Trade union official

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would try to get employers to improve pay and working conditions for members of your union. Your work would be very important in ensuring that staff at all levels are treated fairly.

As a full-time trade union representative working at regional level, you would:

  • Advise on legal or health and safety issues
  • Hire and train local officials
  • Deal with local disputes and case work
  • Promote learning and education programmes to members

At national level, you would:

  • Work on policies
  • Do research
  • Set up learning and education programmes
  • Deal with the media
  • Negotiate with employers’ organisations, political parties and government

You might be a part-time union official, known as a shop steward or representative. You would be elected by trade union members in your company to pass on their views to managers. You would then spend some of your work time dealing with trade union business.

Working conditions

Hours

In a full-time job you would work between 35 and 40 hours a week, which could include early starts, evenings and weekends.

Environment

You would be mainly office-based.

Travel

You would spend some of your time attending meetings and visiting members and union representatives.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Listening to people
  • Persuading people
  • Taking the lead
  • Being tactful
  • Presenting to people
  • Finding solutions to problems
  • Researching and investigating

Build your skills

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.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

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

Qualifications

There are no formal entry requirements for this role but many entrants have a degree (SCQF level 9/10) or a professional qualification.

Any degree subject or professional qualification would be acceptable, but subjects such as:

  • Accountancy
  • Business studies
  • Economics
  • Industrial relations
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Politics
  • Sociology

may be particularly useful.

Useful subjects

Subjects where you gain an understanding of people, politics and rights such as:

  • History
  • Modern studies
  • Politics
  • Sociology
  • Religious and moral education

You will also need

 You will require relevant experience with trade unions, perhaps as a shop steward.