How to become a politician: Jason's story

Meet Jason, 18, and find out more about his life as a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, representing Angus South. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

I make sure that young people’s voices are being heard in parliament.

  • Jason was inspired to get into politics after watching the coverage of the 2016 presidential election in America
  • He is a member of both the Scottish Youth Parliament and the Youth Select Committee
  • These groups are made up of elected councillors like Jason who debate important topics such as public transport and jobs
  • Jason isn't paid to work as a councillor and instead makes money as a barista in a coffee shop.

What to expect if you want to be a politician

Jason's job as a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament is unpaid but it's experience like this that can lead to a professional career as a politician.

Members of Parliament (MP) are elected officials who represent people of the UK in the House of Commons. Just as Jason represents the community in Angus South, MPs are responsible for an area of the UK which is known as a constituency.

  • MP salary: £74,000 to £142,000 per year
  • MP working hours: 44 to 46 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a politician?

  • Typical entry requirements: The only way to become an MP is to be elected. Each political party has its own selection procedure. Normally, you must get the support of your party's nominating officer before you can become the prospective candidate. Most people show their commitment through campaigning and volunteering for their political party and most of them have another career. You can get other useful experience from:

    • serving as a local councillor
    • being active in a trade union
    • being involved in student politics
    • working as a researcher or caseworker for an existing MP.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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