amybum
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#1
Considering a career in medicine and I did enjoy my work experience (a year ago) but then I think of going into teaching (doing a biochemistry degree first) . I love medicine but when I look at how much junior doctors struggle and how much they have they have to move around until they become a consultant, I do question pursuing it. Mainly because I want to have a family and settle down one day. I have also taught the year below at my old school before and I enjoyed it
I do see myself as a good teacher but the long hours compared to the small pay alongside one of my teachers who always used to say "never become a teacher" really put me in this dichotomy. In terms of pay progression, how long does it take to get to a position where you will have a good pay as a teacher? (Obviously I am not in it for the money or I could have gone for a different job but I do need to look at this through all perspectives before I pursue this career).
0
reply
L-K
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#2
Report 3 weeks ago
#2
(Original post by amybum)
Considering a career in medicine and I did enjoy my work experience (a year ago) but then I think of going into teaching (doing a biochemistry degree first) . I love medicine but when I look at how much junior doctors struggle and how much they have they have to move around until they become a consultant, I do question pursuing it. Mainly because I want to have a family and settle down one day. I have also taught the year below at my old school before and I enjoyed it
I do see myself as a good teacher but the long hours compared to the small pay alongside one of my teachers who always used to say "never become a teacher" really put me in this dichotomy. In terms of pay progression, how long does it take to get to a position where you will have a good pay as a teacher? (Obviously I am not in it for the money or I could have gone for a different job but I do need to look at this through all perspectives before I pursue this career).
That depends what you mean by 'good pay'?
I'm a teacher now and also did a Biochemistry undergraduate, so feel free to ask me any questions. I had a similar dilemma at your age, but I'm glad I didn't choose medicine as I realise I much preferred the theory of medicine to treating people.
Last edited by L-K; 3 weeks ago
1
reply
MedicGoals
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#3
Report 3 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by amybum)
Considering a career in medicine and I did enjoy my work experience (a year ago) but then I think of going into teaching (doing a biochemistry degree first) . I love medicine but when I look at how much junior doctors struggle and how much they have they have to move around until they become a consultant, I do question pursuing it. Mainly because I want to have a family and settle down one day. I have also taught the year below at my old school before and I enjoyed it
I do see myself as a good teacher but the long hours compared to the small pay alongside one of my teachers who always used to say "never become a teacher" really put me in this dichotomy. In terms of pay progression, how long does it take to get to a position where you will have a good pay as a teacher? (Obviously I am not in it for the money or I could have gone for a different job but I do need to look at this through all perspectives before I pursue this career).
Hi there 3rd year medical student here - thought some of my perspectives might be helpful!

You're deciding between two excellent career options and although there are many similarities, there are some crucial differences that you should consider. Let me first start by busting some myths about Medicine

- Yes, junior doctor work is tough. However, very few trainee doctors have to move around to the point where they can't settle - it depends on the specialty you are in. You'll be switching postings from time-to-time for sure, but that doesn't stop the majority of doctors having a family and settling down!
- You can teach in Medicine! I also absolutely love teaching, it's one of my biggest passions, and I can assure you that the opportunities to teach in medical school have been vast. And, as a doctor, you'll have a chance to teach professionally for 'medical education', to train up the next generation!

But please remember:

- Medicine is, fundamentally, a career people take when they are fascinated by the science underlying the human body, are curious to find out its inner workings, and want to apply this knowledge to improve people's health and reduce their suffering. You'll be treating people at the end of the day. Does that sound like you?
- You should reflect on your work experience did you enjoy it? Clinical work experience, GP surgery, etc, all good stuff!

Hope that helps!
Last edited by MedicGoals; 3 weeks ago
1
reply
bluebeetle
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#4
Report 3 weeks ago
#4
(Original post by amybum)
Considering a career in medicine and I did enjoy my work experience (a year ago) but then I think of going into teaching (doing a biochemistry degree first) . I love medicine but when I look at how much junior doctors struggle and how much they have they have to move around until they become a consultant, I do question pursuing it. Mainly because I want to have a family and settle down one day. I have also taught the year below at my old school before and I enjoyed it
I do see myself as a good teacher but the long hours compared to the small pay alongside one of my teachers who always used to say "never become a teacher" really put me in this dichotomy. In terms of pay progression, how long does it take to get to a position where you will have a good pay as a teacher? (Obviously I am not in it for the money or I could have gone for a different job but I do need to look at this through all perspectives before I pursue this career).
Check out the teachers pay scale, most teachers are paid according to that, starting at M1 in their first year as a qualified teacher. Pay progression in many skills is linked to performance, so isn't necessarily guaranteed year upon year. To move from the main pay range to the upper pay range is a more involved process, as I understand it. A few financial upsides of teaching are that the pension is known to be quite good, and the job security is also good in economic downturns (though I'm not sure how this compares to medicine, which I imagine also has good job security!)

Taking on additional responsibilities (TLRs) is one way a lot of teachers increase their income. However, the downside of this is that often it is easiest to work your way up the ladder in more challenging schools (with high staff turnover) and hardest in 'nice' schools (with low staff turnover). Obviously, this isn't always the case, there will always be exceptions.

Teaching is a good career for people that want to have families, as your school holidays will likely match up with that of your children, and many schools can be quite flexible about moving to part-time after having children, if that's something you choose to do.

Most teachers I know agree that the first few years of teaching (or the period immediately after starting at a new school) is the most stressful time, because you will often find yourself in the situation of teaching something for the very first time, which obviously requires more preparation. Over time, the workload reduces, as you don't have to do so much 'new' planning.
0
reply
ecolier
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#5
Report 3 weeks ago
#5
(Original post by amybum)
...
As per usual, my personal opinion is if you're thinking about Medicine or something else, do something else.
0
reply
L-K
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#6
Report 3 weeks ago
#6
(Original post by bluebeetle)
Check out the teachers pay scale, most teachers are paid according to that, starting at M1 in their first year as a qualified teacher. Pay progression in many skills is linked to performance, so isn't necessarily guaranteed year upon year. To move from the main pay range to the upper pay range is a more involved process, as I understand it. A few financial upsides of teaching are that the pension is known to be quite good, and the job security is also good in economic downturns (though I'm not sure how this compares to medicine, which I imagine also has good job security!)

Taking on additional responsibilities (TLRs) is one way a lot of teachers increase their income. However, the downside of this is that often it is easiest to work your way up the ladder in more challenging schools (with high staff turnover) and hardest in 'nice' schools (with low staff turnover). Obviously, this isn't always the case, there will always be exceptions.

Teaching is a good career for people that want to have families, as your school holidays will likely match up with that of your children, and many schools can be quite flexible about moving to part-time after having children, if that's something you choose to do.

Most teachers I know agree that the first few years of teaching (or the period immediately after starting at a new school) is the most stressful time, because you will often find yourself in the situation of teaching something for the very first time, which obviously requires more preparation. Over time, the workload reduces, as you don't have to do so much 'new' planning.
Agreed. Sometimes teachers have to choose between a nice school with few opportunities and more competition for promotion, or a challenging school with note opportunities and less competition.
0
reply
SarcAndSpark
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#7
Report 3 weeks ago
#7
(Original post by ecolier)
As per usual, my personal opinion is if you're thinking about Medicine or something else, do something else.
I'd say the same about teaching though, especially in terms of getting through the PGCE.

amybum

What would you consider a "good" salary?
0
reply
ecolier
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#8
Report 3 weeks ago
#8
(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
I'd say the same about teaching though, especially in terms of getting through the PGCE....
Sounds like OP will have to pick a third option then :rofl:
0
reply
amybum
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#9
(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
I'd say the same about teaching though, especially in terms of getting through the PGCE.

amybum

What would you consider a "good" salary?
I would say a good salary is 40k after tax
It allows me to be independent and not rely on my spouse's salary too much (in the future if I do marry)
It puts me in a comfortable range where I don't have to worry too much about what I can and can't afford. I don't want to be super rich. But a salary like that would make life easier.
0
reply
SarcAndSpark
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#10
Report 3 weeks ago
#10
(Original post by amybum)
I would say a good salary is 40k after tax
It allows me to be independent and not rely on my spouse's salary too much (in the future if I do marry)
It puts me in a comfortable range where I don't have to worry too much about what I can and can't afford. I don't want to be super rich. But a salary like that would make life easier.
£40k after tax is a huge salary. Unless you want to live in London, you can have a nice life on much less. One of the advantages of teaching is that you don't have to live somewhere super expensive, which means you can have a nice life on less.

Rounding up very slightly you would need to be earning about £55,000.

Taking into account possible pay rises, you could just about earn this on UPS 3, with a big TLR, but that would take you a minimum of 8 years (And probably more like 10 years to reach)- and to get that kind of TLR you would need to be head of a big department and probably have other responsibilities too. A lot of schools won't pay the very top whack of a TLR anyway.

So realistically, you'd need to be on the leadership pay scales, which some people can achieve very quickly, but again I would say 6-10 years is reasonable, if you are very driven and ambitious and get all the right opportunities fall into place. But bear in mind the majority of teachers will not progress to this level.

If you are serious about wanting to earn £50k +, then teaching probably isn't the right job for you.
0
reply
amybum
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 3 weeks ago
#11
(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
£40k after tax is a huge salary. Unless you want to live in London, you can have a nice life on much less. One of the advantages of teaching is that you don't have to live somewhere super expensive, which means you can have a nice life on less.

Rounding up very slightly you would need to be earning about £55,000.

Taking into account possible pay rises, you could just about earn this on UPS 3, with a big TLR, but that would take you a minimum of 8 years (And probably more like 10 years to reach)- and to get that kind of TLR you would need to be head of a big department and probably have other responsibilities too. A lot of schools won't pay the very top whack of a TLR anyway.

So realistically, you'd need to be on the leadership pay scales, which some people can achieve very quickly, but again I would say 6-10 years is reasonable, if you are very driven and ambitious and get all the right opportunities fall into place. But bear in mind the majority of teachers will not progress to this level.

If you are serious about wanting to earn £50k +, then teaching probably isn't the right job for you.
I guess 40k after tax is a bit much
In the end, as long as I like what I do and earn enough to live a happy comfortable life, I'm fine. But even that is a lot to ask for these days.
I will have to do a lot of thinking about this but thank you everyone for your advice.
1
reply
SarcAndSpark
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#12
Report 3 weeks ago
#12
(Original post by amybum)
I guess 40k after tax is a bit much
In the end, as long as I like what I do and earn enough to live a happy comfortable life, I'm fine. But even that is a lot to ask for these days.
I will have to do a lot of thinking about this but thank you everyone for your advice.
If earning a high salary is important to you, then teaching isn't the route to go for. Bear in mind as well that teachers' salaries take the holidays into account, so they are in effect pro rata.

There are definitely pluses to a teaching career, but IMO salary isn't one of them.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Are you confident you could find support for your mental health if you needed it in COVID-19?

Yes (61)
21.11%
No (228)
78.89%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed