Trading standards officer

TSO

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 advise on and enforce the laws on the buying, selling, renting and hiring of goods and services. This keeps trading fair and protects consumers and businesses.

You could cover a range of issues, such as:

  • Consumer safety
  • Animal welfare
  • Fake goods
  • Product labelling
  • Weights and measures
  • Under-age sales

In some jobs you might be involved in all aspects of trading standards work. You could also specialise in just one area.

Your duties would vary, but you might:

  • Visit local traders and businesses for routine checks or to look into complaints
  • Take samples of goods for testing
  • Check that weighing scales and measures are accurate, for example alcohol measures in pubs
  • Make sure that labelling is correct and advertising is honest
  • Find unsafe electrical goods and toys
  • Advise consumers and businesses about the law
  • Investigate suspected offences - these could need undercover or surveillance work
  • Prepare evidence and go to court in prosecution cases
  • Give talks, write reports and keep records

You would need to have in-depth knowledge of relevant legislation, and stay up to date with any developments.

Working conditions

Hours

In most jobs you would work around 37 hours a week, with some unsocial hours if you need to visit pubs and clubs in the evening or market traders at the weekend.

Environment

You would have an office base, but would also visit traders and go to court.

Travel

You would spend a lot of your time travelling around the local area, visiting traders and attending court. A driving licence and use of a car may be necessary.

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
  • Working as part of a team
  • Taking the lead
  • Being tactful
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Working on your own
  • Using computers
  • Researching and investigating
  • Working with numbers
  • Paying attention to detail
  • Making decisions

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

You will need professional Trading Standards qualifications.

It is possible to enter as a trainee with five National 5 qualifications and two to three Highers (SCQF level 5/6).

Many applicants have a degree (SCQF level 9/10); subjects that involve law or consumer studies/protection can give exemption from some of the professional exams.

Entry to degree courses (SCQF level 9/10) will usually require National 5 qualifications and at least three to four Highers although some degrees may require more than this.

Law courses in particular will have higher entry requirements and will need Higher English. Current entry requirements are four to five Highers at B or above.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses and employers)
  • Maths (required by most courses and employers)
  • A science (required by most courses and employers)
  • Business subjects
  • Social studies subjects
  • IT subjects

You will also need

Once in the job you will work towards qualifications via the Trading Standards Qualifications Framework. This is normally done as part of 'on-the-job' training.