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Drive your career with a business from a van

18th October 2017 Print

Has your current career route hit a roadblock? Are you tired of your typical 9-5 job and looking for a new career adventure? If you have your own van, then you’ll be excited to hear that there are so many types of businesses using Commercial Vans that you can get involved in to reinvigorate your working life…


According to Mintel’s Courier and Express Delivery UK 2017 report, there were 2.8 billion packages and parcels delivered across the UK in 2016 — up 65% from the 1.7 billion recorded in 2012. What’s more, 87% of Brits sent or received a parcel in the six months leading up to July 2017. It’s clear to see that courier and express delivery services are in demand throughout the UK.

Expected day-to-day duties

- Plan routes and sort packages into the most effective order of delivery.

- Collect the schedule of pick-up points and delivery addresses from a depot.

- Research the quickest route to delivery addresses.

- Sign for any packages that are picked up.

- Get signatures when delivering packages.

- Ensure paperwork and delivery records are kept up-to-date.

Entry & skills required

- English and Maths skills are required to keep records of delivery and expenses.

- A driving licence that matches the vehicle you’ll be using as a courier.

- Exceptional driving skills.

- An excellent road sense.

- Being able to work to tight schedules.

- The ability to read maps.

- The ability to plan effective travel routes.

Average salary

According to Totaljobs, in a sample size of 152 people, the average salary for a courier job is £21,000.

Average working hours

Couriers can expect to work between 30 and 40 hours per week.

Number of jobs available

As of September 6th 2017, Indeed had advertisements for 3,551 courier jobs across the UK.


The UK’s construction scene is currently experiencing a skills shortage, with a study by the Federation of Master Builders suggesting that this issue has spread beyond bricklayers and carpenters to also effect the plumbing trade. Are you willing to answer the country’s call for more plumbers?

Expected day-to-day duties

- Measure and plan to provide customers with accurate cost and time estimates.

- Cut, bend and join both pipes and their fittings.

- Install water, drainage and heating systems.

- Install and repair domestic appliances, including washing machines and showers.

- Install weather-proof materials, joints and flashings around a property’s roof, chimney and walls.

- Find and then fix faults with a property’s plumbing system.

- Conduct emergency call-outs for issues such as boiler breakdowns and blocked drains.

- Service gas and oil-fired central heating systems and radiators.

Entry & skills required

- GCSEs (or equivalent) which are at grades 9 to 4 (or A* to C) in English, Maths and Science.

- An industry-recognised qualification — for example, either a level 2 or 3 Diploma in Domestic Plumbing and Heating.

- Be qualified to work on gas-related units at level 3, for roles which will involve work with domestic gas heating systems.

- The ability to follow technical drawings and plans.

- The ability to follow safe working practices.

- Customer care skills.

Average salary

According to Totaljobs, in a sample size of 60 people, the average salary for a plumber is £31,787.

Average working hours

Plumbers can expect to work between 37 and 40 hours per week.

Number of jobs available

As of September 6th 2017, Indeed had advertisements for 2,204 plumber jobs across the UK.

Street food trader

Foodservice researchers Santa Maria’s What’s Next in Street Food report has revealed that the average spend on street food was £6.50 in 2016, which is an increase of 30% compared to two years previously. With the percentage of consumers eating street food between two and three times a week also increasing from 20% to 25% over the same period, there’s plenty of reasons to get involved with this dining experience.

Expected day-to-day duties

- Drive a mobile street food unit to venues and set up the stall.

- Prepare and cook food to a high standard.

- Handle raw food in a safe manner.

- Serve customers in a manner that encourages repeat business.

- Stock up on food ingredients and drinks as and when required.

- Ensure the work area is always kept clean, tidy and in a safe condition to have food on it.

- Work out finances of the business.

- Establish effective marketing strategies for the business.

Entry & skills required

- A food hygiene qualification.

- Registration with a local Environmental Health Department.

- A Street Trading Licence, though this isn’t essential if you’re only working at events on private land.

- Registration with HM Revenue and Customs.

- Food safety assessment.

- Health and safety assessment.

- Fire safety assessment.

- Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) assessment.

- Gas and electrical safety certificates.

- Public liability insurance.

- Employers’ Liability insurance, when staff are employed to work on a stall.

- The ability to prepare food safely and effectively.

- Customer service skills.

- An appropriate driving licence to drive the vendor from site to site.

Average salary

It is very difficult to work out the average salary of a street food trader, as income will vary depending on the working hours, location, type of food and how much food is sold from the stall. 

Average working hours

Average working hours can change week to week, though a competitive street food trader should aim to trade similar hours to neighbouring stalls. The amount of hours worked can change depending on when markets, festivals and appropriate tourist events are taking place, though expect to work throughout weekends and public holidays to remain competitive.

Number of jobs available

As of September 6th 2017, Indeed had advertisements for 5,329 street food jobs across the UK.

Mobile dog groomer

According to research by, Brits spent £7.16 billion on their animals last year — up 25% from 2010, and factoring in the costs of pet pampering services. When you also consider that 8.5 million of the estimated 54 million pets in the UK as of 2017 are dogs, a career switch to becoming a mobile dog groomer suddenly makes a lot of sense.

Expected day-to-day duties

- Follow standards in regards to how different breeds of dog should look.

- Shape a dog’s coat using electric clippers or a stripping knife.

- Shampoo and then dry a dog’s coat.

- Trim a dog’s coat using scissors.

Entry & skills required

- Experience with dogs, which can be gained by...

- Carrying out voluntary work with dogs, such as at kennels.

- Gaining work experience with a qualified and experienced dog groomer.

- Undertaking a basic animal care course either at a private training centre or college.

- The ability to handle dogs in a manner that is firm yet gentle.

- Know how to calm and control nervous dogs.

- Communication skills.

- Customer care skills.

Average salary

As a guide, the National Careers Service states that a beginner dog groomer can expect to be earn a salary of between £13,000 and £14,000 a year. This can rise to between £16,000 and £19,000 once experienced, and then £20,000+ when highly experienced.

Average working hours

Dog groomers can expect to work 35 hours a week.

Number of jobs available

As of September 6th 2017, Indeed had advertisements for 219 dog groomer jobs across the UK.

Painter & Decorator

The average Brit will redecorate their home 36 times during their lifetime, as research by Anglian Home Improvements has suggested - with jobs within the home usually taking 18 days to finish and each task typically leading to three arguments. Become a painter and decorator and you should be able to reduce the stress among households throughout the nation.

Expected day-to-day duties

- Measure surface areas to work out how much paint or wall covering is required to complete a job.

- Prepare all materials for a job.

- Mix paint so that it creates the shade requested by the customer, possibly with the use of computerised colour-matching equipment.

- Strip old wallpaper and layers of paint in an effective manner.

- Be able to cover surfaces with primer and an undercoat in an effective manner.

- Apply coats of paint effectively.

- Hang wallpaper effectively.

- Add special finishes to a job, such as glazes or marbling.

- Fill holes and cracks in a manner that ensures surfaces are always level.

- Ensure a space is tidy once a painting or decorating job is complete.

Entry & skills required

- A Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) card is required to work on most building sites.

- Practical skills.

- Attention to detail.

- The ability to thoroughly follow the instructions of a job.

Average salary

According to Totaljobs, in a sample size of 60 people, the average salary for a painter is £26,406. Meanwhile, in a sample size of 36 people, the average salary for a decorator job is £22,492.

Average working hours

A painter and decorator can expect to work between 35 and 40 hours per week, though overtime may be required to meet an agreed deadline.

Number of jobs available

As of September 6th 2017, Indeed had advertisements for 1,902 painter and decorator jobs across the UK.