vehicle drivers £26,029

Large goods vehicle (LGV) or drivers, also known as HGV drivers, transport and deliver goods and raw materials between suppliers and customers across the UK and overseas. Working from a depot, distribution centre or warehouse, you would drive commercial vehicles over 7.5 tonnes, including rigid trucks, articulated-lorries, tankers, transporters and trailer wagons.

Qualifications required: You must be 18 or over and hold a full car licence in order to take your LGV training and gain a Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC). You may be able to enter the job through an apprenticeship scheme.

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