A career in healthcare promises an extremely varied and rewarding workload caring for people and helping to improve their health. While there are some potential drawbacks associated with the healthcare sector, such as unsocial hours and government cuts, for most people the job satisfaction, salary and ease with which they can relocate easily cancel these out.
Entry requirements – the graduate route
There are two different routes into the healthcare profession. Those seeking high level professional healthcare roles, such as midwives, dentists and psychologists, will need to complete a degree or postgraduate course. Depending on projections of future demand in the healthcare sector, the number of places on some of these courses will be regulated, which means competition can be fierce.
The majority of jobs within the healthcare sector do not require a medical degree, but many will ask for a relevant Master’s degree and experience in the field as a condition of entry. There are also a number of graduate training schemes within this sector, but there will be plenty of competition for a limited number of places.
The non-graduate route
For non-graduates, there are entry level roles like healthcare assistants. Although employers will want to see that you have a friendly and caring attitude, and understand and respect those who need healthcare support, previous experience or healthcare qualifications may not be necessary for the role. Follow this link to look for apprenticeship schemes in your area.
Generally speaking, even for entry level roles, some GCSEs or a qualification in health or care will be helpful to your application. Previous experience (paid or voluntary) in a similar role will also give you a distinct advantage.
Voluntary positions are available at a large number of organisations to help you get your foot in the door. You might be able to find volunteering positions with the NHS or with charities and local organisations in your area. Here are a few resources to help you in your search:
If you did want to increase your chances of finding an entry level job in the healthcare sector, the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care would be a good place to start. Many colleges also offer pre-employment programmes for people looking for work in this area, so it’s well worth checking with your local college for more details.
Depending on your job role within the healthcare sector, it may also be necessary for your employer to carry out background checks using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to make sure you are suitable to work in this field.
Where are you likely to work?
Hospitals, private healthcare companies, medical laboratories and doctor’s surgeries are all potential settings for healthcare workers. However, given the rise in long-term health conditions such as diabetes and asthma, there is also an increasing demand for healthcare professionals in the community, so you could find yourself working in a community healthcare centre and visiting patients in their homes.
Start your search
We have a diverse range of entry level and graduate healthcare positions available, as well as roles for those with years of industry experience. To start your job search, simply upload your CV and register with Seven Healthcare today.