Who works for the NHS?

Whether you’ve always wanted to work in health or have never thought about it before, the huge range of careers in the NHS will amaze you! 

There are clinical and non-clinical careers available. 

You could work on the front line on a ward or never see a patient and still make a difference to people’s lives.

From the person who manages the finances to the clerk who books in an operation, everyone working in the NHS contributes to vital services.  


The great benefit of working in the NHS is that you can join at any stage of your life. You may be at school choosing your options or you could be looking to change your career path after bringing up a family. 

It all comes down to skills, attitude and teamwork. We need everyone from biochemists to bricklayers and receptionists to rehabilitation specialists.  

How many people can leave work every day knowing that what they did really mattered? 

Different ways in 

Some roles have a specific training route and need academic qualifications, for example the allied health professionsmedicinenursing and pharmacy.

For others, you can study a range of different subjects and apply them to jobs in the NHS. We also have roles suitable for apprenticeships, conversion courses and on-the-job training. 

Sarah Trute

Community behaviour specialist
Nursing offered me that ‘human touch’ – so after 11 years, I switched careers.

Transferable skills 

We’re always looking for people with transferable skills who can bring life experience and insights from working in other sectors. So don’t rule yourself out just because you have a non-traditional background, or because you don’t have clinical or degree-level qualifications.  

Take the next step 

We have more than 350 different careers available and one of them could be right for you! If you share our values, we want to talk to you!

Career categories

Roles within the NHS are split into 15 categories as follows.

Allied health professions

As key members of today's healthcare team, allied health professionals work closely with patients, often on a one-to-one basis, helping with rehabilitation and providing treatment that helps transform people's lives.

Ambulance service team

You could be part of an emergency response crew, handle 999 calls in a control room, or provide vital non-emergency transport for patients.

Dental team

If you’re interested in diagnosing and treating a range of problems affecting the mouth, teeth and gums and like the idea of working with people, doing a job that's respected, and which offers flexibility and security, a career with the dental team could be right for you.


If you have the passion to improve people's lives and the determination to reach the highest standards, there’s a wide range of career opportunities open to you within medicine. Becoming a doctor isn't an easy option, it takes years of study and hard work, but if you like helping people there are few more rewarding or respected careers.

Estates and facilities

Estates services staff look after NHS buildings and the grounds around them so they are a safe and pleasant environment for our staff and patients. A career in NHS estates and facilities has opportunities for people looking for their first job and those looking for a career change. 

Health informatics

Health informatics is one of the fastest growing areas within healthcare. To put it simply —  health informatics is about getting the right information to the right person at the right time. You could be introducing electronic health records for every person in the country or exploring patient data to identify trends in disease and treatment.

Healthcare science

Whether it's helping patients with hearing problems, analysing tissue samples, or researching how results from the human genome project can be translated into new treatments — healthcare scientists and technicians help to save lives and improve care for millions of patients.


Managers are a key part of the NHS. Whether they are managing the talented, hardworking staff, controlling the finance or providing the equipment, buildings and services, managers are crucial to the delivery of effective healthcare.


Being a midwife is much more than delivering babies. You'd be involved in antenatal and postnatal care, in counselling, in offering support and education, and help families prepare for parenthood.


If you want to work in an interesting, rewarding and challenging environment, a career in nursing will give you plenty of scope to do exactly that. Nurses work in every sort of health setting — from accident and emergency, to patients' homes —  with people of all ages and backgrounds.


Interested in science and how medicines help patients manage their condition? Pharmacists are experts in medicines and work with technicians and assistants in both hospital and community settings.

Medical associate professions 

The NHS has seen the emergence of four new professional roles working within multi-professional teams as part of the continuing drive to provide safe, accessible and high-quality care for patients.  

Psychological professions

One in four people will suffer from a mental illness at some point in their lives. Psychological professionals will provide, care and support, and help people overcome their difficulties through counselling, therapy and other ways.

Public health

Public health is about influencing people's lifestyles or aspects of the environment in which they live with the aim of preventing them from becoming unhealthy or ill, or of improving their health and wellbeing. Some of these roles are in the NHS, but many are found in other organisations.

Wider healthcare team

You could design, construct and maintain NHS buildings, organise catering, supply linen, clean the wards, book appointments. Every role in the wider healthcare team has one thing in common — they are essential to running the NHS.


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