Working in science and research with GCSEs (or similar)

Entry level jobs in science and technology are available but tend to be limited. To improve your chances, create a CV and do some relevant voluntary work.

Make sure you are work ready by having excellent attendance at school, being punctual and showing eagerness to learn. Your employer is likely to require a reference from your school. To be promoted in the science and research industry, you are likely to need further qualifications.

Case study

Working in science and research

I started working as a trainee QC analyst after I finished my GCSEs in 2006...

Harry Green, analytical quality control scientist 

Example jobs

Animal technician
Responsible for the welfare of laboratory animals used in scientific research.

Brewery worker
Assists in the beer-making process.

Science education technician
Supports science and design and technology teachers by preparing equipment and materials.

Laboratory technician
Responsible for laboratory-based tasks, including sampling, testing, measuring, recording and analysing results.

Pharmacy retail worker
Assists customers, passing queries to the pharmacist when required.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

You will receive at least the minimum wage or minimum apprentice wage if you are training.

Salaries will vary with experience.

Pay levels graph

Typical working conditions

  • A brewery worker might work shifts and in noisy conditions.
  • If you are working in a pharmacy you might have to work late nights and/or weekends.

Qualifications needed

  • You should aim to achieve good grades in your GCSEs or Level 2 equivalent subjects.
  • You could improve your salary and your chance of gaining employment by considering further study at Level 2 or Level 3.

Career path

  • Ways to progress in your career will depend on the career path you choose and the opportunities available in your local area.
  • Make sure you have a backup plan in case your ideal choice is not possible. To progress further, you could consider studying science and maths at A level.
  • Alternatively, you could study for a relevant vocational qualification such as laboratory science or pharmacy services.

Useful links

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National Apprenticeship Service

Information and advice about becoming an apprentice

NHS Careers

Information about becoming a pharmacy technician

Institute of Brewing & Distilling

Information about a career in the brewing industry