There is no doubt that some professions require more training than others. Not just to enter but to stay up to speed. Learning continues to a degree in every occupation or business to keep up with technology and new laws, but more so in others. For instance, a medical practitioner will continue to learn new techniques and treatments that will help their patients. An accountant will be required to know how the latest budget announced by their government has changed the tax rules for their client, or the company that they work for.
So, let us consider the occupations that will undoubtedly require the most training to enter and to then to excel in. We shall focus mainly on the UK, and then make a few comparisons with the US. We shall also consider how lucrative a business or industry each one is to enter.
In the UK, it is 9 to 18 months to obtain an AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) professional diploma, enabling you to work as an accounting technician and assist an accountant. To become a fully-fledged chartered accountant, in financial accounting, it will require between 3 and 10 years of study alongside working in a job and gaining practical experience to practice or work for a large company in that role. The qualification for chartered accounts is the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). Alternatively, there are qualifications that can be taken in cost accounting, such as CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants).
In the US, it takes a minimum of 7 years to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) before they can even go to work for a firm like Eide Bailly. The requirements for the license will vary between states. However, in general, 150 hours of college credits (which is 30 more than most other undergraduate degrees), together with 2 years of full-time working experience, is required before the exam can be taken.
CPD (Continued Professional Development) is required by members of accountancy governing bodies in the UK so that they may continue to practice as a member.
Accountants who know about tax-efficient schemes and how best to manage money can be in great demand in a corporate setting. It can mean the difference between a company surviving or not, as the accountant will be the first person to identify a cashflow problem.
Physicians and Surgeons
The longest training required for an occupation is in the field of human medicine. Those training in the UK to become a doctor can train for up to 16 years before they qualify. This will consist of a 5 to 6-year degree, depending on specialization, followed by a 2-year post-graduation foundation, followed by between 3 to 8 years of specialist training. Specialist training is the key to how long it takes. For example, someone training to be a surgeon will be required to train further in the practical skills of surgery in addition to having acquired an extensive knowledge of human anatomy and how medicines work.
Although seen as a vocation by many, the career also pays well. The career, in the UK, offers the option of branching into private medicine for greater earnings. Those who specialize in plastic surgery, in the US particularly, can earn huge sums of money as they gain a reputation for becoming the best in their field. Medicine is big business everywhere, with pharmaceutical companies looking for those trained in medicine to develop or promote their products. Anyone who does not quite take to hands-on patient treatment always has the option of diversifying into scientific and laboratory-based research.
The term surgeon is often attached to the title of the occupation because vets are surgeons. As well as treating animals with antibiotics, they also perform operations on them. They need to have a thorough understanding of the anatomy of an animal. Owners value their pets and will spend vast sums of money in seeing that they are comfortable, happy, and live as prolonged a life as possible.
Those wishing to enter the profession will have first obtained good science results in their examinations (A-Levels in the UK) to be accepted for veterinary college. Following this, it is a long training during which vets learn about all kinds of animals, from small domestic pets to farm and wild animals. Some vets will go on to specialise in zoology and more exotic animals.
In the UK, you will need to complete a veterinary degree that has been approved by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. These degrees will typically take 5 years to complete, as opposed to 3 years for most other degrees. Possessing a degree in a related subject already can reduce this period to 4 years, as you will be entering at graduate level. Interestingly, like some other occupations, you can serve as a vet for the British Army, if you choose adventure over earning potential.
In the US, veterinary school is a 4-year commitment after an undergraduate degree has been taken, and then the search for veterinary jobs can begin.
In terms of salaries, vets work long hours but can make good money by owning or becoming a partner in their own practice. The business of selling pet products is a lucrative one, too.
So, three occupations where a lot of training is required to succeed in them but three which make perfect business sense for those looking for a career that will fund a comfortable lifestyle while helping others