Working in the NHS = doctors and nurses, right?

If your knowledge of careers in the NHS  from TV medical dramas, you’d be forgiven for thinking that all NHS staff work in hospitals or that we only employ doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics and porters!

In fact, there are more than 350 different careers in health, many with patient contact and others working behind the scenes.

Around half of the NHS workforce has a degree or professional qualification, but there are increasingly more routes into many of the careers including apprenticeships.

Health Careers aims to make people aware of the range of opportunities available and offer them up-to-date and reliable careers information. There is also support for current students and staff through career planning resources and information on where to access support.

‘Find Your Career’ Quiz and Other Resources

Along with providing information on over 350 careers, the Health Careers website also allows you to compare roles and find hundreds of approved courses leading to careers in nursing, healthcare science and many other healthcare careers.

If you have an interest in working in health, but don’t know where to start. You can have a go at our ‘Find your career’ tool where you answer a few simple questions and find health careers suited to you. These could be patient-facing or behind the scenes.  

Job and Apprenticeship Vacancies

One entry route into health is an apprenticeship, where apprentices learn on the job and study for a qualification. Apprenticeships in the NHS cover: estates, health and social care, housekeeping, IT, business admin and accounting. To find out more about what type of apprenticeships are available visit here.

Although the NHS has offered apprenticeships for many years, new degree apprenticeship standards have been approved in a number of roles, including nursing, occupational therapy, paramedic science, physiotherapy and healthcare science. These lead to the same entry point as those who’ve done a full-time degree and offer an alternative route. Lookout for degree apprenticeships in these roles in your area.  

Getting in to the NHS

There is no doubt that academic ability is important for many careers, such as becoming a doctor, but the NHS employs people from all walks of life. What they all have in common is the values and behaviours needed for an NHS career.  So it is essential that applicants for any opportunity in the NHS understand how these relate to their chosen career. To find out more visit here.

Finally, you can always contact us with any questions on 0345 60 60 655 or

You can also follow us on Twitter (@HealthCareersUK) and Facebook (@HealthCareersUK) to find out about the latest news in Health Careers.  

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