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Government

MP

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

Annual Salary

£87,000 to £104,000

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

Working hours

44 to 46 variable

You could work: evenings; away from home

3.4%
Future employment

There will be 3.4% more MP jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As an MP, you'll attend sessions in Parliament to:

  • vote on new laws and policies
  • raise constituents’ concerns with ministers
  • debate issues and ask 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 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 by being elected by voters in the constituency you wish to represent.

Volunteering and work experience

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

You could also:

  • serve as a local councillor
  • be active in a trade union
  • get involved in student politics
  • work as a researcher or caseworker for an existing MP

Contact your local councillors or your student office to ask about opportunities to volunteer with them.

Other routes

To become an MP, you have to be elected in a byelection 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. Usually, you'll need to get the support of your party's nominating officer before you can become 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 also need to pay a £500 deposit which you get back if you get more than 5% of the total votes in your constituency.
  • Some people are not allowed to be an MP, for example someone convicted of electoral fraud. You can find out more from the Electoral Commission.
  • 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 keep up to date with current affairs.

The Houses of Parliament offer the following schemes to get involved:Parliamentary Academy Scheme; Speaker's Parliamentary Placement Scheme; House of Commons Apprenticeship Scheme; House of Lords Apprenticeship Scheme; Undergraduate Sandwich Student Placements

Find more information about parliamentary work placements and apprenticeship programmes.

Further information

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

You can also find information about working for an MP from Working for an MP (W4MP).

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General elections are held every 5 years, so it can take some time to become an elected MP.

With experience, you might get the opportunity to:take on extra responsibilities like chairing committees; move from junior minister to minister, then to cabinet minister if your party is in power; become a party whip or party leader; be a spokesperson on certain issues or have responsibilities in a shadow cabinet if your party is in opposition

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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