FAQs about careers in the allied health professions
This page has some frequently asked questions about careers in the allied health professions.
- What are the allied health professions?
- How do I train to be an allied health professional?
- Is there financial help to support me while I’m training for a career in one of the allied health professions?
- Are there opportunities to work as an assistant in the allied health professions (AHP) and then train as a fully qualified AHP?
- What is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian?
- Can dietetic assistants be seconded onto a degree programme in dietetics?
- Can I use my interest in sport in the NHS?
Allied health professionals provide treatment and help rehabilitate adults and children who are ill, have disabilities or special needs, to live life as fully as possible. They often manage their own caseloads.
The training for each of these professions involves going to university to do an approved programme. For some careers, only full-time courses are available, but for others there may be part-time routes too.
For more information about the profession and the training, explore the career that interests you:
- art therapist
- diagnostic radiographer
- therapeutic radiographer
- speech and language therapist
- music therapist
- occupational therapist
Is there financial help to support me while I’m training for a career in one of the allied health professions?
Traditionally, the NHS has provided financial support to eligible students on approved courses for a number of the allied health professions. Visit the NHS Business Services Authority website for more information.
However, this is changing from August 2017. Visit our financial support pages for the very latest information
Are there opportunities to work as an assistant in the allied health professions (AHP) and then train as a fully qualified AHP?
Yes, there are opportunities to work in a variety of clinical support roles, such as a dietetic assistant, physiotherapy assistant, podiatry assistant, occupational therapy assistant, technical instructor, radiography assistant, orthotic technician, prosthetic technician and speech and language therapy assistant.
Depending on your role, your employer may then support you to train as a fully qualified AHP. Have a look at NHS Jobs for current vacancies.
No, there aren't opportunities to do this. You would need to do an approved undergraduate or masters programme. Use our course finder for details of these courses or visit our page about dietetic assistants for more information about what they do.
There are opportunities to work with patients who have received injuries through sport eg as a doctor specialising in this field or using sport as part of a programme of rehabilitation after an injury, illness or operation (e.g.physiotherapist, physiotherapy assistant, cardiac physiologist) and in promoting better health eg health trainer.