Member of Parliament (MP)

politician Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) Member of the European Parliament (MEP)
Administration, business and management

Career outlook for member of parliament (MP)

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would campaign to persuade people in a community to vote for you to be their representative. Once elected, you’d speak for them in debates about new laws and national and international issues.

You’d try to persuade other politicians to make laws to improve people’s lives. You’d try to help individual constituents with problems and issues.

There are different parliaments you could stand for:

  • The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh
  • The House of Commons - part of the United Kingdom parliament – at Westminster in London
  • The European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium), Strasbourg (France) and Luxembourg.

You’d speak in parliament and in public to put forward your constituency's interests and your own political beliefs. If you are elected as a member of a political party, you’d explain and defend its policies.

You would:

  • Attend sessions in parliament
  • Debate issues and raise questions in parliament
  • Vote on new laws and policies
  • Sit on committees and attend meetings and conferences
  • Hold surgeries and advice sessions in your constituency
  • Take up constituents’ issues and concerns
  • Study reports and research on relevant issues
  • Make speeches
  • Give interviews to the media
  • Campaign for your political party

With experience, you could hold a position of extra responsibility, such as being a government minister, Scottish cabinet secretary or party spokesperson.

Working conditions


Your working hours, Monday to Friday, could be very long when in parliament. Core hours in the House of Commons are until 10pm on some evenings, and parliamentary debates sometimes continue into the night.


Parliament regularly breaks for recess and has a long summer break, so you would usually spend more time in your constituency at these times. You would have office bases at parliament and also in your constituency.


Many MPs choose to live in London during the week when parliament is sitting, and travel to their constituency one day a week or at weekends. You may also spend a lot of time travelling around the UK and possibly overseas.

UK employment status





Self employed


Search course options

Thinking about your future? There are lots of courses available that could interest you. Use our course search to explore course options.

Find courses

Search job opportunities

If you're looking for your new career our job search can help you. Discover interesting opportunities and decide your next steps.

Find a job

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Networking
  • Verbal communication
  • Problem solving
  • Empathising
  • Attention to detail
  • Ethical
  • Making decisions
  • Negotiating
  • Taking responsibility
  • Analysing

Skills Explorer

Your skills can help you choose the career that's right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

Our Skills Explorer tool will help you understand what skills you have and match them to jobs that might suit you.

Use the Skills Explorer tool

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


There are no set qualifications to enter this role. However, you'd need excellent communication skills and an understanding of the issues that matter to your constituents. 

Many people stand to become an MP after careers in law, business, journalism, or trade union work. Others rise through the ranks of their chosen political party as local councillors, researchers or caseworkers.  

Entry is very competitive and you'd need to be nominated by your party to stand in an election. You could also stand as an independent candidate. You'd then need to be elected by the area you represent.

You will also need

  • To be at least 18 years old
  • To be eligible to vote in elections for the parliament you are standing for

Helpful to have

Before being selected to stand for election you would normally need long experience of working for a political party, either paid or unpaid. 

You may have been a local councillor or political researcher.