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Trading standards officer

Trading standards officers (TSOs) protect consumers and businesses by promoting a safe and fair trading environment.

Annual Salary

£19,000 to £50,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; attending events or appointments

2.9%
Future employment

There will be 2.9% more Trading standards officer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a trading standards officer, you could:

  • do routine checks or look into complaints on local traders and businesses, sometimes through undercover or surveillance work
  • take samples for testing and find unsafe electrical items
  • make sure labels are correct and not misleading
  • check the accuracy of drink measures and weighing scales
  • prepare evidence and go to court in prosecution cases
  • advise people about the law, give talks, write reports and keep records

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work in an office, at a client's business or in a court.

Your working environment may be at height, outdoors some of the time, cramped, dirty and noisy.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly
University

You can become a trading standards officer with a degree in any subject.

If you get a degree in law or consumer protection, you will not need to do some of the professional examinations. You can find out more from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

Some local authorities might sponsor you to do a degree in consumer protection. This means that you'll get work experience whilst you study. It could also lead to a job after you graduate.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
For more information
Apprenticeship

You could do a Trading Standards Professional Level 6 Higher Apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information
Work

You could start as an enforcement officer with a local authority and apply to join a trading standards training programme. Your employer would support you to qualify through training.

Direct application

You could apply for a trainee trading standards officer role with a local authority. You could then study towards professional qualifications on the job, and work your way up to trading standards officer.

You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including maths. Some authorities might also want you to have 2 A levels, or equivalent qualifications.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

You'll find it useful to have experience of legal, retail or advice work.

Some local councils might offer work experience or internships in trading standards in departments like environmental health.

Further information

You can find out more about working and training in trading standards through the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

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With experience, you could become a senior trading standards officer or manager.

You could also move into private consultancy work.

You can find out more about working and training in trading standards through the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • persistence and determination
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • knowledge of English language
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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