Are you considering a career in health and social care? There are so many different roles available in this industry and it can be difficult to know where to start with your research. This article will look at the types of jobs in health and social care, the skills and attributes you will need to work in this sector as well as any qualifications you may need.
Jobs in the health and social care sector
1. Care worker
Care workers support people daily to live as independently as possible. In a care worker role, you could work with the elderly, people with disabilities or other vulnerable groups. You could visit people at home or work in a care home, helping people with eating, washing and dressing, and organising activities and entertainment.
2. Rehab worker
Being a rehab worker is another hands-on role that involves supporting people, for example after an illness or accident. In this role, you could support people with learning or physical disabilities, mental health issues, or substance abuse problems – helping them with their finances and housing, as well as life skills like cooking.
3. Social worker
Social workers work with individuals and their families or other people close to them to find solutions to any problems they are facing. Examples of the types of people you could work with are children with disabilities, young offenders or refugees and migrants. Your job would be to assess their needs and organise the help needed.
Doctors are on the frontline of healthcare, helping to diagnose and care for patients. There are endless options when it comes to being a doctor – which area to go in to, deciding whether to work for the NHS or a private healthcare company, or if you work in a GP (general practitioners) surgery or a hospital.
Nurses care for patients and usually act as the main point of contact. You would work with a range of people, from those with minor injuries through to those will long-term illnesses and diseases. As with doctors, there are a variety of career pathways available for nurses.
Midwives support people and their families during pregnancy, birth and after birth. As a midwife, you provide help and advice throughout the pregnancy, ensuring the person is aware of all their options and able to make informed decisions, as well as act as the main point of contact.
Dentists care for people’s teeth and mouths. As a dentist, you would support people in your community to prevent and treat dental infection or disease, correct dental irregularities (e.g., giving people braces) and treat dental injuries.
Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals who support people with minor health issues by prescribing over-the-counter medications. As a pharmacist, you would help people with problems such as coughs, colds, nausea, headaches and other aches and pains.
9. Psychological professions
Psychological roles are about supporting people’s mental wellbeing. There are multiple psychological professions available within the health and social care sector, including therapist, psychologist, counsellor and many more.
Why work in health and social care?
Make a difference
One of the main reasons why people choose careers in health and social care is the chance to help others. No matter what type of role you end up in, the work you do every day will have a positive impact on the people you support. The knowledge that you are doing some good could also improve your job satisfaction, giving what you do meaning and providing a sense of purpose.
The roles listed above should give you some indication of the wealth of jobs available in health and social care and how different they all are. There is also a nice amount of variety within the positions themselves, with no two days the same as you care for a range of people with different needs.
The health and social care sector has something for everyone no matter their qualifications or experience. Whether you are just starting out or have been in the sector for many years, there are always plenty of opportunities to develop and gain new skills, perhaps moving into different roles or progressing up the career ladder. Take a look at our practical tips for career progression.
What skills are needed for health and social care jobs?
The exact skills you need to work in health and social care will depend on the job. However, there are some skills that will benefit you in any role in the industry, such as:
- Time management
If you are interested in a specific role, we would suggest looking at the job descriptions for these roles to see what skills regularly appear. A lot of jobs in health and social care will list skills as ‘essential’, meaning you won’t be considered for an interview if you don’t have them. Looking at job descriptions will allow you to identify the skills you need in order to work on them.
What qualifications help with careers in health and social care?
The qualification requirements for careers in health and social care vary between job types.
If you like the sound of being a social worker, you’ll need to complete an undergraduate or postgraduate programme in social work. You will have to attend university to secure a medical role, such as doctor, dentist or nurse. A degree is necessary to become a pharmacist, therapist or psychologist too.
If you’d like to work in health and social care but university isn’t the right path for you, don’t worry! There are still plenty of routes into the industry. For example:
- There are no set qualifications needed to become a care worker. Many care worker roles ask you to complete training when you first start.
- You can start as a trainee dental nurse without academic qualifications. You can then study a dental nursing qualification while working to become fully qualified.
- Pharmacy assistant or technician roles are options if you’d like to work in a pharmaceutical environment but are not interested in studying for a degree.
Ready to start looking for your perfect role within health and social care? Take a look at the available vacancies on Unitemps.
Last updated on 19 December 2022Share this article