Government

MP

MPs represent people's concerns and interests in the House of Commons.

Annual Salary

£82,000 to £150,500

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

44 to 46 variable

You could work: evenings; away from home

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

You'll attend sessions in Parliament and:

  • vote on new laws and policies
  • raise constituents’ concerns with relevant ministers
  • debate issues and raise questions

Outside Parliament, you'lltalk to businesses and schools about local, national and international issues; speak to the media; attend meetings and conferences; hold surgeries and advice sessions in your constituency

Working environment

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and you may spend nights away from home.

You can get into this job through:

  • being elected
Volunteering and work experience

Most people show their commitment through campaigning and volunteering for their party.

You can get other useful experience from:

  • serving as a local councillor
  • being active in a trade union
  • being involved in student politics
  • working as a researcher or caseworker for an existing MP

Other routes

You become a Member of Parliament (MP) by being elected in a by-election or general election. You can stand for election as a member of a political party or as an independent candidate.

Each political party has its own selection procedure. Normally, you must get the support of your party's nominating officer before you can become the prospective candidate.

As a candidate during an election, you'll be expected to campaign in public and online, attend meetings, make speeches and talk to the local media. You'll find it helpful to have some experience in one or more of these areas.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • To stand for election, you'll need to be nominated by at least 10 electors from the constituency you wish to represent. You must also pay a £500 deposit. This is returned to you if you get more than 5% of the total votes cast in your constituency.
  • Certain people are not allowed to stand as an MP, for example someone convicted of electoral fraud. You can check with the Electoral Commission for more information about this.
  • be over 18 years of age
  • be a UK, Republic of Ireland or Commonwealth citizen

More information

Career tips

You'll need a good understanding of local and national issues, and be up to date with current affairs.

Further information

You can find more advice about becoming an MP from UK Parliament.

General elections are held every 5 years, so it can take a long time to be elected MP.

With experience, you may get the opportunity to take on extra responsibilities like chairing committees and moving into more senior positions like party whip or even party leader.

If your political party is in power, you could go from junior minister to minister and then cabinet minister. If your party is in opposition, you could be a spokesperson on certain issues or have responsibilities in a shadow cabinet.

10 Steps into Politics

  1. Earn your degree. ...
  2. Get an internship. ...
  3. Volunteer on campaigns. ...
  4. Look for a paid political position. ...
  5. Get experience in both public policy and elections. ...
  6. Become visible in your community. ...
  7. Practice your networking and public speaking. ...
  8. Develop and maintain relationships.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • an understanding of society and culture
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • active listening skills
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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