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A career as a health professional is a challenging and rewarding one. The range of roles available to people considering a career in health are wide and varied, from nursing and physiotherapy to being a GP or a surgeon.

Who can I work for?

In the UK, qualified health professionals are able to work for the NHS or one of the many private healthcare organisations. In some areas of the profession, such as physiotherapy or psychology, people choose to be self-employed and even open their own practices.

Where and when can I work?

Health professionals can work anywhere in the UK, and in some cases overseas. Midwives in the UK regularly move to Australia and New Zealand to expand their horizons and career prospects.

Working hours will vary, however those working in a hospital or care home can expect to work shift patterns which may include nights and weekends.

What will I be responsible for?

Day-to-day tasks will depend on the area of responsibility. In any case a level of administration and paperwork can be expected in order to accurately maintain medical records.

Ultimately you are responsible for the people in your care and upholding the standards of your organisation.

Do I need any experience?

Experience is vital in the health profession and students will spend many hours out on practical placements to fully equip them with the skills and experience required to succeed.

Many career avenues require specialist training, higher education, a degree, and in some cases a PhD.

What attributes are needed?

You will need to be a caring person with excellent communication skills. The ability to provide patient-centred care and work as part of a large team is important. You will need to be professional, ethical and be able to remain calm in high-pressure situations.

What can I earn?

Remuneration is dependent on speciality, experience and location. Entry-level and trainee roles that do not require a degree can start at minimum wage and top end management roles can exceed £50,000 a year.

A graduate entering the health profession can expect to earn between £20,000 and £24,000 a year.

What are the benefits?

Everyone who joins the NHS is guaranteed a salary that matches his or her abilities and responsibilities.

As well as a competitive salary, you will receive holiday and other benefits including counselling services and occupational health.

Above all you are able to work, and care for, a wide variety of people from many different backgrounds. Your work will make a real difference to their lives.

Are there chances of promotion?

Promotion and progression is dependent on where you work and your speciality. The NHS gives its staff the opportunity to train and work their way up the ladder to higher management roles which bring with them increased responsibility and reward.

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