Government

MP

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

Annual Salary

£74,000 to £142,500

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

Working hours

Variable

What's it all about?

You'd 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'll

  • talk 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

You’ll need to be:

  • 18 or over
  • a British citizen, a citizen of a Commonwealth country or the Republic of Ireland

You’ll usually become established within a political party first.

Useful pre-entry experience can also come from being an MP's researcher or caseworker.

You'll need to be nominated by 10 parliamentary electors from the constituency you want to stand in. Everyone standing for election pays a £500 deposit.

If you’re not a member of a political party, you can put yourself up for election as an 'independent', You'd then need to be voted into the position of MP following a general election or local by-election. 

£74,000 to £142,500

Starter salary: £74,000

Experienced salary: £134,565 (Cabinet Minister)

You may receive more if you have extra responsibilities like chairing committees or being a cabinet minister.

Variable

You'll have an office at Parliament and in your constituency. You might need to travel around the UK. You'll usually work Monday to Friday. You may have to attend Parliament until 10:30 pm on some evenings, and parliamentary debates can continue through the night.

Many MPs live in London during the week and travel to their constituency on one of those days or at weekends. You can expect to spend more time in your constituency during Parliament's summer or other annual breaks.

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:

  • strong political beliefs and ideas
  • excellent communication and public speaking skills
  • the ability to persuade and motivate others
  • problem-solving skills
  • the confidence to make decisions
My top 5 skills from the skills bank
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