Frequently asked questions on working in health
- Where can I find NHS job vacancies?
- Where can I get help with my career?
Can I get a job with a criminal record?
It depends on the nature of the offence, and the sort of work you want to do in the NHS - for example, for roles with direct patient contact you will usually legally be required to declare all criminal offences.
Any requirements like these will be stated in the job advertisement.
It is the same for any health-related university course.
Do I have to go to university?
Not necessarily. Despite around 50% of the NHS workforce having a university or other professional qualification, there are lots of opportunities for staff without these qualifications, especially in the wider healthcare team. There are lots of pathways into an NHS career, for example a clinical or non-clinical apprenticeship, from GCSE to Master's level. Check the NHS Jobs website for opportunities in your area.
- What mental health careers are there?
What careers work with children?
Many careers involve working with children including:
- newborn hearing screener
- children's nurse,
- speech and language therapist,
- healthcare assistant
- health play specialist
- nursery nurse
- health visitor
- school nurse.
The entry requirements and qualifications needed for these role will differ. You could try our Find your Career quiz to find the one that reflects your current or future qualifications.
- What can I do with cancer patients?
Am I too old to join the health sector?
There is no upper age limit to join the health sector. Indeed, maturity/life experience can be an asset for many roles. If the career you are considering requires university training, then you should discuss any concerns that you might have about your suitability with the universities directly. You might consider attending some university open days or contacting the university's admissions office before making a formal application.
You can use our course finder to get a list of universities approved to run courses for a number of clinical careers.
Can I get financial help while training?
The type of support varies, depending on the career and the course. If you plan to go to university to study a health-related degree such as nursing, midiwfery or one of the allied health professions, there's the NHS Learning Support Fund which can offer help with childcare, travel and accomodation while training.
Visit our financial support pages for the latest information.
How much can I earn in the NHS?
How much you earn, will depend on the job you are working in. Most NHS staff are paid under the NHS Terms and Conditions and earn more as their career progress. There are also lots of other benefits of and NHS career such as a generous pension, flexible working and the opportunity to make a difference to people's lives, no matter what role you are in.
- Find out more about the pay and benefits.
Doctors, dentists and senior managers and have their own pay agreements.
How can I get work experience?
If you are in education, your local NHS organisations may offer the opportunity to gain work experience. Each NHS organisation will have its own policy, so you will have to contact your local NHS organisation(s) or visit their website(s) to find out.
Voluntary work is another way of gaining experience and an insight into working in the health sector. There are also many volunteering organisations out there, including Volunteering England, Do It! and Volunteering Matters.
What does being 'registered' mean?
Many healthcare professionals are regulated such as nursing, medicine and physiotherapy. This means that you are legally required to be registered with the relevant regulatory body to be able to practice.
Many other professions have voluntary registration which means that it isn't a legal requirement to be registered, but it is usually in the interests of the individual to do so.
- Where can I find local NHS trust?
- How do I contact NHS Jobs?