How to become a... wizard

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Lego Gandalf

Today is the birthday of both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins (yes, they share a birthday!) We thought we’d honour Hobbit Day by providing you with some tip-top LotR-inspired careers advice.

Since no one really wants to be a hobbit, we thought we’d take a look at how to become a wizard instead.

What is a wizard?

Wizards may be a separate class of being, but here at Success at School, we never let a little thing like that get in the way of fulfilling our career aspirations.

Let’s take a look at the qualifications and skills possessed by your average wizard to see how you measure up.

What will I do as a wizard?

Typical duties include:

  • Monitoring the activity of dark lords and alerting others to their plans for world domination.
  • Developing schemes to foil their evil machinations.
  • Designing and delivering occasional firework displays.
  • Generally being wise and benevolent.

Since you will spend a lot of time looking sagacious and reassuring, practise this expression at home:

What skills does a wizard need?

  • People/mythical beast skills – Getting along with a diverse workforce, made up of men, hobbits, elves, dwarves and assorted other beings is essential.
  • Project management – the ability to organise a trip to Mount Doom without the luxury of modern-day transport methods is no easy task – and requires one heck of a risk assessment.
  • Leadership – managing an unruly gang of reluctant hobbits, crotchety dwarves and haughty elves amounts to an almighty feat of people management.
  • The ability to talk to moths, especially when held prisoner atop a perilously tall tower.
  • A rapport with eagles (plus the ability to ride them bareback) is preferred but not required.
  • Good with a staff.
  • The ability to make scarily realistic fireworks.

Some flexibility is permitted within the role of wizard. For example, you may still qualify even if you have the tendency to go mad with power from time to time. Please bear in mind that in this case other wizards may try to defeat you in battle, and you do risk being pushed from a window by your minions if you aggravate them too much.

What qualifications does a wizard need?

  • Tall, wizened and beardy.
  • Expertise in battling malevolent beasts and demons.
  • A wardrobe made up exclusively of blue cloaks.

Wizards are generally qualified in defeating malevolent foes (although it doesn't always

end well for the wizard either...)

You may also choose to travel via rabbit-drawn sledge. This isn’t essential – other wizards prefer to travel on horseback, but generally only high-pedigree silver stallions that understand the speech of men (this makes communication easier).

Are apprenticeships available?

Not currently, although the government is liaising with established wizards with a view to drawing up a programme in the near future. Search Find An Apprenticeship to keep up-to-date (just to be clear, you won’t find any wizarding apprenticeships on Find An Apprenticeship).

What are the pros and cons of being a wizard?


  • They're magic.
  • Command oodles of power and respect.
  • Get to live in New Zealand ;)


  • High risk of death or injury (although you may come back to life).
  • Lots of travelling.
  • Hobbits are always asking you stupid questions.

But you do get to, erm, let you're hair down every so often:

What is the pay like?

Currently, positions are only available on a voluntary basis. However, you do get a lot of power and influence and people are generally very pleased to see you (unless you’re Saruman).

If becoming a wizard is just one of many career paths you’re considering at the moment, take a look at our How to become series to find out how to pursue your dream job.

Image credits

Wise GandalfYou shall not pass and Partying Gandalf via Giphy


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